By Steve Neavling
The FBI defended itself against claims that the bureau engaged in a “quid pro quo” arrangement with Hillary Clinton’s State Department after Rep. Jason Chaffetz raised an allegation of “potential criminality” during an interview with Fox News last week.
Chaffetz, R-Utah, said recently released documents from the FBI’s year-long investigation into Clinton’s private email server suggested an “alleged quid pro quo” between an FBI official and Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary for management for the State Department.
“In return for altering the classification, the possibility of additional slots for the FBI at missions overseas was discussed,” Chaffetz said.
But according to CBS News, the FBI said no such arrangement occurred. In a statement, the FBI said the State Department asked the bureau to “review and make classification determinations on FBI emails and information” before the agency’s investigation into the Clinton server.
“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,” the FBI wrote. “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.”
The FBI maintains that the official raised a separate issue about employees abroad.
“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,” the bureau said.
“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,” they continued. “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. The classification of the email was not changed, and it remains classified today.”