- The Washington Times - Friday, August 28, 2015

A top Republican questioned Friday whether former State Department Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton ran her husband’s speeches by ethics officials within the department, after emails surfaced showing conversations about the speeches didn’t appear to include the right people.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley said emails released as part of Mrs. Clinton’s cache show top department officials debating and approving former President Clinton’s paid speeches, but department ethics officials weren’t part of those email chains.

“It appears that the pattern of conduct for reviewing matters for approval may have excluded the agency ethics official,” Mr. Grassley said in a letter to the State Department demanding answers about the review process. “If that is the case, the failure to involve the relevant ethics officials directly conflicts with the representations made to Congress and the public that the ethics official would be involved.”

The Clintons’ complicated connections were a major issue when Mrs. Clinton took the job as the country’s top diplomat, even as her husband had deep business ties to countries who came under his wife’s purview. In addition, critics warned that it could be odd to have the secretary of state taking a stance on problems in a country, even as her husband was doing business there.

The Clintons reached an arrangement where much of the former president’s work was vetted by the department.

Mrs. Clinton has said she complied with the agreement, but Mr. Grassley said the new emails being released now that Mrs. Clinton has finally returned them to the government raise questions.

Several exchanges from the foreign policy adviser at Mr. Clinton’s foundation went to Mrs. Clinton’s top personal aides, but didn’t include ethics officials, Mr. Grassley said. The chairman asked the State Department to describe its full vetting process.

The State Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.

Mrs. Clinton’s emails are being released in installments, and they have raised questions about her practices as secretary, and about the behavior of her top aides.

Mrs. Clinton has said the questions are partisan attacks, and said she did not break classification laws by using her own email account and a server she kept at her home in New York.

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