Grassley demands answers on Huma Adebin's role at State Department

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenators push to clear backlog in testing rape kits Controversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting MORE (R-Iowa) pledged Thursday to delve deeper into Huma Abedin's tenure at the State Department following revelations that she represented private clients while working for Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonProminent Putin critic: If Trump turns me over, I'm dead Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia Trump tweets old video of Clinton talking up 'a strong Russia' MORE.

Grassley has been pressing Abedin and the department for more information about her service as a senior adviser for eight months after she quit her full-time job as Clinton's deputy chief of staff in June 2012. Abedin is married to former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a candidate for mayor of New York.

“The State Department says the federal government uses Special Government Employees ‘to provide services and expertise the executive agencies require',” Grassley said. “The purpose of my inquiry is to shed light on whether the program is being used as intended, not just by Ms. Abedin, but more broadly, as well.”

(mosads}Abedin represented at least four clients — including Hillary Clinton, the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation and a firm co-founded by former Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonDem senator ties Kavanaugh confirmation vote to Trump-Putin controversy Don't place all your hopes — or fears — on a new Supreme Court justice Why did it take so long for Trump to drain the swamp of Pruitt? MORE counselor Doug Band — between June 2012 and February 2013, Politico reported in May.

Abedin and the State Department sent Grassley a response to earlier questions last week in which they laid out her employment timeline at the department.

“Her services included advising and participating in planning for the Secretary's schedule and travel,” the response said. “Before starting her SGE [Special Government Employee] position, Ms. Abedin acknowledged that she had read Department ethics guidance for new entrant filers.”

The response didn't placate Grassley.

“The State Department and Ms. Abedin should be willing to show the documents involved in administering the program to demonstrate good stewardship of tax dollars and the public interest,” he said Thursday. “So far, the State Department and Ms. Abedin haven’t provided a single document that I requested. Putting up a stone wall raises a lot more questions about how the program is being used than it answers.

“I intend to pursue more complete answers to my questions.”

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