‘Shadow government’ at State under Kerry vetted all FOIA requests for Hillary’s emails



State Dept. offered FBI “quid pro quo” to reclassify Clinton emails

Jerome Corsi | Infowars.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A “shadow government” within John Kerry’s State Department was constituted to review all FOIA requests to prevent public disclosure of classified information Hillary Clinton may have transmitted over her private email server, FBI documents reveal.

The newly released “FBI Vault” release on Hillary Clinton makes clear Clinton “fixer” in the State Department, Deputy Secretary of State Patrick F. Kennedy, pressured the FBI to downgrade the classification status of various Clinton emails from “classified” to “unclassified,” offering the FBI a “quid pro quo” in exchange for the FBI agreeing to cooperate in the subterfuge.

The Clinton documents released in the FBI Vault are the source documents that led to reports published by the Washington Post in an Oct. 17, 2016 report that State Department official Kennedy had pressured the BI “to change its determination that at least one of the emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server contained classified content, prompting discussion of a possible trade to resolve the issue, two FBI employees told colleagues investigating Clinton’s use of a private server last year.”

Reading the FBI source documents make clear that Kennedy was determined to recruit not only the FBI but the CIA and other intelligence agencies to engage in a “quid pro quo” cover-up scheme aimed at hiding the truth that Clinton did transmit classified State Department documents over her private unsecured email server.

The FBI source documents make clear the FBI had evidence suggesting Clinton had committed criminal violations of national security laws regarding her transmitting of State Department classified information over her unsecured private email server in July 2015 – a year and a half before the Nov. 2016 presidential election – information that had it been made public at that time most likely would have derailed Clinton’s bid to win the DNC’s presidential nomination.

The FBI source documents do not explain why the FBI did not press the Department of Justice to bring charges against Clinton in July 2015 when the FBI had in hand clear evidence State Department officials were engaged in a cover-up of the Clinton email scandal.

 “Shadow Government” within Hillary’s State Department

That memo, dated Aug. 8, 2015, (FBI Vault, Hillary R. Clinton, Part 4, pp. 53-57), contains the following paragraph that makes explicit reference to the “Shadow Government” constituted within the Department of State to protect Sec. Clinton from potentially criminal mishandling of classified information.

The paragraph in question reads as follows:

There was a powerful group of very high-ranking STATE officials that some referred to as “The 7th Floor Group” or “the Shadow Government.”  This group met every Wednesday afternoon to discuss the FOIA process, Congressional records, and everything CLINTON-related to FOIA/Congressional inquiries.  The known regular attendees included Jonathan FINER, Jennifer STOUT, Deputy Chief of Staff, Heather HIGGINBOTTOM, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources KENNEDY, Julia FRIFIELD, Assistant Secretary, Legislative Affairs, [REDACTED] Office of Legal Adviser, [REDACTED] Office of the Legal Adviser overseeing STATE’S [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] [REDACTED] and [REDACTED].

Further into the memo, there is a discussion of Patrick F. Kennedy, then Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, requesting the FBI to downgrade from “National Security Classified” an email from Clinton long-time advisor Sidney Blumenthal that evidently had either potentially embarrassing and/or suspect criminal implications for Sec. Clinton if made public as a document made secret by a national security classification.

Pressured to change “classified” to “unclassified”

The memo also suggests that Patrick F. Kennedy, a Clinton “fixer” within the State Department pressured the FBI to change Clinton emails marked “classified” to “unclassified.”

The memo dated Aug. 8, 2015, continues:

In late April 2015, IPS officials completed the formal review of the Benghazi-related Congressional inquiry.  All materials were ready for release at that time.  The CIA provided redactions [REDACTED] but none were deemed a B(1) exemption.  Most of the items with CIS redactions were emails from Sidney BLUMENTHAL.  One was deemed classified according to the FBI and KENNEDY held a closed-door meeting attended by the FBI’s [REDACTED] and IPS’ [REDACTED] among others.  In that KENNEDY held a closed-door meeting attended by the FBI’s [REDACTED] among others.  In that meeting, KENNEDY asked [REDACTED] to change the FBI’s B(1) upgrade classification, but [REDACTED] did not change the FBI’s stance.  On May 22 (2015), it was decided by the IPS team they would keep the upgrade of the one FBI-related email and the IPS officials sent David KENDALL, Attorney, Williams & Connolly, LLC, a letter informing him of the results.

Clearly, the FBI insisted the email remain with its “classified” national security classification.

The  B(1) exemption under the Freedom of Information Act is designed to protect from public disclosure information that has been deemed classified “under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy” and is “in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order.

The State Department operates its FOIA program through the Office of Information Programs and Services (“IPS”), a part of the Bureau of Administration; the Assistant Secretary for Administration serves as the State Department’s Chief FOIA officer.

State offers FBI a “quid pro quo” to cover-up Clinton email scandal

Proof that Clinton operatives in the State Department were trying to recruit FBI officials to participate in their arguably illegal scheme to change the classification status of various Hillary emails is clear from “classified” to “unclassified” can be found in a FBI memo dated July 30, 2015 (FBI Vault, Hillary R. Clinton, Part 4, pages 25-27).

In that document, the key paragraph reads as follows:

Shortly thereafter, [REDACTED] received a call from [REDACTED] of the International Operations Division (IOD) of the FBI, who “pressured” him to change the classified email to unclassified. [REDACTED] indicated he had been contacted by PATRICK KENNEDY, Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the email’s classification in exchange for a “quid pro quo.” [REDACTED] advised that, in exchange for making the email unclassified, STATE would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more Agents in countries where they are presently prohibited.

