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Did the FBI try to work out quid pro quo with State Dept over Hillary Clinton email investigation?


Newly released documents provide insight into how the FBI responded to a FOIA request

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In the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Fox News reported the FBI attempted to work out a quid pro quo with the Obama State Department relating to Hillary Clinton's email scandal.

On Monday, conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch released new government correspondence from October 2016 confirming the FBI asked for the quid pro quo, which involved former State Department Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy and the FBI "over at least one classified email," former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told Fox News in October 2016.

What are the details?

According to the documents Judicial Watch obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, the quid pro quo would have involved the FBI providing a reason unrelated to classification level for withholding emails sought in a separate Judicial Watch FOIA request.

The documents reveal internal communication prompted by an inquiry from Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge.

More from Judicial Watch:

The documents … describe a previously reported quid pro quo from the Obama State Department offering the FBI more legal attaché positions if it would downgrade a redaction in an email found during the Hillary Clinton email investigation "from classified to something else."

In exchange, the State Department "would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more Agents in countries where they are presently forbidden," Fox News reported.

There is no evidence to suggest the proposed arrangement between the FBI and State Department ever took place.

As Herridge reported Wednesday, the internal communication catalogs the quick response to her October 2016 inquiry by top FBI brass, including Michael Kortan, then-FBI head of public affairs, James Rybicki, chief of staff to then-FBI Director James Comey, Peter Strzok, then a senior FBI agent, and Lisa Page, then a top FBI lawyer who directly worked with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

In an Oct. 13, 2016, email to Richard Quinn, who now serves as the special agent in charge of the St. Louis field office, Page wrote:

Jason Herring will be providing you with three 302s of current and former FBI employees who were interviewed during the course of the Clinton investigation. These 302s are scheduled to be released to Congress in an unredacted form at the end of the week, and produced (with redactions) pursuant to FOIA at the beginning of next week.

As you will see, they describe a discussion about potential quid pro quo arrangement between then-DAD in IOD [deputy assistant director in International Operations Division] and an Undersecretary at the State Department whereby IOD would get more LEGAT [legal attaché] positions if the FBI could change the basis of the FOIA withhold re a Clinton email from classified to something else.

The correspondence shows the FBI sought to prevent disclosure of certain documents related to the agency's investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server, which included details about the proposed quid pro quo.

(H/T: Hot Air)

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