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After Three-Month Investigation, State Dept. Says It Has No Idea Why Controversial Iran Video Was Edited


"What we were not able to determine is..."

The State Department in Washington, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. (AP/Luis M. Alvarez, FILE)

After an investigation that lasted three months, the State Department now says it doesn't know who edited the video of a 2013 press briefing in which a State Department spokeswoman effectively admitted that it had lied to Fox News reporter James Rosen over ongoing negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal because the discussions needed "privacy."

Speaking to reporters Thursday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said that a technician did recall making the edit after being told to do so during a phone call. However, it's still not clear who told the technician to edit the video or why.

"What we were not able to determine is why the edit was made in the first place. There's no evidence to suggest it was made with the intent to conceal information from the public," Kirby said.

And even if there had been such intent, Kirby added, there was no department policy in place at the time that would have prohibited the action. He also noted that a policy has since been created to prevent the editing of public videos.

Kirby said that, throughout the course of its investigation, at least 30 current and former employees at all levels were interviewed, although Secretary of State John Kerry was not one of them.

While officials found no evidence of "nefarious" activity, Kirby said it is "possible" that the white flash was inserted into the video as a result of lost footage "due to technical or electrical problems." But in June, Kirby stood before reporters and seemingly ruled out the possibility of a "technical glitch," saying there was a "deliberate request" to delete the exchange.

“Deliberately removing a portion of the video was not and is not in keeping with the State Department’s commitment to transparency and public accountability,” Kirby said at the time.

The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch on Thursday sued the State Department for all documents related to the mysterious video edit.

(H/T: Washington Examiner)

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