Absence Of Records For Clinton, Aides Raises Questions Over Whether They Failed To Follow Law As Conflicts Of Interest Arose
WASHINGTON – The Republican National Committee (RNC) today released documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent lawsuit for any and all records pertaining to Hillary Clinton and several of her top aides’ compliance with mandatory ethics training at the State Department.
The trainings are required under federal law each year an employee files a personal financial disclosure and the Office of Governmental Ethics has stated such annual trainings are “vital” to help prevent “conflict of interest violations.”
While the State Department’s production demonstrated some senior officials met some of their obligations under the law, no records showing completion of annual ethics training were found for Hillary Clinton or the following top aides:
- Cheryl Mills
- Huma Abedin
- Jake Sullivan
- Dennis Cheng
- Anne Marie Slaughter
- Philippe Reines
- Caitlin Klevorick
- Kris Bladerston
Abedin, Sullivan, and Cheng all currently hold senior positions on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In an email exchange included in the production, Abedin is notified by a State Department official in January 2013 that she had not completed her required annual ethics training.
Agency regulations laid out in the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual charge the secretary of state with the responsibility of “establishing, maintaining, and carrying out the Department’s ethics program.”
“The State Department’s own regulations say the responsibility for carrying out the agency’s ethics program rests with the secretary, and by all accounts, it was never a priority for Hillary Clinton,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “The complete absence of records showing Clinton and her top aides completed annual ethics trainings required by federal law is par for the course for her tenure as secretary of state, where the rules didn’t seem to apply and pay-to-play was the name of the game. Too much is at stake in this country to have our next president compromised by conflicts of interest with foreign donors and besieged by one scandal after another.”
The RNC submitted its FOIA request on December 4, 2015 and filed suit in federal court on March 14, 2016 following the State Department’s failure to comply. The full production of documents from the State Department can be viewed here. A copy of the lawsuit can be viewed here. The original FOIA request can be viewed here.
News of the RNC’s findings was first reported by McClatchy Newspapers, which can be viewed here.
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