Congressional Republicans say the FBI’s interview summaries and notes, provided to the House Government Oversight and Intelligence Committees late Friday, contain indications of a “quid pro quo” between a senior State Department official and FBI agents during the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah told Fox News that “there was an alleged quid pro quo” involving Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy and the FBI “over at least one classified email.”
“This is a flashing red light of potential criminality,” he said.
The FBI released the 100 new pages of material to the public on Monday.
Chaffetz has not yet read the new documents as he has been out of town campaigning, but based on a briefing from staffers, he said there are grounds for at least “four hearings” after the the recess. “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.
Via 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.
“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.
The State Department also responded to Fox News Sunday without directly addressing the alleged discussion of more overseas postings for FBI agents.
“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.”
Former New Hampshire governor John Sununu told Fox News Monday morning that the evidence of quid pro quo is “absolutely damning.”
“The FBI acknowledges that that conversation took place and those two things were discussed in the same conversation virtually side by side,” Sununu told Fox News’s Bill Hemmer. He said it was an indication of the FBI taking advantage “of this commitment to quid pro quo that the Clinton’s always operate under.”
“It is in my opinion, an absolutely damning event that says the FBI understood the sleaziness that was taking place there,” he said.