House committee demands criminal investigation of State Dept. undersecretary over FBI 'quid pro quo'

FBI Director James Comey (L) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R). © Joshua Roberts
The demand to have Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy investigated for allegedly offering bribes to the FBI has intensified. The House Judiciary Committee is calling on the Department of Justice to examine the allegations for criminal wrongdoing.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) called upon Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate allegations that Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy made quid pro quo offers to the FBI during its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

On Monday, the FBI released records and notes pertaining to its investigation of Hillary Clinton. One part that stood out was an interview with an FBI official who claimed that Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy offered to trade boosting the FBI’s presence overseas for declassifying documents found on Clinton’s private email server.

In a letter to Attorney General Lynch, Rep. Goodlatte wrote that while much of the investigation into Clinton’s server bothers him, the FBI’s interview notes (documents known as 302’s) pertaining to Kennedy bothered him the most. He explained, “the 302’s show that Undersecretary Kennedy offered to support the FBI’s efforts to place additional agents in overseas locations, including some of the most critical locations in the world for our fight against terrorism, if the FBI would agree to declassify certain classified documents found on Secretary Clinton’s private email server related to the Benghazi attacks.”

According to an interview summary, an unnamed FBI official alleged that they had “received a call from [REDACTED] of the International Operations Division (IOD) of the FBI, who ‘pressured’ him to change the classified email to unclassified. [REDACTED] indicated he had been contacted by PATRICK KENNEDY, Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the email’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo.’”

Referring to Kennedy’s offer to have the potentially declassified documents be archived in the basement “never to be seen again,” Goodlatte referred to Kennedy’s alleged deal as an “attempt to barter away American national security interests for plainly political purposes.”

The DOJ has yet to respond to Goodlatte’s demands. Demands for Kennedy’s removal from the position came first from the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Devin Nunes (R-California) on Monday, who asked Secretary of State John Kerry to allow Kennedy to be investigated.