The smoking gun: State Department pressured FBI to unclassify Clinton e-mails

 

Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help
Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help

The far left Washington Post reports:

FBI official Brian McCauley had been trying for weeks to get his contact at the State Department to approve his request to put two bureau employees back in Baghdad.

Around May 2015, Patrick Kennedy finally called back.

“He said: ‘Brian. Pat Kennedy. I need a favor,’ ” McCauley recalled in an interview Tuesday. “I said: ‘Good, I need a favor. I need our people back in Baghdad.’ ”

Then Kennedy, a longtime State Department official, explained what he wanted: “There’s an email. I don’t believe it has to be classified.”

The email was from Hillary Clinton’s private server, and Kennedy wanted the FBI to change its determination that it contained classified information.

[…]The purported “quid pro quo” between McCauley and Kennedy was first reported over the weekend by Fox News and the Weekly Standard and confirmed Monday when the FBI released dozens of interview summaries from its criminal investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

The interview summaries showed that Kennedy lobbied multiple bureau officials to change their minds about ­classifying one email on Clinton’s server. At the time, the State Department was reviewing ­Clinton’s emails for release under the Freedom of Information Act and had sent several to the FBI for review.

Fox News and the Weekly Standard first reported on the story because they are not in the tank for Hillary Clinton.

Fox News notes that the FBI dragged their feet on releasing the e-mails showing the quid pro quo proposal:

“Left to their own devices the FBI would never have provided these [records] to Congress and waited until the last minute. This is the third batch because [the FBI] didn’t think they were relevant,” Chaffetz said.

And the Weekly Standard had all the details:

The FBI official spoke with Kennedy and Kennedy raised the possibility of keeping at least one Clinton email from public disclosure by obtaining a “B9” exemption under the Freedom of Information Act, a rarely used exemption that refers to “geological and geophysical information and data.” One email in particular concerned Kennedy and, according to the FBI summary, providing a B9 exemption “would allow him to archive the document in the basement of the department of state never to be seen again.” The FBI official told Kennedy that he would look into the email if Kennedy would authorize a pending request for additional FBI personnel in Iraq.

A summary of an interview with the section chief of the FBI records management division provides further evidence of Kennedy’s attempts to have the classification of some sensitive emails changed. The FBI records official, whose job includes making determinations on classification, told investigators that he was approached by his colleague in international operations after the initial discussion with Kennedy. The FBI records official says that his colleague “pressured” him to declassify an email “in exchange for a quid pro quo,” according to the interview summary. “In exchange for making the email unclassified State would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more agents in countries where they are presently forbidden.” The request was denied.

The Weekly Standard outlines a few more cases where Kennedy pressured the FBI to mark e-mails as not classified.

More:

Kennedy has been a central figure in the Benghazi and email controversies. He was involved in the controversial decisions not to bolster security at the Benghazi diplomatic outpost despite repeated requests for addition security. And although Kennedy is responsible for ensuring State Department compliance with federal records requirements, he communicated regularly with Clinton using her private email. In a sworn deposition in connection with Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by Judicial Watch, Kennedy testified that he exchanged dozens of emails with Clinton and never thought to ask how the private emails would be archived in a manner consistent with federal law. “It’s not something that I ever focused on,” Kennedy testified.

He never thought to ask. It was not something that he ever focused on.

Of course, this is the same FBI that declined to prosecute Clinton for actions that would have been prosecuted if anyone else had committed them – and others have indeed been prosecuted.

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