State official pressured FBI over Clinton email; top aide embroiled in hacking

Documents connected to the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private server released Monday uncovered the troubling charge a senior State Department official attempted to strong-arm a Bureau employee to reduce the classification marking on a Clinton email from “classified” to “unclassified.”

According to FBI notes, Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy allegedly attempted to persuade an unnamed FBI employee with the Bureau’s records management division to lower the classification marking to “unclassified” in exchange for the State Department lifting restrictions on assigning additional FBI agents abroad.

Notes later reveal Kennedy followed up with FBI officials in a meeting, inquiring whether the FBI could “see their way to marking the email unclassified,” and later contacted the Bureau’s counterterrorism head, Michael Steinbach, to make the change.  Steinbach declined.

Among other troubling aspects of the FBI’s disclosures was the revelation over 200 computer files belonging to Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal were discovered on a Romanian server, which could signal classified information from Clinton was compromised by the longtime Clinton hatchet man and some classified documents made their way to the foreign network.

Now-jailed Romanian hacker, Guccifer, is known to American law enforcement officials to have breached Blumenthal’s computer and claimed to have gained access to Clinton’s.

Included in the FBI report was the revelation one “sensitive Excel file listing the names of known or suspected jihadists in Libya,” some of which was in Russian.  Worse, from the FBI’s inquiry, the Excel file did not originate on Blumenthal’s end, but included an IP address of Clinton’s server.

Analysis

While the quid pro quo is to be expected by a State employee to provide cover for the Democratic nominee, the exposure files in Sidney Blumenthal’s server managed its way onto a Romanian server clearly suggests American secrets were exposed and American security was harmed.

Although Clinton says she was allowed to install her private server, broke no rules, has rejoiced in FBI Director James Comey’s exoneration and at points has said she acted on the counsel of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, this new information regarding evidence of a genuine breach will provide a difficult moment for the Democratic nominee.

If the Blumenthal files are verified as true, it would place the onus on the FBI for a slack inquiry into Clinton’s shady e-mail practices as well as force Clinton to make intelligible her true reasoning for managing her private server.

Long justifying she installed the server as a matter of “convenience,” Clinton operated the home brew server for one reason: Clinton sought to thwart both civil and criminal subpoenas.

With Hillary this close to the finish line and her crown jewel within reach, it is likely the Clinton attack machine will double their efforts to insure Hillary reaches her goal to return to the White House, this time in her own right.

Regardless of the outcome of the latest charge, the Clintons will direct their chamberlains to defuse the budding offense as “old news” or as a smear leveled against the power couple by political opponents with a grievance or by those with an unreasoned hatred for her.

 

[Politico] [Daily Caller] [NBC News] [Photo courtesy AP/Jim Cole/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Breitbart]