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RNC Requests State Department IG Investigate Alleged Clinton Email Quid Pro Quo

- October 19, 2016

WASHINGTON – Yesterday the Republican National Committee (RNC) sent the following letter to the State Department’s Inspector General demanding a full investigation into allegations that State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy engaged in negotiations to secure a “quid pro quo” agreement with a senior FBI official in order to influence classification decisions of Hillary Clinton’s email. In the proposed exchange, described in recently released FBI notes and news reports, Mr. Kennedy responded to an FBI official’s request for permission to place agents in countries that were forbidden by only agreeing should the FBI change its classification of a Hillary Clinton email.
 
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

Full text of the letter below:

Monday, October 3, 2016

John R. Phillippe Jr.
Chief Counsel
Republican National Committee
310 First St. SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
 
 
October 18, 2016
 
 
RE: REQUEST FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO PATRICK KENNEDY’S REPORTED “QUID PRO QUO” OFFER
 
VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL
 
Mr. Steve Linick
Inspector General
U.S. Department of State
Office of Inspector General
Room 8100, SA-3
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520-0308
 
               
Dear Mr. Linick:
 
Yesterday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released an internal report indicating that the State Department’s Under Secretary for Management, Patrick Kennedy, appears to have made a quid-pro-quo offer to the FBI. According to the FBI report, Mr. Kennedy offered that the State Department would allow “the FBI to place more Agents in countries where they are presently forbidden” if the FBI agreed to change the designation of an email found on Secretary Clinton’s secret server from classified to unclassified.
 
To learn that a senior State Department official may have attempted to make a backroom deal to cover up the extent to which our national security was put at risk by Secretary Clinton’s use of a secret email server is shocking and warrants an immediate review by your office. Further, I request that your office investigate whether Mr. Kennedy made any additional quid-pro-quo offers to other federal agencies in relation to Secretary Clinton’s emails.
 
Mr. Kennedy’s attempt to influence the release of records in a manner that benefits presidential candidate Hillary Clinton undermines government transparency. According to the FBI report, one unidentified individual told the FBI, “State has an agenda which involves minimizing the classified nature of the Clinton emails in order to protect state interests and those of Clinton.” I request that your office review Mr. Kennedy’s role in the release of Clinton-related records to determine the extent of Mr. Kennedy’s attempts to manipulate the FOIA review process.
 
Mr. Kennedy’s actions directly undermine the instructions President Obama gave regarding the handling of FOIA requests. President Obama wrote in 2009 that “[t]he Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears. Nondisclosure should never be based on an effort to protect the personal interests of Government officials at the expense of those they are supposed to serve.”
 
For these reasons, on behalf of the Republican National Committee, I request that OIG investigate Mr. Kennedy’s quid-pro-quo offer and the extent of his involvement in attempting to influence the FOIA review process.

 

                                                                                                     Sincerely,
 
                                                                                                     John R. Phillippe Jr.
                                                                                                     Chief Counsel

 
 

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