This is only shocking if you have not been paying any attention whatsoever over the past year.
Over a year ago we reported on how Hillary Clinton had an indefatigable ally in the State Department in the person of the under secretary for management, a guy named Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy acted as the point man for covering up minor incidents that might have made Clinton look bad, like Benghazi and child rape by a US Ambassador. Where he really came into his own, though, was in claiming that none of the emails on Clinton’s personal server were classified and bashing other agencies for being overzealous in their classification rules.
Now we are learning just how far Kennedy was willing to go in his fight to protect Hillary from the fallout from her own criminality.
In the interview, the unnamed official says that Patrick Kennedy, under secretary of state for management, tried in late June or early July of last year to get the FBI to change a classified email to unclassified, in exchange for the State Department allowing the FBI to place agents in more countries.
The conversation allegedly occurred as the FBI and State were engaging in an interagency review of Clinton’s emails as they were being prepared for public release. Ultimately, FBI Director James Comey said just over 100 emails retrieved from Clinton’s server were deemed classified after the fact, although the Democratic nominee contends she never knowingly sent or received classified emails.
In an exchange that included redacted names, the interview notes state that “[REDACTED] received a call from [REDACTED] of the International Operations Division (IOD) of the FBI, who ‘pressured’ him to change the classified email to unclassified. [REDACTED] indicated he had been contacted by PATRICK KENNEDY, Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the email’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo.’”
The notes go on to say, “[REDACTED] advised that, in exchange for marking the email unclassified, STATE would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more Agents in countries where they are presently forbidden.”
An unnamed official alleges that Kennedy followed up this request by asking during a private meeting whether the FBI could “see their way to marking the email unclassified?”
“According to [REDACTED], KENNEDY spent the next 15 minutes debating the classification of the email and attempting to influence the FBI to change its markings.”
Keep in mind that the people making these statements, and unless Politico has fired its editors there seem to be at least two people quoted, did so in statements to FBI investigators and did so under penalty of being Scooter-Libby-ied if the statements were not unambiguously true. As I said in my lede, there is nothing here that is unbelievable. This is what Patrick Kennedy did for nearly a year as the Hillary email scandal metastasized.
The bald power play, trading an FBI decision supporting State’s position on classification for billets for FBI agents in selected US embassies, shows the level of impunity that Kennedy felt because he knew that Hillary Clinton was his patron.
This is the FBI’s defense a) we didn’t change the classification (which is true), b) the agent allocation didn’t change (maybe true, maybe not depending on your level of trust after Comey’s throwing this investigation), and c) the two conversations weren’t connected:
Having been previously unsuccessful in attempts to speak with the senior State official, during the same conversation, the FBI official asked the State Department official if they would address a pending, unaddressed FBI request for space for additional FBI employees assigned abroad.
Right. Because efficiency.
Whethere or not the FBI altered its report findings is totally immaterial. Kennedy’s offer to given the FBI an expanded overseas presence in exchange for agreeing to help his efforts to cover for Clinton is criminal.
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