Tags: Hillary Clinton | joaquin castro | refuse | defend | patrick kenendy | fbi | claims

Rep. Joaquin Castro Refuses to Defend Kennedy on FBI Claims

MSNBC

By    |   Tuesday, 18 October 2016 01:37 PM

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro held back from defending high-ranking State Department official Patrick Kennedy following the release of an FBI document showing he'd offered a "quid pro quo" agreement to change the classification of a Benghazi-related email from Hillary Clinton's private server.

"That is a decision for the State Department to make," the Texas Democrat told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle Tuesday, when she asked if Kennedy should lose his job. "I've just had a chance to look at it this morning, but I'm sure all options will be reviewed."

House Government Oversight and Intelligence Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has called for an investigation into the revelations, calling the news "a flashing red light of potential criminality."

"We find Under Secretary Kennedy's actions extremely disturbing," Chaffetz said in a statement on the committee's website. "Those who receive classified intelligence should not barter in it — that is reckless behavior with our nation's secrets. Someone who would try to get classification markings doctored should not continue serving in the State Department or retain access to classified information. Therefore, President [Barack] Obama and Secretary [John] Kerry should immediately remove Under Secretary Kennedy pending a full investigation."

According to FBI records released on Monday, Kennedy asked for the FBI's help last year to change the classification level of an email from Hillary Clinton's private server in a proposed bargain described as a "quid pro quo" that would have allowed the FBI to deploy more agents in foreign countries.

The FBI rejected the request to release the email, which was related to the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi. Had it been approved, the State Department could have archived the email, which described reports in November 2012 that Libyan police were arresting attack suspects.

Chaffetz's statement on Tuesday also implicated Clinton, noting that career State Department personnel who typically handle FOIA requests "told the FBI the process for reviewing and releasing Secretary Clinton's emails was highly unusual, coordinated through the Office of Legislative Affairs rather than the normal FOIA office, and that decisions were made far differently for these emails than for any other FOIA request."

Castro said Tuesday he was traveling most of Monday and he hadn't seen the entire story, but he said it seems to him more like a "routine thing" concerning the negotiation of a classification system, and both the State Department and FBI have indicated the same.

"There's also no indication that Hillary Clinton was personally involved, unless I just haven't seen news coverage of that," said Castro, "so I'm a little bit confused as to why he would think she personally is responsible for this."

The news also shows that the classification of emails and other documents in the federal government system needs reforms, said Castro.

"Everybody has acknowledged, including Secretary Clinton, Secretary Colin Powell, Republicans and Democrats, that the classification of e-mails and other documents is essentially messed up," Castro said. "I'm not surprised that there is this argument going back and forth between the state department and the FBI about how to classify a document or the conditions for classification. Everybody agrees that that system needs to be reformed."

Castro also touched on claims made by GOP nominee Donald Trump's wife, Melania, blaming the left-wing media and the "Clinton machine" for smearing her husband and trying to ruin his reputation.

"That was a very strange claim, especially when Donald Trump has made this case that the election is rigged," said Castro. "He's becoming a bigger and bigger danger to our democracy and getting very reckless. I'm surprised, quite frankly, that more Republicans at the highest level, including Speaker [Paul] Ryan and [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch Mcconnell have not firmly spoken out, not through spokespeople, but gotten up in front of a podium and spoken out to denounce Donald Trump and what he's doing to the state of our democracy. "

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Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro held back from defending high-ranking State Department official Patrick Kennedy following the release of an FBI document showing he'd offered a "quid pro quo" agreement to change the classification of a Benghazi-related email from Hillary...
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Tuesday, 18 October 2016 01:37 PM
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