Criminal, if true. Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy offered the possibility of additional slots for the FBI at missions oversea if they would downgrade the classification of Hillary emails that contained classified information.
FBI interview summaries and notes, provided late Friday to the House Government Oversight and Intelligence Committees, contain allegations of a “quid pro quo” between a senior State Department executive and FBI agents during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, two congressional sources told Fox News.
Quid Pro Quo
He said “there was an alleged quid pro quo” involving Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy and the FBI “over at least one classified email.”
“In return for altering the classification, the possibility of additional slots for the FBI at missions overseas was discussed,” Chaffetz said. Fox News.
One email marked unclassified actually contained classified information.
The story about potential reclassification of Clinton emails unfolds over three of the summaries. A senior FBI official in the international operations division describes conversations with Kennedy about the classification of emails. In his interview, this official says his section of the FBI had attempted to contact Kennedy repeatedly over the course of several months in the spring of 2015. Kennedy did not return the calls. In the late spring or early summer of 2015, the FBI official reported to work surprised to find a note indicating that Kennedy had called.
According to the summary, Kennedy wanted help. 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. WeeklyStandard
Counter Terrorism Division
Kennedy took the email discussion all the way up to Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the Counter terrorism Division (CTD), who refused to change the classification. After Steinbach said the FBI would not comment on the matter to the public, Clinton appeared before the press and said she had not sent classified emails via her private server.
Kennedy later told another official from the FBI’s International Operations Division (IOD) that the email’s classification “caused problems” for him, and that he wanted it classified B9, so it could be archived “in the basement of DOS never to be seen again.”
However, when the CTD explained that the classified email was related to the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the official told Kennedy there was “no way” he could declassify it. RT
Statement: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) & Chairman Devin Nunes (R-California) of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
“We find Under Secretary Kennedy’s actions extremely disturbing. Those who receive classified intelligence should not barter in it – that is reckless behavior with our nation’s secrets. Someone who would try to get classification markings doctored should not continue serving in the State Department or retain access to classified information,”Chaffetz and Nunes said in a statement.