A Department of Justice official who wanted a job on Clinton’s campaign for his son gave Clinton campaign head John Podesta warning before Hillary Clinton’s emails were released, revealed in Thursday’s inspector general’s report.
The report by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz singled out a number of individuals for reproach, including Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadszik, who had tried to leverage his friendship with Clinton’s top professional gatekeeper.
In the report, the inspector general announces that “we found that Kadzik demonstrated poor judgment by failing to recuse himself from Clinton-related matters under federal ethics regulations prior to Nov. 2, 2016.
“Kadzik did not recognize the appearance of a conflict that he created when he initiated an effort to obtain employment for his son with the Clinton campaign while participating in Department discussions and communications about Clinton-related matters.
“Kadzik also created an appearance of a conflict when he sent the Chairman of the Clinton Campaign and a longtime friend, John Podesta, the ‘heads up’ email that included the schedule for the release of former Secretary Clinton’s emails proposed to the court in a FOIA litigation without knowing whether the information had yet been filed and made public.
“His willingness to do so raised a reasonable question about his ability to act impartially on Clinton-related matters in connection with his official duties,” the report noted.
“Additionally, although Department leadership ultimately decided to recuse Kadzik from Clinton-related matters upon learning of Kadzik’s ‘heads up’ email to Podesta, Kadzik subsequently forwarded several emails communicating information related to Clinton-related matters within the Department and indicated his intent to speak with staff about those matters.
“We therefore concluded that Kadzik exercised poor judgment by failing to strictly adhere to his recusal.”
Kadzik, the report notes, left the DOJ on Jan. 19, 2017, the last full day of the Obama administration.
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The “heads up” part had already been detailed, having been released in one of the batches of WikiLeaks emails in the days before the election. Then-candidate Trump had made hay of this, noting that Kadzik was “a close associate of John Podesta.”
Another thing that’s important to note is that Kadzik didn’t know whether the information he was sending Podesta had already been released to the public. Luckily for him, it was.
Kadzik’s son ultimately didn’t take a job with the Clinton campaign; whether this was because he wasn’t hired or he decided against it, this also seems like a fortuitous call in retrospect.
There were plenty of swampy revelations in Thursday’s IG report, but this one was among the muckiest. In fact, you feel somewhat dirty reading it.
Even if we knew the general low-level perfidy that hung around the Clinton campaign like an oily mist, one feels a slight nausea when they read the exact details of the whole thing, realizing that we could have the same Persian bazaar in the White House that America endured between 1993 and 2001.
If James Comey’s decision to reopen the Clinton investigation was indeed what cost her the 2016 election, which I somewhat doubt, we can profoundly thank him for inadvertently helping our beloved country dodge a massive bullet. That’s probably the only complimentary thing one can say about his FBI after a desultory glance at Thursday’s report.
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