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A senior State Department official sought to shield Hillary Clinton last year by pressuring the FBI to drop its insistence that an email on the private server she used while secretary of state contained classified information, according to records of interviews with FBI officials released on Monday.
The accusation against Patrick Kennedy, the State Department's most senior manager, appears in the latest release of interview summaries from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's year-long investigation into Clinton's sending and receiving classified government secrets via her unauthorized server.
The FBI official told investigators that “State has an agenda which involves minimizing the classified nature of the Clinton emails in order to protect State interests and those of Clinton.”
“She did not break the law,” said FBI Director Comey....The State Department email system is an unclassified system just like Clinton’s server was.
What the heck?! Was the whole State Department mishandling classified information?
The main intelligence agencies — the CIA, NSA, NGA, DOD, State, and FBI — committed the same security violation as Clinton: putting classified information on unclassified systems. But much worse, they knew they were doing this, so they covered their tracks by not labeling their Top Secret emails as Top Secret. That’s what fooled Clinton.
Also, classifying documents is not a science and there is often disagreement between those with authority to classify (which included Clinton). Many that the FBI now says are Classified, where not considered classified by the intel agent who sent them or by Clinton.
Here’s an example of Clinton receiving classified information from Dennis Ross, a foreign service professional who served under Carter, Clinton, H. W. Bush, and Obama:
Ross emailed Clinton in 2012. Now the State Dept says it was Secret back in 2012.
Clinton replied: “Thanks, Dennis. Can you talk this morning?”
Ross replied: “Yes, I am available any time. I am at home now.”
Clinton replied: “Does EB know what you are doing w I’m?”
Ross replied: “No.”
Note that all of the Secret info came from Ross, not Clinton. But because Clinton replied, and the original was automatically included, she is charged with “sending” Secret information. This email chain counts as five Secret emails.
There are four reasons Clinton would not guess Ross sent Secret information. (1) Ross was just a professor at the time. (2) He had been handling classified info for 45 years. (3) He sent the info over an unclassified system. (4) He did not mark it as classified. If there was any fault here, it clearly lies more with Ross.