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Damage control: Hillary Clinton loyalists suspected of criminal cover-ups for diplomats
Question of the Day
The ambassador’s denial appeared to represent the first official acknowledgment of the various allegations of criminal activity cited in the CBS News report.
According to the Center For Responsive Politics, Mr. Gutman was a key Obama fundraiser in 2008, bundling at least $775,000 for the president’s campaign and the Inaugural Committee.
A separate allegation was reportedly made against a State Department security official in Beirut accused of sexually assaulting foreign nationals hired as embassy guards. In another, members of Mrs. Clinton’s security detail were accused of regularly pursuing prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries. Another referenced a suspected illegal narcotics ring tied to State Department contractors at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
When pressed for details Tuesday about the cases and an explanation as to whether Mr. Gutman has been cleared from the allegations made against him, Ms. Psaki responded that “there are some investigations that are still ongoing, some that have been concluded.”
“I’m not going to break down individual cases,” she said, adding that all of the allegations in question were “unsubstantiated.”
One State Department official said that the allegations of criminal activity as well as the allegations of quashing by department higher-ups may have been born out of an anonymous survey given to officials in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security as part of the office of inspector general’s 2012 review of the bureau’s activities. “One of the first things they do is a survey, sent out to employees, contractors, etc.,” the official said. “It’s all confidential and sometimes these issues come up. Then, these same people who filled out the survey have an opportunity to speak to inspectors confidentially and sometimes that’s when the allegations come up.
“Allegations are allegations,” the official added. “Not until they can be substantiated and verified do they become findings.”
The situation is drawing increasing attention, meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers from both sides of the isle have begun expressing concern.
“I am appalled not only at the reported misconduct itself, but at the reported interference in the investigations of the misconduct,” said Rep. Ed Royce, California Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
If there was interference by State Department officials in investigations being conducted by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, it “must be uncovered,” said Mr. Royce, who added that he has asked his staff “to begin an investigation into these allegations.”
In a letter to Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Mr. Royce wrote that “the notion that any or all of these cases would not be investigated thoroughly by the [State] Department is unacceptable.”
A spokesman for Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said reports that the State Department dropped or influenced investigations into allegations of misconduct “are very serious and require a dispassionate investigation of the facts.”
“The committee is looking into the alleged actions, and this situation underscores the need for an appointment of a permanent inspector general for the Department of State to assure that allegations of this sort are quickly, fully, and appropriately addressed,” the Menendez spokesman said in an email to Politico on Tuesday.
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About the Author
Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.
His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.
Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...
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