Politics & Policy

Mrs. Clinton and Her Fixer

Huma Abedin with Clinton at a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, November 15, 2015. (Jim Young/Reuters)

Huma Abedin must be a remarkable woman: She has held down four of the worst jobs in politics, several of them simultaneously: right hand to Hillary Rodham Clinton, fixer and patron-patronizer for the Clinton Foundation, an editor of a journal spawned by a major al-Qaeda financier, and wife to Anthony Weiner.

Mrs. Carlos Danger has some explaining to do.

So does Mrs. Clinton. More, in fact.

Mrs. Clinton plainly has lied about her e-mails, repeatedly, and then lied about lying about them. The new e-mails released in response to ongoing litigation from Judicial Watch include 20 previously unseen exchanges between Mrs. Clinton and her chief aide, Ms. Abedin, which now brings the total number of official, work-related e-mails Mrs. Clinton failed to turn over to investigators to just shy of 200 — so much for those claims that these were private communications about yoga classes and Chelsea’s wedding plans.

It is clear why Mrs. Clinton did not want to release these e-mails: They detail precisely the Clinton Foundation corruption that critics have long alleged. Specifically, the e-mails detail Huma Abedin’s role – while she was on the State Department’s payroll — acting as a fixer for the Clinton Foundation, making sure that influential friends overseas, especially donors, had access to the U.S. secretary of state in order to keep their egos inflated and their wallets deflated.

Abedin already admitted during legal proceedings that one of her assignments while working at State was seeing to “Clinton family matters,” which is inappropriate on its face. But what those matters consisted of is a fairly obvious case of rewarding Clinton Foundation donors with access to the nation’s No. 1 diplomat. Who were those donors? Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain wanted a sit-down with Secretary Clinton but was rebuffed; Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band intervened through Abedin to try to find a work-around for the crown prince, who gave donations to the Clinton Global Initiative totaling $32 million through 2010. Donations to the Clinton Foundation came in from the kingdom itself and from the state oil company. Band also intervened to secure a visa for a foreign athlete held up because of his criminal record, doing so at the behest of donor Casey Wasserman, a Hollywood sports-entertainment mogul, whose foundation has contributed between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation (here Abedin demurred).

Others who got the royal treatment via Band and Abedin: Slimfast boss S. Daniel Abraham (another $5-million-to-$10-million donor), Clinton Foundation benefactor and Clinton campaign donor Kevin O’Keefe, Democratic fundraiser Maureen White ($75,000), telecom entrepreneur and Democratic fundraiser Jill Iscol ($500,000 to $1 million, also co-chair of Clinton’s finance committee during her Senate race), and other Democratic players and corporate benefactors.

It is important to keep in mind what the Clinton Foundation mainly does: It does precious little in the way of actual philanthropy ($9 million worth out of $140 million in revenue for 2013) but instead spends almost all of its money on salaries and travel expenses for various Clintons (including Chelsea Clinton, now its vice chairman), Democratic allies, toadies, flunkies, hangers-on, and assorted minions. It is a full-employment sinecure program for friends and family of the Clinton political operation, and very little more.

#related#There is a case to be made — and it should be made — that Clinton obstructed justice and made false statements to investigators regarding her private server and e-mails. The FBI dropped the ball on that, but that ball can be picked up again. Yes, it is awkward to conduct a criminal investigation during a presidential campaign. It is more awkward to conduct one involving a sitting president. Either option is more desirable than declaring elected officials above the law — and Mrs. Clinton repeatedly and willfully violated laws intended to ensure honesty, transparency, and accountability in the State Department.

Huma Abedin may have been the conductor of influence, but the wrongdoing here is all Mrs. Clinton’s.

Serial dishonesty, self-serving, and influence-peddling: These are the Clintons, after all. No one can say he is surprised. 

The Editors comprise the senior editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

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