by WorldTribune Staff, October 6, 2016
During her tenure as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton sought Pentagon and State Department contracts for Chelsea Clinton’s best friend, a report said.
The Code of Federal Ethics states that government employees “shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.” Pentagon ethics guidelines also call for avoiding actions that would create even the appearance of improper behavior or conflicts of interest.
In 2009, Clinton arranged meetings between Pentagon officials and Jacqueline Newmyer Deal, Chelsea’s pal and head of the defense consulting group Long Term Strategy Group, according to an Oct. 6 report by Bill Gertz in the Washington Free Beacon.
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Clinton also sought to help Deal win a contract for consulting work with the State Department’s director of policy planning, according to recently released emails from Clinton’s private server.
“It looks like she (Clinton) was single-handedly trying to revive the corrupt spoils system,” said Ken Boehm chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center. “As the old saying goes, sometimes things are what they look like.”
“By now there is a strong pattern of Hillary Clinton showing bias in the dispensing of government funds and favors to a long list of friends, political supporters, and Clinton Foundation donors,” Boehm said.
Both Clintons attended Deal’s 2011 wedding.
“Government cronyism, or the use of senior positions to help family friends, is not illegal. However, the practice appears to violate federal ethics rules that prohibit partiality, or creating the appearance of conflicts of interest,” Gertz’s report said.
In one 2009 email, Clinton said she recommended Deal to Michele Flournoy, the newly installed undersecretary of defense for policy, who was seeking young women to mentor.
Deal, a specialist in China affairs who worked at the White House as a press aide for First Lady Clinton in the 1990s, wrote back to Clinton saying she would meet Flournoy on May 5, 2009, and stated “thank you very much for making this happen.”
Later that month, Deal thanked Clinton for “all your encouragement and help with DoD, ” shorthand for the Defense Department.
“I met with Michele’s other deputy yesterday, and we had a productive discussion about Iran and developments in maritime Asia,” Deal stated. “We also discussed contract vehicles and mapped out what we need to do so that we can go to work! I am very grateful for everything you have done.”
According to the Free Beacon report, the emails indicate Deal was seeking to advance her company’s contracts with the Defense Department’s main policymaking shop and the State Department policy planning office. Both offices are key players in developing U.S. defense and foreign policy.
The Long Term Strategy Group, established in 2007 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now based in Washington, D.C., has been producing reports and holding workshops for the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment for years.
A series of Clinton emails beginning on May 21, 2009 reveal that the State Department’s director of policy planning, Anne-Marie Slaughter, turned down a proposal from Deal for a contract with the Long Term Strategy Group to do work for her office. No reason was given.
“Happily, Michele Flournoy’s office is reaching out and has asked me to participate in a wargame next week for the [Quadrennial Defense Review], which I hope will build the foundation for a contract between her office and LTSG,” Deal stated in the email. “I am extremely grateful to you for helping me find opportunities to serve our government,” she added.
Chelsea Clinton also forwarded an email from Deal to Hillary Clinton in December 2011 that included a link to a Huffington Post article by Deal and signed “xoxoxoxoxoxo j”
Deal did not return email messages or phone calls seeking comment. Clinton campaign spokesmen did not return emails seeking comment.
Slaughter, through a spokesman, said she had no recollection of contacts with Deal.
Flournoy also said she did not remember discussions with Deal, but stated through a spokesman that in her government career she met with hundreds of young women seeking to advance their careers in the national security field.
“I have and will continue to work with young men and women, including those recommended to me by people whose opinion and judgment I respect, such as Secretary Clinton,” she said.
“Whether any of the people I have met with went on to win contracts with the Office of Net Assessment or other Department of Defense entities was outside my purview as undersecretary of defense for policy,” Flournoy said.
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook declined to comment on the emails.
Joseph E. Schmitz, a former Pentagon inspector general, said if he were the current IG, “I would definitely want to shed some light on the underlying facts” surrounding Clinton’s intervention on behalf of a family friend.
“When I was serving as the inspector general, I investigated at least one senior official who allegedly had violated the standard for ‘misuse of position’ prescribed in the Joint Ethics Regulation,” said Schmitz, currently a lawyer and adviser to the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
Both federal government and Pentagon ethics regulations state that “an employee shall not use or permit the use of his government position or title or any authority associated with his public office in a manner that is intended to coerce or induce another person, including a subordinate, to provide any benefit, financial or otherwise, to himself or to friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.”
Schmitz also said Pentagon regulations prohibit actions that give “an appearance of use of public office for private gain or of giving preferential treatment.” He noted that the standard is something “any inspector general should be capable of investigating.”