Republicans accused the Obama administration Monday of “a cover-up” of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of top secret emails, after FBI investigative files show a top department official tried to bribe the FBI into not declaring some of her messages secret.GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign said the new information was “undeniable proof” of collusion between Mrs. Clinton’s operation and the FBI and the Justice and State departments.(you can watch the video from Donald Trump below)
Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary for management, offered a “quid-pro-quo” to let more FBI agents into some countries where their numbers were being limited by the State Department, in exchange for the FBI going back and lowering the classification on Clinton emails, according to one accuser in the FBI’s files.
The revelation comes as emails hacked from the account of John Podesta, longtime Clinton associate and now her presidential campaign chairman, suggest the State Department was giving Mrs. Clinton’s team inside information about the progress of its own efforts to process Mrs. Clinton’s messages.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the accusations were “insulting.”
But Republicans said they showed a striking effort by President Obama’s team to protect Mrs. Clinton.
“A senior State Department official’s attempt to pressure the FBI to hide the extent of this mishandling bears all the signs of a cover-up,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said in a statement after the FBI released its third batch of investigative files. “This is why our aggressive oversight work in the House is so important, and it will continue.”
“Hillary Clinton acts as though she is above the law and therefore, she is not fit to serve as commander in chief,” retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said in a statement.
The FBI files also show Mrs. Clinton’s team of lawyers and advisers may have exposed her classified emails to the internet after she left office. A half-dozen laptops were used to go over Mrs. Clinton’s messages and decide which ones to belatedly comply with the law and turn back over to the government, and at least one of them was subsequently hooked up to the internet, lawyers admitted to the FBI.
But it’s the information about Mr. Kennedy that’s the most explosive.
He is also the official at the center of the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, though the State Department’s official report blamed his underlings for the lax security around the diplomatic compound in Libya’s second city.
“This guy has nine lives,” a former diplomat told Foreign Policy in a profile of Mr. Kennedy this summer.
In the latest documents, a person whose name was redacted but who appears to be an FBI employee, said Mr. Kennedy was not satisfied with the FBI’s determination that some of Mrs. Clinton’s messages were classified. Mr. Kennedy pressured the law enforcement agency to change its ratings, and offered an exchange that the State Department “would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more agents in countries where they are presently forbidden,” the accuser told FBI agents.
Mr. Kennedy later presided over a meeting where he asked if the FBI could “see their way to marking the email unclassified.” Mr. Kennedy then went up the chain of command at the FBI, attempting to get the classified emails marked as unclassified, but was rebuffed at each step.
Another FBI employee said Mr. Kennedy contacted him last year, as the Clinton emails were being processed, and also sought to lower the classification of secret emails. That employee said Mr. Kennedy suggested marking the messages under a non-classified exemption that would still allow the information to be kept private, but without the controversial stamp of secret material that has proved embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton.
“Kennedy … stated that the ‘B9’ classification would allow him to archive the document in the basement of [the State Department] never to be seen again,” the FBI said in its investigative notes.
Mr. Kennedy again offered an exchange, saying he would help the FBI get more agents into Iraq, the investigative file says. The FBI refused the offers and did not alter its classification, the file says.
The State Department said Monday that the State Department did accept the FBI’s classification judgment, and also said “no increase in FBI Iraq slots resulted” from the quid-pro-quo offer.
“There’s no quid pro quo. Absolutely not,” Mr. Toner said. “There was a discussion over the classification of this material.”
The spokesman said it was the FBI employee, not the State Department, that raised the issue of additional agents in Iraq.
The White House also denied suggestions of any deal-making, with press secretary Josh Earnest waving those reports aside at his press briefing Monday.
When a reporter suggested that both the State Department and the FBI could be expected to deny the unflattering story, Mr. Earnest responded, “You’re suggesting that they would lie? Look, man, if that’s the place that we’re going to be in, then I think maybe you should go ask somebody else.”
He said the matter concluded without the FBI prosecuting anyone, and he blamed House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, for promoting a false story.
“I recognize that Congressman Chaffetz likes to try to make a big deal of these kinds of things,” Mr. Earnest said. “This is a member of Congress who is leading a Benghazi commission that Republicans in Congress acknowledged was geared solely to try to drive down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.”
Mr. Earnest also criticized Mr. Chaffetz for previously handing out a business card with a gmail address on it, calling him “the worst kind of messenger” for discussing proper email habits.
Crooked Hillary’s State Department colluded with the FBI and the DOJ in a DISGRACEFUL quid pro quo exchange where her staff promised FBI agents more overseas positions if the FBI would alter emails that were classified. This is COLLUSION at its core and Crooked Hillary’s super PAC, the media, is doing EVERYTHING they can to cover it up. It’s a RIGGED system and we MUST not let her get away with this — our country deserves better! Vote on Nov. 8 and let’s take back the White House FOR the people and BY the people! #AmericaFirst! #RIGGED
Posted by Donald J. Trump on Monday, October 17, 2016