New FBI documents released on Monday from the Hillary Clinton email server investigation show that a State Department official approached the FBI to offer a “quid pro quo” if the Bureau would change the classification status of one email that became part of the investigation. The email had been sent to the FBI along with four unclassified emails via a classified server, for approval as part of a public release under the Freedom of Information Act.
The State Department and Kennedy believed that the single email was improperly classified, the documents say. But the FBI disagreed. The disagreement appears to be largely a bureaucratic dispute over which agency had the authority to classify emails pertaining to foreign governments. The FBI said that it had jurisdiction over the email, but the State Department believed that the authority lay properly within its own walls.
Both the FBI and the state department denied on Monday that any “quid pro quo’ took place.
The document says that an unnamed FBI official felt “pressured” by another FBI official who had spoken to State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy to flip the email from “classified” to “unclassified.” Kennedy proposed a “quid pro quo” in which the State Department would allow the FBI to place agents in countries which were previously off-limits, according to the newly released documents.
The documents, however, appear to contain no information that Clinton herself was aware of the alleged “quid pro quo” request. The State Department Monday flatly denied the claim, saying “the allegation is inaccurate and does not align with the facts.”
The FBI also issued a statement Monday saying that the document in question “remains classified today.”
Read the 100-page file containing the “quid pro quo” allegation below.
Republicans in congress quickly jumped on the passage from the newly released documents. House Speaker Paul Ryan said that the request “bears all the signs of a cover-up.”
“These documents further demonstrate Secretary Clinton’s complete disregard for properly handling classified information,” Ryan said in a statement. “This is exactly why I called on DNI Clapper to deny her access to classified information. Moreover, 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. This is why our aggressive oversight work in the House is so important, and it will continue.”