Patrick Kennedy, a senior State Department official, is under fire this week following allegations that he tried to protect Hillary Clinton by pressuring the FBI to declassify an email under scrutiny by the Bureau.
The revelation came after the release of interview summaries by the FBI.
The FBI didn’t declassify the information in the email. Republicans have stated that the Obama administration has tried to protect Hillary Clinton all along. The actions of Kennedy put this argument in the spotlight.
In July, the FBI recommended that charges against Clinton shouldn’t be pursued.
Clinton has stated that her use of a private email server between 2009 and 2013 was a mistake, and has apologized for her actions. The former Secretary of State’s usage of a private email server posed a major security risk and allowed for a cache of emails to be deleted in the process.
In the summaries, an FBI official stated that Kennedy pressured officials to declassify the email during their probe.
The email, pertaining to the Benghazi attack, was sent by the FBI, and as such, the FBI has the legal authority to reclassify the email. Kennedy sought the reclassification in exchange for a “quid pro quo.”
The attempt by Kennedy was an effort to reduce the number of classified emails sent or received via Clinton’s private server.