Yesterday Ed wrote about Patrick Kennedy’s efforts at the State Department to convince the FBI to downgrade the classification of an email found on Hillary Clinton’s private server. According to FBI investigation notes, Kennedy and the FBI discussed a quid pro quo involving downgrading the classification of one email in exchange for getting some additional FBI agents stationed abroad. Kennedy also held a private meeting with an FBI agent during which he spent 15 minutes discussing the classification of this single email and asking if the FBI could “see their way” to marking it as unclassified. When that didn’t work, Kennedy asked who else he could talk to, essentially trying to find someone at the FBI who would give him the result he wanted.
But there is more evidence that Kennedy and the State Department were working to protect Clinton. According to FBI notes, the staffers who reviewed emails later turned over to the House Benghazi Committee felt “immense pressure” not to mark any of them as classified. From Bloomberg News:
Officials from the State Department’s Information Programs and Services office began a review in March 2015 of 296 e-mails that were set to be turned over to a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
“IPS felt immense pressure to complete the review quickly and not label anything as classified,” according to interview notes from a State Department official whose name wasn’t disclosed in the FBI summary.
Kennedy and other State Department bigwigs also held a weekly meeting to discuss Clinton’s emails. This group was apparently referred to as “The Shadow Government.”
The FBI summaries also indicated that “a powerful group of very high-ranking State officials,” referred to as “The Shadow Government,” met every Wednesday afternoon to discuss all things related to releasing or withholding e-mails that were on Clinton’s server, according to the interview notes.
The group included Kennedy and Jonathan Finer, who serves as current Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief of staff, according to the notes.
Official denials of any wrongdoing have been issued by the State Department. We’re supposed to believe this is all part of a regular inter-agency process, i.e. Kennedy is just doing his job by spending hours haranguing the FBI over the classification of one email. But only one person stood to benefit from Kennedy’s zealous interference: Hillary Clinton.