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HUMA STRIKES BACK!

HUMA STRIKES BACK!

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by Maggie Haberman, NEW YORK TIMES

A lawyer for Huma Abedin, a top adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has accused Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, of damaging Ms. Abedin’s reputation through “unfounded allegations” about her time at the State Department.

The lawyer, Miguel Rodriguez, sent a letter to the State Department on Friday responding forcefully to two sets of questions posed by Mr. Grassley, Republican of Iowa: whether Ms. Abedin, while a department official, had been overpaid during her maternity leave and a vacation, and whether she had demonstrated a conflict of interest by aiding one of her part-time employers through her work at the State Department.

Ms. Abedin was granted permission by the State Department to work as a “special government employee” while also performing work for certain outside clients. Mr. Grassley has focused recently on her consulting work in 2012 for the firm Teneo, which was founded by Douglas J. Band, a longtime adviser to former President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Grassley has suggested that emails existed showing that Mr. Band had asked Ms. Abedin to press Mrs. Clinton to seek a White House appointment for Judith Rodin, the head of the Rockefeller Foundation, a Teneo client. Ms. Rodin is a longtime friend of the Clintons.

But Mr. Rodriguez, in his letter on Friday, cited a Washington Post article pointing out that Ms. Rodin, a longtime friend of Mr. Clinton’s, received that White House appointment in 2010, before the Rockefeller Foundation had retained Teneo “and before Teneo hired Abedin.”

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