State Dept. Memo Shows Possible Cover-Up: CBS Report

June 10, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

The State Department possibly covered up inappropriate and illegal behavior among staff members to keep jobs and avoid scandals, a report from CBS News said Monday.

CBS obtained a memo it says was written by the State Department’s investigative body showing that bad behavior of its employees were not probed and in the past, were “influenced, manipulated, or simply called off.”

In the memo, there were allegations that a security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” targeting foreigners who were hired as guards of embassies.

It also said the security head for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries,” the broadcaster reported. The memo also allegedly said an ambassador would engage in similar activities, without elaborating.

The memo also revealed the existence of an “underground drug ring” near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and it supplied security contractors with the State Department with drugs.

CBS was the only media entity to report on the memo.

Aurelia Fedenisn, a former State Department investigator, told the network: “We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases.” State Department officials would often then tell her agency, the Inspector General’s office, to stop investigating.

“We were very upset. We expect to see influence, but the degree to which that influence existed and how high up it went, was very disturbing,” she said.

The State Department told CBS that not all of the allegations in the memo “are substantiated.”

“It goes without saying that the Department does not condone interference with investigations by any of its employees,” it said.

The report comes after Congress filed a subpoena for information relating to how the White House and State Department handled the deadly terrorist attack that killed several Americans in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

The State Department on Friday responded to the subpoena.

“We will supplement this response if we identify additional responsive documents,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement obtained by CNN.