Trump Campaign: State Dept. Patrick Kennedy Must Resign After Asking FBI to Help Him Bury Requested Benghazi Docs

Patrick Kennedy AP

The campaign spokesman for Donald J. Trump released a statement Monday afternoon demanding that Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy resign after a public release of FBI interview summaries, which included a description of a deal with the FBI that Kennedy proposed.

“Today’s release of the FBI notes on their investigation into Clinton’s secret email server is deeply disturbing,” said Trump senior spokesman Jason Miller.

“The news that top Clinton aide Patrick Kennedy tried to engage in a blatant quid pro quo for changing the classification level of several of Clinton’s emails shows a cavalier attitude towards protecting our nation’s secrets. Kennedy must resign from the State Department immediately and Clinton must state he has no place in her administration if she is elected President,” he said.

Kennedy’s behavior came to light with the FBI’s release Monday of more “302” summaries from its interviews relating to Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton’s private email account and server scheme. The summaries, typed up on FD-302 forms, are the only records of FBI interviews. FBI interviews are not recorded nor videotaped, and the 302’s are typed up after the interview.

In one interview conducted July 30, 2015, the FBI interviewed [redacted], who worked at the FBI’s Records Management Division, Winchester, Virginia.

The individual told the FBI that he received a call from the bureau’s International Operations Division, who pressured him to change the classification of an email from classified to unclassified, according to the 302 summary. The caller said that Patrick Kennedy had called him to offer an quid pro quo.

Kennedy offered the International Operations Division a deal, according to the interview notes. In exchange for declassifying the email, Kennedy would lift restrictions preventing the FBI from sending agents to countries where the State Department forbade the FBI.

Soon after the conversation, the man interviewed told the FBI that he was in a meeting presided over by Kennedy with representatives from Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and other agencies. At one point in the meeting, which was called to address the issue of Clinton’s handling of sensitive electronic correspondence, someone asked Kennedy if any of the emails Clinton handled on her private email arrangement were classified.

Before Kennedy answered, he made eye contact with the interviewee and then said: “Well, we’ll see.”

The interviewee told the FBI that he felt Kennedy was making a direct reference to his proposed swap.

In another interview conducted Sept. 30,2015, the FBI spoke to [redacted], a retired official at the International Operations Division who told the agents that in May or June of 2015, he found a note that Kennedy was trying to reach him.

This retired IOD official said it was surprising because he and his top aides had been trying to reach Kennedy for months.

When the retired IOD official reached Kennedy, the undersecretary had a request about classification–this time, he wanted IOD to classify an email dealing with the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on American personnel and facilities at Benghazi, Libya.

Kennedy’s ask was for IOD to re-class the email at B9, which the agent’s note says could make the document exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests.

The IOD interviewee told the FBI: “Kennedy further stated that the B9 classification would allow him to archive the document in the basement of the State Department never to be seen again.”

After a conversation with the bureau’s Counterterrorism Division, who had originally classified the email, IOD told Kennedy they would not meet his demand.

Miller said Kennedy was exposed disrespecting national security.

Not only should Kennedy, a career Foreign Service Officer, resign; Trump’s Democratic rival must commit that he will not return to government service, if she is elected president, he said.


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