FOIA requests involving Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and the 2012 attacks on Benghazi while she was secretary of state were not conducted through normal procedures, according to FBI documents.
An unnamed female State Department Office of the Inspector General employee with deep familiarity with how Clinton and her staff interacted with career professionals at the department’s Freedom of Information Act requests told the FBI that Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy was central to the narrative.
Kennedy supervised the department’s Office of Information Programs and Services, which handled FOIA requests. It was Kennedy, in August 2014, who sent out the memorandum to all State Department employees telling them they were not allowed to use personal emails for official business.
The interview offered insights into internal dynamics of how the department worked–or did not work.
The IG employee told the FBI:
For the FOIA requests related to the 30,000 CLINTON-related emails and the Congressional inquiry that requested Benghazi-related emails, those [sic] review process were handled outside the normal chain of people. [redacted] did not know why these requests were handled outside the normal chain, but [redacted] recommended the FBI talk to [redacted] for more information.
The woman from the IG told the FBI: “KENNEDY was never overly uncooperative and never did anything unusual in regards to his cooperation. However, KENNEDY tone and tenor were definitely not positive in dealing with the STATE IG.”
Workers in the FOIA section saw events and behaviors that made them uncomfortable, the woman said.
The unnamed employee spoke to two unnamed FBI special agents Aug. 19, 2015 in Washington and the conversation was summarized on a FD-302 form, used by the bureau. The document was declassified Oct. 12 and the summary was completed the day after the interview. It is the practice of the FBI to not record or videotape its interviews.