Conflict of interest, anyone?
It’s a bugbear for lawyers constantly, but when you’re the lawyer who works for the same law firm representing Hillary Clinton in her fight over private emails and are now overseeing the way the State Department is handling the emails, a whiff of conflict arises.
The Washington Exasminer reports that Catherine Duval, formerly of Williams & Connolly, departed the Internal Revenue Service last year for the State Department, where she assumed responsibility for the release of Clinton’s emails and for the agency’s production of documents to the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of both the select committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he sees similarities between the IRS investigation and the Benghazi investigation.
“It’s interesting that Kate Duval was at Williams & Connolly, and then went to the IRS, and when she was at the IRS, she was the chief counsel when the 422 backup tapes were destroyed,” Jordan told theWashington Examiner, referring to Duval’s involvement in an investigation into IRS targeting of conservatives.
IRS employees magnetically erased the tapes that contained thousands of emails belonging to Lois Lerner, the former head of the tax-exempt unit and subject of a congressional probe.
The State Department asked Clinton for her work-related emails in December, almost two years after she left office. The public since learned that she had used a personal server for them, which has been wiped clean now. The State Department has also been forced to admit that Clinton failed to turn over some work-related emails. But the agency has said it will not investigate why.
At IRS, Duval made news after it was revealed that she told a friend of hers at the Treasury Department that some of Lerner’s emails were missing. That information made its way to the White House even before the Oversight Committee was told.
Duval had been in charge of the tax agency’s production of records, including Lerner’s emails, to Congress.
“This Kate Duval angle is important for taxpayers and Americans to understand,” Jordan said.
The Ohio Republican highlighted recent problems that have surfaced in the State Department’s handling of 30,000 Clinton emails.
Whistleblowers from the intelligence community have suggested State officials are using exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act to hide the extent of classified information that circulated on Clinton’s private network.