More on the State Department scandal cover-up
The State Department has responded to yesterday’s bombshell story about high-level officials squelching the investigation into several embarrassing scandals, some of which could have threatened national security. From NBC News:
A state department spokesperson would not confirm the specific investigations, but told NBC News “the notion that we would not vigorously pursue criminal misconduct in a case, in any case, is preposterous.”
Former State Department investigator Aurelia Fedenisn has said that investigators dropped the ball in the case, and that a final report published in March of this year was “watered down,” according to her attorney.
“She felt it was important that Congress get this information,” Fedenisn’s lawyer Cary Schulman told NBC News.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the department “would never condone” improper influence on its investigators. “Any case we would take seriously and we would investigate, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Jen Psaki was a member of the Benghazi B.S. Brigade, blaming all those phony talking points on the CIA, but forget about all that – you can take her denials of State Department tampering with these investigations to the bank. To paraphrase President Obama, if we don’t extend limitless credibility to an Administration that constantly lies to us, we’ve got a problem.
The New York Post has some more juicy details about those allegedly squashed investigations today. It turns out the ambassador who allegedly got called back to Washington for a mild tongue-lashing over his pursuit of prostitutes was America’s ambassador to Belgium, a big-money Obama donor named Howard Gutman, and his taste in sex workers supposedly included minors.
The members of Hillary Clinton’s protective detail who were frolicking with prostitutes in places like Russia and Columbia were partying right in Clinton’s hotel, but they received nothing worse than a one-day suspension and reassignment. These indiscretions occurred before the famous Secret Service Cartagena Call Girl Debacle, but it was all kept under wraps until now.
Clinton’s legal eagle and political fixer Cheryl Mills, a familiar figure from the recent Benghazi hearings, moved to protect Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Iraq, William McGurk, from further investigation after his extramarital affair with Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon was uncovered.
The Post also has more details about how the supposedly independent State Department Inspector General’s office was pressured into removing mention of these embarrassing cases from its report, which is what prompted IG whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn to come forward:
At a December 2012 meeting to prepare the report, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell said he was “stunned” by the findings, and requested that the cases should be omitted.
“He proposed that the subject ‘should be withheld’ from the inspection report until INV’s process determines if ‘there is something there,’” according to notes from the meeting.
“Boswell said putting the subject in the report would ‘generally damage [Department of State],’ would ‘probably damage the Department,’ and would be used by ‘every defense lawyer around,’” according to the notes.
They further said that he wanted to wait to see if something “came of it.”
Fedenisn, the whistleblower, did not take the notes but was charged with keeping them, according to her lawyer.
The draft report, marked “Sensitive But Unclassified,” cites several examples of undue influence “from the top floor of the department, raising serious concerns about the quality and integrity” of investigations.
That statement was removed from the final report issued March 15.
The final report also removed mention of “an ambassador accused of pedophilia and another such senior official had [Diplomatic Security] stop an investigation of an ambassador designate.”
“Hindering such cases can result in counterintelligence vulnerabilities and can allow exploitive criminals to continue their activities,” said the draft report.
“Moreover, the interventions frustrate, even demoralize,” dedicated agents, it went on.
As reported yesterday, Fedenisn received a very prompt visit from State Department heavies after CBS News made some calls to verify her story. Now her lawyer says the retired investigator “has been threatened by State Department officials with criminal charges.” On the other hand, NBC News says the House Foreign Affairs Committee is checking out her allegations, with chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) declaring himself “appalled not only by the reported misconduct itself, but at the reported interference in the investigations of the misconduct.”