From Daily Mail: State Department records do not show Hillary Clinton’s top aides completing their ethics training on an annual basis as legally required.
A set of documents provided to McClatchy by the Republican National Committee that were later made available online do not show Clinton, her chief of staff Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Deputy Chief of Protocol Dennis Cheng, Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan and others having taken the required course.
The State Department says it’s possible that they did take the yearly ethics trainings and blamed sloppy record keeping for the lack of documentation.
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign said today that it ‘would make sense,’ though, that Clinton’s employees skipped the training ‘since Hillary was planning a criminal enterprise trading government favors for cash.’
The Republican has alleged that Clinton took advantage of her position at the State Department to institute a ‘pay for play’ scheme that rewarded major donors to her family’s charity with government favors.
Trump says he’ll introduce ethics reforms in the executive branch if he wins the White House.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement Thursday afternoon that Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, should be held accountable for her employees’ negligence. ‘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,’ Priebus said.
The GOP elections chief said, ‘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 Clinton campaign did not provide McClatchy with a response to the allegations, and it did not immediately respond to a request from DailyMail.com.
Several of the aides that State could not produce documents still work for Clinton on her campaign staff. Sullivan, Cheng and Abedin all have senior roles in her White House effort. Cheng and deputy assistant secretary Philippe Reines both took their new employee ethics training, McClatchy reported. The documents do not show them completing the requirement in subsequent years.
A spokeswoman for the State Department told McClatchy she could not comment on individual cases because the government is barred from sharing employee records under the Privacy Act.
The State Department official, Elizabeth Trudeau, said that she would, however, ‘caution against drawing any conclusions simply from the absence of documentation provided in response to a FOIA request.’
McClatchy says that officials indicated that State may not have kept track of the records before the training was offered online at the end of Clinton’s four-year tenure.
In one email exchange from Clinton’s final months in office that was obtained by the RNC through a Freedom of Information Act Request Abedin is informed by a State Department official that she is delinquent on the training and must take it online or through an attorney in the next two weeks. It’s unclear from the documents State provided in response to the RNC’s federal lawsuit whether she complied.
Trump’s campaign accused Clinton of being ‘focused on personal enrichment’ instead of State Department business. ‘The Middle East went up in flames and ISIS exploded onto the globe. Now, all the people who’ve been paying off Hillary for years are funding her campaign,’ National Policy Director Stephen Miller said.
He added, ‘Mr. Trump has proposed new ethics reforms to restore honor to our government, while Hillary Clinton is calculating how much money she can make selling the office of the Presidency for profit.’