U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman has found himself engulfed in a statutory sex scandal overseas.
An internal memo, written by the State Department’s chief investigator, was circulated around the agency, outlining eight cases that were derailed by senior officials, reports the New York Post. Among those cases are the suspicions about Gutman.
The memo’s contents were made public by Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator for the State Department, who sought to show the media how internal investigations are corrupted by the agency.
Here are 10 facts you need to know.
1. Gutman is Accused of Soliciting Minors and Prostitutes
Per the Daily Mail, the investigating agent in Gutman’s case “determined that the ambassador routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children.”
2. Patrick Kennedy Allegedly Tried to Cover Up the Story
The investigating agent continued with his damning account, saying that as he began to plan his surveillance of Gutman, he was told repeated times that Patrick Kennedy wanted to cease the investigation and have the agent return to Washington.
Kennedy is the Undersecretary of State for Management and the son of late former Senator Ted Kennedy.
3. Gutman Was One of Barack Obama’s Top Donors
Gutman raised $775,000 for Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. Whether or not that played a part in Patrick Kennedy’s alleged cover up…one can only speculate.
4. Gutman Denies the Allegations
In an online statement to the Daily Mail, Gutman said:
I am angered and saddened by the baseless allegations that have appeared in the press and to watch the four years I have proudly served in Belgium smeared is devastating.
5. Gutman is a Popular Figure in Belgium
Gutman has been successful in the PR facet of his job; in 2011, Belgians declared him “the Ambassador who makes us love America again.
Belgian newspapers have even speculated that, were he inclined to run, Gutman would stand a chance at winning an election.
6. Hillary Clinton’s Security Detail Was Also Cited in the Memo
The internal memo that brought this scandal to light referenced more than just Gutman.
In one of the memo’s other cited cases, agents belonging to Hillary Clinton’s security detail were also accused of hiring prostitutes. That case, just like Gutman’s case, was allegedly covered up by the State Department.
According to the New York Post, at least seven of Clinton’s detail hired international prostitutes while on the road with her, prompting investigators to call the vices within her camp “endemic.”
For her part, Clinton was in the dark about her team’s iniquity. After Obama’s Secret Service was caught engaging in hooker-play, Clinton allegedly asked the top agent in her detail if any “similar activities” were happening.
The agent simply responded by saying “No.”
7. Gutman Remains in His Position
As reported by the New York Post, the memo states that Gutman still actively holds his position of Belgian ambassador.
Will that remain the case once all the facts come to light? Only time will tell.
8. Before Becoming Ambassador, Gutman was a Hotshot Lawyer
Gutman graduated from Harvard Law School, then went on to become a partner at the D.C. law firm of Williams & Connolly.
In fact, according to his official online biography, Washingtonion magazine dubbed him one of “Washington’s Top Lawyers” in both 2004 and 2007.
9. Gutman Has Been in Trouble Before
In 2011, Gutman made incendiary remarks about anti-Semitism among European Muslims, which landed him in some hot water and had critics calling for his resignation.
According to Fox News, Gutman gave an address where he said:
There is and has long been some amount of anti-Semitism, of hatred and violence against Jews, from a small sector of the population who hate others who may be different or perceived to be different, largely for the sake of hating.
Gutman apologized that his remarks were taken the wrong way, citing in defense his own religious beliefs (he, himself, is Jewish) and the history of his father (a Holocaust survivor from Poland).
10. Gutman Has a Small Background in Film Acting
Per IMDB, Gutman has played or appeared as himself on screen multiple times.
Most recently, though, and certainly most notable, he played a small role in the 2009 movie Fame. He was billed as “Neil’s Dad,” playing father to the character of Paul Iacono…better known to the world as well-endowed high-school student R.J. Berger.
If you’re so inclined, the full report in question can be read here:
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