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State Dept. Sought Deal To Declassify Clinton Emails

A senior State Department official tried to bribe the FBI to declassify emails on Clinton's private server, according to newly released documents.

Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy dangled the prospect of allowing the FBI to operate in countries where the agency has not been permitted to operate, the New York Post reported, citing internal documents from the FBI.

Kennedy was reportedly trying to have the emails declassified to help Clinton's claim that she never sent or received classified information from her private email account, which was run from a personal, unsecured server in the basement of her Chappaqua, New York home.

The agent "indicated he had been contacted by [Kennedy], who had asked his assistance in altering the e-mail’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo,’" according to the documents, which were released in mid-October by the bureau in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Kennedy "advised that in exchange for marking the e-mail unclassified, STATE would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more Agents in countries where they are presently forbidden,” the document continues.

That follows other revelations, including one from a State Department staffer who said there was "immense pressure" to quickly review Clinton's private server emails and avoid labeling any of them as classified, the Post reported.

The Department of State's inspector general also weighed in on Kennedy's offer, saying his "tone and tenor were definitely not positive when dealing” with his office.

“[REDACTED] believes STATE has an agenda which involves minimizing the classified nature of the CLINTON e-mails in order to protect STATE interests and those of CLINTON,” the FBI documents said.

When the FBI rebuffed Kennedy's offer of a deal, Kennedy went up the chain of command to float his proposal to more senior FBI officials, Politico reported. He was unsuccessful.

Kennedy remains in his post despite calls for President Barack Obama to remove him. Among those calling for Kennedy's resignation were House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican from California.

“Someone who would try to get classification markings doctored should not continue serving in the State Department or retain access to classified information," the Republican congressmen wrote, per Fox News. "Therefore, President Obama and Secretary Kerry should immediately remove Under Secretary Kennedy pending a full investigation."

Sources: Politico, New York Post, Fox News / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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