Clinton email 'worse than Watergate'


According to Federal Bureau of Investigation records released Monday, State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, a close aide to Clinton during her time as secretary of state, contacted an Federal Bureau of Investigation official seeking to change an email's classification.

An FBI records management official told the FBI in one interview that a member of the International Operations Division (IOD) told him that Kennedy had reached out to have an email unclassified in exchange for a "quid pro quo", according to the records management official, documents revealed Monday show.

State Department spokesperson John Kirby emphasized on Twitter that the report was incorrect.

Perhaps the most serious of these came from a Diplomatic Security agent who clearly is no fan of Clinton.

Trump also leads in IN and Missouri, but U.S. Senate races in both states have become very close.

Kennedy asked that the FBI's classification level on an email related to the 2012 attacks on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, be changed.

Clinton, the Democratic candidate for the November 8 presidential election, has faced steady criticism from Republicans over her use of the unauthorized server for her work as the country's most senior diplomat between 2009 and 2013.

Kennedy sought assistance in exchange for a "quid pro quo", according to FBI investigative files released yesterday.

Predictably, the news quickly spilled over into the presidential race, where Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his supporters pounced.

"Therefore, President Obama and Secretary [of State John] Kerry should immediately remove Under Secretary [Patrick Kennedy] pending a full investigation".

"This allegation is inaccurate and does not align with the facts", State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Monday. "Hillary Clinton has recklessly put our national security at extreme risk".

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On the other side, Trump's campaign dramatically expanded its ad buys in seven battleground states and announced plans to launch a $2 million advertising blitz in long-shot Virginia.

The FBI on Monday issued almost 100 new pages of notes and interview summaries from its yearlong probe into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, revealing more about FBI's decision not to launch a criminal charge against the former secretary of state over the matter. The State Department was reviewing the emails for release under the Freedom of Information Act. The second is that the email in question appears to be public already, and was posted online by the State Department in May of 2015. Kennedy also was allowed to press his concerns with Michael Steinbach, who heads the FBI's national security branch, and Steinbach was similarly unyielding.

"Some FOIA officials have seen events and behaviors they did not like or that made them uncomfortable, to include Kennedy's attitude towards them and how they handled the FOIA process related to Clinton", the interview notes said.

The FBI staffer was later called into a meeting with Kennedy, during which the staffer again said he or she felt pressured to change the classification status of the email.

Donald Trump has accused Hillary Clinton of colluding with U.S. authorities to "look less guilty" in relation to her use of a private email system while serving as secretary of state, but the State Department has denied any wrongdoing.

Toner suggested that Kennedy may not have raised the "B9" exemption at all, but rather "B7" - a separate exemption protecting confidential communications with law enforcement.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has sent ripples through the GOP with his recent pronouncement that he would be focused on maintaining the Republican majority in the House, rather than supporting Trump, issued a similar criticism of the news.

"[REDACTED] believed this was reference to the FBI's categorization of the SECRET//NOFORN email which Kennedy was attempting to influence", the transcript says.

The Associated Press reported the existence of the secret Benghazi-related email in May 2015, though the classified content has never been made public.

Toner went on to say that disagreement among agencies about the proper classification of documents is common.

"Those who receive classified intelligence should not barter in it - that is reckless behaviour with our nation's secrets", said Jason Chaffetz, chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Devin Nunes, chair of the Intelligence Committee. "There was no quid pro quo".