**Written by Doug Powers
The James Comey “investigation” (and subsequent exoneration) of Hillary Clinton has always reeked to high heaven, and another skunk just fell into the mix:
A senior State Department official sought to shield Hillary Clinton last year by pressuring the FBI to drop its insistence that an email on the private server she used while secretary of state contained classified information, according to records of interviews with FBI officials released on Monday.
The accusation against Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s most senior manager, appears in the latest release of interview summaries from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s year-long investigation into Clinton’s sending and receiving classified government secrets via her unauthorized server.
Although the FBI decided against declassifying the email’s contents, the claim of interference added fuel to Republicans’ belief that officials in President Barack Obama’s administration have sought to protect Clinton, a Democrat, from criminal liability as she seeks to succeed Obama in the Nov. 8 election. The FBI recommended against bringing any charges in July and has defended the integrity of its investigation.
One FBI official, whose name is redacted, told investigators that Kennedy repeatedly “pressured” the various officials at the FBI to declassify information in one of Clinton’s emails. The email was about the deadly 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, and included information that originated from the FBI, which meant that the FBI had final say on whether it would remain classified.
The Obama administration and FBI have pointed out that there was no quid pro quo because the FBI supposedly didn’t entertain Patrick Kennedy’s offer. That’s a little like being found not guilty of bank robbery because the teller refused to give you the money.
There’s a reverse scenario that’s equally problematic:
At issue are somewhat contradictory interview notes contained in the crop of newly released FBI documents. In one, an FBI official recounted hearing second-hand that the State Department had offered a “quid pro quo” in exchange for declassifying an email. In another, a different FBI official said he told State Department he’d look into the email, if State Department looked into his request for personnel in Iraq.
Take your pick: What’s worse, a State Department official asking for quid pro quo, or an FBI investigator doing it?
Regardless, Clinton’s campaign manager said this all happened entirely within the government, so it’s not a problem. That would make a fitting new campaign slogan: “Hillary 2016: Keeping Corruption at the Federal Level Where it Belongs!”
Here’s a dramatization of Patrick Kennedy dealing with the FBI on Hillary’s behalf:
**Written by Doug Powers