Sometimes it seems as if everyone in Washington D.C. is connected.
A search of Wikileaks emails turns up a personal relationship between Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the office that Sen. Harry Reid wants to investigate his complaint about FBI Director James Comey. You may recall that Reid, a Clinton supporter, is upset that on Friday, Comey informed Congress about new emails that may be relevant to the investigation of Clinton’s mishandling of classified email. Reid claimed Comey’s notification to Congress so close to the presidential election violated the “Hatch Act,” and asked for an investigation. (Many experts say Comey’s actions don’t fall under the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from certain political activities such as taking active roles in political campaigns or fundraising.) Interestingly, Hatch Act investigations fall under the purview of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). And it turns out Podesta has a friendly relationship with the current head of the OSC: Carolyn Lerner, according to emails.
On Feb. 24, 2015, Lerner emailed Podesta about her interest in serving a second five-year term as head of OSC.
“John – I spoke to Luke and he suggested I follow-up with you. Just to
>> re-cap, my five year term as head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel is
>> up next June. If re-nominated, I anticipate getting plenty of R support
>> - Grassley and Lee might be my biggest fans in the Senate - but the
>> later we go into the President’s term it may be hard for anyone to get
>> through. I'd also like to reassure my political folks here at OSC that
>> re-nomination is on the horizon so they don't start leaving. Any
>> insights into how I should approach this would be much appreciated. Thanks
>> so much.
In other emails, "Luke" appears to be Luke Albee, a Democratic operative who was--at the time--chief of staff to Sen. Mark Warner. (Albee is now involved in helping U.S. business interests in Cuba.)
Podesta answered Lerner, “Talked to Valerie Green, new head of PPO. She is looking into it.” Valerie Green, at the time, was President Obama’s Director of Presidential Personnel.
In July of 2015, it appears Lerner emailed Podesta’s wife, Mary, about a mutual friend.
“Mary, I'm Passing this along from Luke. Beth's dad died last week and they are having people over this evening in case you and John are in town.
The personal relationship between Hillary campaign chairman Podesta, and the head of OSC who would investigate Comey for Sen. Reid, could be considered a conflict of interest.