New FBI docs show Clinton aide proposing quid pro quo to alter email classification

New FBI documents given to the House Oversight Committee reveal a top Clinton aide, Patrick Kennedy, proposing a quid pro quo with the FBI to alter the classification heading of at least 1 email.

In return for the alteration, Kennedy suggested that he would open more coveted slots for FBI agents overseas.

Fox News:

As Fox News previously reported, interviews released earlier this month, known as 302s, reveal the serious allegation that Kennedy applied pressure to subordinates to change classified email codes so they would be shielded from Congress and the public. Fox News was told as far back as August 2015 that Kennedy was running interference on Capitol Hill. But Kennedy, in his FBI interview on Dec. 21, 2015, “categorically rejected” allegations of classified code tampering.

Chaffetz has not read the new documents, which include classified records that must be read in a security facility. But based on a briefing from staffers, Chaffetz said there are grounds for at least "four hearings" after the recess. Chaffetz, who is currently out of town campaigning, said allegations came from witnesses though there is some conflict in the record.

"Both myself and Chairman Devin Nunes of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are infuriated by what we have heard," he added.

"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.

The second congressional source backed the assessment, and both added that they expect the FBI interviews will be released as early as Monday as part of ongoing FOIA requests.

A spokesperson at the FBI provided a lengthy statement to Fox Saturday night -- disputing Chaffetz's characterization and stating that, while the conversation did happen, the two issues discussed were not connected.

First, it is important to note that there is no evidence that the Clinton campaign instructed Kennedy to make the offer. Then again, Kennedy, a long time aide to Clinton and known as a State Department "fixer," would have known exactly what his job was; make the email problem go away by any means necessary. 

The FBI statement on the matter is pure spin:

The FBI determined that one such email was classified at the Secret level. A senior State Department official requested the FBI re-review that email to determine whether it was in fact classified or whether it might be protected from release under a different FOIA exemption. A now-retired FBI official, who was not part of the subsequent Clinton investigation, told the State Department official that they would look into the matter. 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. Following the call, the FBI official consulted with a senior FBI executive responsible for determining the classification of the material and determined the email was in fact appropriately classified at the Secret level. The FBI official subsequently told the senior State official that the email was appropriately classified at the Secret level and that the FBI would not change the classification of the email. 

Did Kennedy then nix his offer for more FBI overseas postings? We don't know yet. 

The statement makes it seem as if the quid pro quo was casually proposed. Please change the classification of this email and oh, by the way, we might agree to a few more overseas jobs for FBI agents. It certainly seems that at the very least, these charges need more investigation. Kennedy had no business asking the FBI to alter a classified heading on an email and his tawdry offer to the FBI was at least, unethical, and perhaps even illegal.