Will Huma Abedin Survive the Clinton Scandal Vortex? By Brendan Bordelon


Nevertheless, Grassley appears to have gained some knowledge of Abedin’s Teneo-related communications without State’s help. A letter released by his office on July 30 claims there are over 7,300 e-mails between Abedin and Band on her official government account. In one, Band allegedly urges Abedin to ask Hillary Clinton to intercede with President Obama on behalf of one of his clients, Judith Rodin, who was seeking a White House job. As president of the Rockefeller Foundation, Rodin had steered hundreds of millions of dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation — something Band reportedly noted in the e-mail.

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Last week, Grassley accused the State Department of “a pattern of conduct that clearly demonstrates a lack of cooperation and bad faith.” On August 5, he placed a Senate hold on the department’s nomination of an important assistant secretary. The next day, he announced his intention to place holds on 20 more State nominees. “The department must recognize that it has an obligation to respond to congressional inquiries in a timely and reasonable manner,” he said in a press release. (The State Department did not respond to NR’s request for comment.)

Clinton’s enemies are confident that they can prove the link between Abedin’s alleged misdeeds and Clinton herself.

Other officials have also expressed frustration over the State Department’s delay in producing Abedin’s communications. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, presiding over an Associated Press lawsuit, slammed the department for its slow response on July 20 and ordered expedited processing of the e-mails. “It appears they didn’t get anything done for two years,” Leon said.

With pressure building on multiple fronts, the documents detailing Abedin’s relationship with Teneo are likely to be released soon. If those documents prove damaging, the Clintons may have to decide whether she is too much of a liability to keep around.

Still, it would be surprising if the Clintons cut ties with Abedin the way they did with Band. The State Department’s approval of her request for the special status needed to work at Teneo suggests she joined the consulting firm with Hillary Clinton’s blessing. The scandal now engulfing Abedin over her use of a private e-mail account is the same one that’s already swallowed her boss. And unlike Band’s, Abedin’s loyalty to the Clintons has never been questioned.

“Huma Abedin has spent nearly two decades in public service, and is widely known to be one of the hardest-working people in government,” says Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill. “She is smart, loyal, compassionate, and she is an invaluable part of the team. Period.”

Some political analysts doubt that an Abedin scandal, or a series of scandals, would damage the Clinton campaign. “The average person has no idea who Huma Abedin is, and I expect that to be the case throughout the campaign,” says Nathan Gonzales, co-founder of the Rothenberg and Gonzales Political Report. “If someone is taking issue with any of her actions, they probably weren’t going to vote for Clinton anyway.”

But Clinton’s enemies are confident that they can prove the link between Abedin’s alleged misdeeds and Clinton herself. “The motivations of why Huma is doing these things for the Clinton Foundation and for Teneo are important,” says David Bossie, a perennial Clinton foe whose organization Citizens United is pursuing its own lawsuit for Abedin’s records. “All roads lead back to Bill and Hillary Clinton.”

— Brendan Bordelon is a political reporter at National Review.

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