Hillary Clinton’s email headaches are far from over. The FBI’s latest email dump Monday has Republicans up in arms — again — because of an FBI document that seems to show a senior state department official attempting to haggle with an FBI employee to downgrade an email marked as classified.
An unnamed FBI classification specialist reported Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary for management at the State Department, “pressured” them to downgrade Clinton an email marked as classified, according to the document, dated July 30, 2015. In exchange, Kennedy allegedly offered a “quid pro quo”: the State Department would allow the FBI to place agents in more countries overseas.
The exchange came to light as part of the fourth installment of Clinton email dumps from the FBI, this one containing 100 pages. (The FBI completed its investigation into Clinton’s emails in July and recommended no charges.) Clinton’s been swatting away critiques of her handling of classified documents sent to her private email server throughout the presidential campaign. She has been diligently trying to turn the spotlight away from the emails, apologizing for the private server and downplaying the emails she did receive, while Trump has been doing the exact opposite.
In response to the latest revelation, which Clinton’s campaign is basically trying to couch as “nothing to see here,” Trump, a man of many words, summed up his reaction in one:
And Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is crying cover up.
During a press call on Monday, Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook said, “It’s very well known that there were disputes between the State Department and other agencies about classification. It’s not unusual.”
And State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner took it a step further, denying that any sort of deal was pitched and seemingly noting that the document in question’s classification was actually upgraded.
“This allegation is inaccurate and does not align with the facts. To be clear: the State Department did upgrade the document at the request of the FBI when we released it back in May 2015,” he said, Politico reported.
“Under Secretary Kennedy sought to understand the FBI’s process for withholding certain information from public release,” Toner told the publication. “As has been reported, there have been discussions within the interagency on issues of classification. Classification is an art, not a science, and individuals with classification authority sometimes have different views.”
The document detailing the alleged exchange between Kennedy and the unnamed FBI official can be found below.