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Area Democratic consultant part of latest release of old Clinton emails

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(Updated with Clinton campaign's response) The release of a new batch of almost 15,000 of Hillary Clinton’s old emails has ensnared a top Missouri political consultant, Democrat Joyce Aboussie.

The conservative group, Judicial Watch, has focused on an email string between Aboussie and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, among others, to bolster its contention that Clinton and her staff gave preferential treatment to donors and political allies while Clinton was secretary of state.

The email exchange took place in June 2009, a few months after Clinton assumed her post in President Barack Obama’s administration.

As Judicial Watch describes the email thread:

“…prominent St. Louis political power broker Joyce Aboussie exchanged a series of insistent emails with Abedin concerning Aboussie’s efforts to set up a meeting between Clinton and Peabody Energy VP Cartan Sumner. Aboussie wrote, ‘Huma, I need your help now to intervene please. We need this meeting with Secretary Clinton, who has been there now for nearly six months. This is, by the way, my first request. I really would appreciate your help on this. It should go without saying that the Peabody folks came to Dick [Gephardt] and I because of our relationship with the Clinton’s.’

“After further notes from Aboussie, Abedin responded, 'We working on it and I hope we can make something work… we have to work through the beauracracy [sic] here.' Aboussie donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.”

Aboussie – who rarely talks to reporters -- has not replied to a request for comment. She served as national political director for Gephardt during much of his 28-year tenure in Congress. He represented the state's old 3rd District,which took in roughly the southern half of the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County, as well as Jefferson and Ste. Genevieve counties.

Late Monday, Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin issued a statement that takes aim at Judicial Watch:  "Once again this right-wing organization that has been going after the Clintons since the 1990s is distorting facts to make utterly false attacks. No matter how this group tries to mischaracterize these documents, the fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as Secretary of State because of donations to the Clinton Foundation."

So far, the exchange between Aboussie and Abedin has not attracted as much national-press attention as other emails in this latest batch.

Aboussie currently is coordinating Clinton's money-raising in Missouri for her presidential bid.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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