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 Trump State Department Fights to Keep Clinton Benghazi E-mails Secret

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PostSubject: Trump State Department Fights to Keep Clinton Benghazi E-mails Secret   Mon May 08, 2017 8:50 pm


Trump State Department Fights to Keep Clinton Benghazi E-mails Secret
Published: May 8, 2017

Source: The New American

Candidate Donald Trump said of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal, “This corruption and collusion is just one more reason why I will ask my attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor.” He later upped the ante with the declaration, “She has to go to jail.” Now, it appears that the Trump State Department is working to keep the e-mails secret.
On May 5, Judicial Watch issued a press release announcing that
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the U.S. Department of State to turn over to the watchdog organization "eight identical paragraphs" of previously redact material in two September 13, 2012, Hillary Clinton e-mails regarding phone calls made by President Barack Obama to Egyptian and Libyan leaders immediately following the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Both e-mails had the subject line "Quick Summary of POTUS Calls to Presidents of Libya and Egypt" and were among the e-mails stored on Clinton’s unofficial e-mail server.
Immediately, the State Department asked Judge Jackson so reconsider her order, claiming that due to an internal “mistake” the office failed to label the e-mails “classified.” If so labeled, Clinton’s e-mails would be exempt from production under FOIA Exemption B(1). Responding to State’s request, Judicial Watch filed documents averring that the Trump administration’s failure was not a mistake, but rather a deliberate attempt by officials at the State Department to shield Hillary Clinton and themselves by "avoiding identifying e-mails on Clinton’s unofficial, non-secure e-mail server as classified."
In other words, the e-mails were originally said to be "unclassified" so then-Secretary Clinton would not be guilty of having classified material on her private server, but now that people want to see the e-mails, they are said to be "classified," and were only mistakenly labeled "unclassified."
According to the press release, “Judicial Watch’s filing cites an interview of an FBI employee who told federal investigators that top State Department official Patrick Kennedy pressured the FBI to keep Clinton’s e-mails unclassified. The employee told the FBI he ‘believes STATE ha[d] an agenda which involves minimizing the classified nature of the CLINTON emails in order to protect STATE interests and those of CLINTON.’”
The group’s filing also cites an interview of a State Department employee who told the FBI that the State Department’s Office of Legal Counsel interfered with the FOIA processing of e-mail from Secretary Clinton’s server, instructing reviewers to use Exemption B(5) (deliberative process exemption) instead of Exemption B(1) (classified information exemption). According to the FBI interview:
STATE’s Near East Affairs Bureau upgraded several of CLINTON’s emails to a classified level with a B(1) release exemption . [Redacted], along with [Redacted] attorney, Office of Legal Counsel, called STATE’s Near East Affairs Bureau and told them they could use a B(5) exemption on a upgraded email to protect it instead of the B(1) exemption. However, the use of the B(5) exemption, which is usually used for executive privilege-related information, was incorrect as the information actually was classified and related to national security, which would be a B(1) exemption.


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