Emails show Clinton's response to LGBT backlash, Wall Street speeches
- Author: Aubrey Nash Oct 19, 2016,
Oct 19, 2016, 1:00
The FBI released a document from the Hillary Clinton's investigation in which a former State Department agent describes how she swiped furniture from the State Department in order to decorate her own house. Before talking to Kennedy, he learned that "the email of KENNEDY's concern was classified by the FBI Counterterrorism Division (CTD) and was related to the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi".
The State Department also batted back Chaffetz's accusation, with deputy spokesperson Mark Toner releasing a statement Sunday that "t$3 his allegation is inaccurate and does not align with the facts". Critics say those documents show an "extremely disturbing" effort to get classification markings changed and even a possible quid pro quo.
The FBI has flagged the "quid pro quo" exchange for further investigation.
The adjustment would have allowed the State Department to archive the email in the basement of its headquarters, effectively hiding it away from public view for good.
A top US State Department official allegedly "pressured" the FBI to downgrade the classification of a Hillary Clinton email, documents released on Monday (17 October) by the bureau show.
"The more documents that come out, the more we learn Hillary Clinton can not be trusted with a job that is supposed to begin each day with a classified intelligence briefing", Priebus said in his statement.
FBI Director James Comey held a press conference in July to announce that he was urging DOJ not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton over the e-mails.
A spokesman for the Clinton presidential campaign, Robby Mook, characterized the FBI-State Department conversations about the Benghazi email as one of numerous, routine disputes regarding classification. "Classification is an art, not a science, and individuals with classification authority sometimes have different views".
The FBI said Monday the now-retired FBI official had fielded Kennedy's request to change the email classification and had said it would be considered if Kennedy "would address a pending, unaddressed FBI request for space for additional FBI employees assigned overseas".
"There was a powerful group of very high-ranking STATE officials that some referred to as "The 7th Floor Group" or 'The Shadow Government.' This group met every Wednesday afternoon to discuss the FOIA process, Congressional records, and everything CLINTON-related to FOIA/Congressional inquiries", the FBI's interview summary said.
That official told investigators that his colleague in worldwide operations claimed he had been "pressured" by Kennedy to change the email to unclassified in exchange for a "quid pro quo".
After discussing the matter with Federal Bureau of Investigation counterterrorism officials, the agent told Kennedy there was nothing he could do.
On Monday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, called for Kennedy to be removed pending a full investigation into the matter. One wonders, too, how many critically important documents have been "archive [d] ... in the basement of DoS [the State Department] never to be seen again", based on bogus FOIA exemptions.
Kennedy was a close aide to Clinton during her tenure as the nation's top diplomat between 2009 and early 2013.
The document sheds no new light on the emails itself, but it does focus attention on interagency discussions that took place regarding which parts of her emails should be marked classified before being released to the public. In the emails, Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy attempts to change the email statuses to protect them from Freedom of Information Act requests.
A statement from House Speaker Paul Ryan said the episode "bears all the signs of a cover-up".