About a week ago we wrote about newly released FBI interviews with numerous references to State Department officials, including Patrick Kennedy, applying pressure to subordinates to change classified email codes so they would be shielded from Congress and the public (see "Two Boxes Of Hillary Emails Mysteriously Disappear"). Here is the relevant section from the FBI's interview notes:
Now, according to a report from Fox News, new FBI files reviewed by Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Chair of the House Oversight Committee, potentially point toward a "quid pro quo" arrangement between the State Department and the FBI whereby Patrick Kennedy, a senior executive at the State Department, offered "additional slots for the FBI at missions overseas" in return of "altering the classification" of certain Hillary Clinton emails. If true, of course, this new evidence could serve to discredit the entire FBI investigation as the notes are a "flashing red light of potential criminality."
FBI interview summaries and notes, provided late Friday to the House Government Oversight and Intelligence Committees, contain allegations of a "quid pro quo" between a senior State Department executive and FBI agents during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, two congressional sources told Fox News.
"This is a flashing red light of potential criminality," Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who has been briefed on the FBI interviews, told Fox News.
He said "there was an alleged quid pro quo” involving Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy and the FBI “over at least one classified email.”
"In return for altering the classification, the possibility of additional slots for the FBI at missions overseas was discussed,” Chaffetz said.
"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.
Of course, the FBI told Fox News there was absolutely no impropriety in the interactions between the FBI and the State Department. Apparently an FBI agent just happened to raise the issue of additional slots for agents overseas during a call with Patrick Kennedy about changing email classifications due to a previous unfortunate bout of phone tag between the FBI and State. Here is the full statement from the FBI to Fox News:
"Prior to the initiation of the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s personal email server, the FBI was asked to review and make classification determinations on FBI emails and information which were being produced by the State Department pursuant to FOIA. 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. The classification of the email was not changed, and it remains classified today. Although there was never a quid pro quo, these allegations were nonetheless referred to the appropriate officials for review."
The response from the State Department was much more terse:
“This allegation is inaccurate and does not align with the facts,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said. “To be clear: the State Department did upgrade the document at the request of the FBI when we released it back in May 2015.”
What are the odds that so many completely "harmless" coincidences occurred during the investigation of Hillary's private email server to her explicit benefit...with that kind of luck we suspect she should have won the PowerBall about 2 or 3 times by now.