The next paragraph of the memo provided a description of a meeting during which Kennedy openly pressed his declassification scheme in an “all agency” meeting that included CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency representatives.

The next paragraph reads as follows:

Following the above exchange, [REDACTED] was summoned to an “all agency” meeting at STATE to discuss matters pertaining to the classification review of pending CLINTON FOIA materials. [REDACTED official from STATE, along with representatives from CIA, DIA, and other government agencies were present.  PATRICK KENNEDY presided over the meeting.  During the conversation, a participant asked whether any of the emails in question were classified.  Making eye contact with [REDACTED] KENNEDY remarked, “Well, we’ll see.” [REDACTED] believed this was reference to the FBI’s categorization of SECRET/NOFORN emails which KENNEDY was attempting to influence. In a private meeting with KENNEDY following the all agency meeting, Kennedy asked [REDACTED] whether the FBI could “see their way to marking the email unclassified.”  According to [REDACTED] KENNEDY spent the next 15 minutes debating the classification of the email and attempting to influence the FBI to change its markings. Since [REDACTED] continued to assert that the email was appropriately marked SECRET//NOFORN, KENNEDY asked who else in the FBI he could speak with.  [REDACTED] referred KENNEDY to MICHAEL STEINBACH, Assistant Director of CTD.

NOFORN (No Foreign Nationals) is a designation in the FBI classification system that indicates the document is not to be disseminated to foreign nationals.

Michael Steinbach, the executive director who heads the FBI’s National Security Branch, also served as the assistant director of both the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division (CTD).

The next paragraph makes clear that Kennedy met a stone wall in his attempt to recruit the FBI into his cover-up scheme.

[REDACTED] was then present during a conference call involving KENNEDY and STEINBACH in which KENNEDY continued to pressure the FBI to change the classified markings on the email to unclassified.  STEINBACH refused to do so.

The controversy over Blumenthal emails

 An FBI report made public in Aug. 2016 concluded 24 memos sent by Blumenthal to Sec. Clinton had been identified as containing “information currently classified as CONFIDENTIAL.”

Among the cache of Blumenthal emails to Clinton release by Wikileaks is an email sent by Blumenthal to Sec. Clinton in March 2011, that contained a highly classified intelligence memo that revealed then French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s motive in deposing Libyan dictator Qaddafi involved a desire for Libyan oil.

Sidney Blumenthal emails to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made public by WikiLeaks made clear Obama and Clinton armed he Free Syrian Army rebels in an effort to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad, mirroring a strategy already underway in Libya to help al-Qaida-affiliated militia overthrow Muammar Gadhafi.

A consequence of the strategy was the emergence of ISIS out of the loosely coordinated Free Syrian Army coalition as well as the disastrous Benghazi attack in which a U.S. ambassador was murdered.

Various WikiLeaks emails examined by WND indicate the Free Syrian Army was among the first splinter rebel groups Clinton and Obama armed. The Obama administration apparently was hoping to replicate the regime-change strategy in which it armed al-Qaida-affiliated militia in Libya, including Ansar al-Sharia, the group responsible for the Sept. 11, 2012, attack at Benghazi.

The WikiLeaks email evidence shows a shift in policy in which Clinton and Obama appear to have decided in 2011 to topple the governments of Gadhafi in Libya and Assad in Syria, even if it meant arming radical Islamic terrorist groups that traced back to al-Qaida.

On June 20, 2011, Blumenthal sent a confidential email to Clinton at the State Department that included an article by David W. Lesch, a professor of Middle Eastern history at Trinity University in San Antonio. Lesch argued a strategy of regime change could be effected in Syria if the U.S. could find opposition groups in Syria capable of establishing “a Benghazi-like refuge from which to launch a rebellion and to which aid can be sent.”

In a subsequent confidential email July 24, 2012, Blumenthal further advised Clinton that the “growing success of the rebel forces of the Free Syria Army” caused him to believe the Assad regime was increasingly vulnerable to being toppled.

In an email dated Feb. 24, 2012, Blumenthal characterized the FSA as “loosely organized and uncoordinated,” noting it was “for the most part, local militias, many of them civilian-based, that are simply calling themselves the FSA to appear to be part of a whole.”

Blumenthal commented in the email that the armed resistance to Assad “is not well-funded or well-armed.”

On Feb. 28, 2012, Jacob Sullivan, a State Department senior policy adviser to Secretary Clinton, forwarded to Clinton an opinion piece published in the New York Times by foreign correspondent Roger Cohen suggesting the strategy Obama and Clinton had used to topple Gadhafi in Libya should be used to bring down Assad in Syria.

“As the Bosnian war showed, the basis for any settlement must be a rough equality of forces. So I say step up the efforts, already quietly ongoing, to get weapons to the Free Syrian Army. Train those forces, just as the rebels were trained in Libya,” Cohen wrote. “Payback time has come around: The United States warned Assad about allowing Al Qaeda fighters to transit Syria to Iraq. Now matériel and special forces with the ability to train a ragtag army can transit Iraq – and other neighboring states – into Syria.”

Then, on Sept. 18, 2012, one week after the Benghazi terror attack, Blumenthal, in a confidential memo, alerted Clinton to the possibility of the FSA military taking over Damascus.

The prospect caused Assad’s wife and close relatives to urge Assad to flee Syria to avoid “the fate of Assad’s former ally Muammar al Qaddafi of Libya, who was captured and killed by rebel forces while attempting to flee his home territory in Sirte.”

The controversy over David Kendell

In May 2015, a senior State Department official informed Clinton lawyer, David Kendell, that government reviewers had found at least one classified email among the emails Clinton transmitted over her private email system she used as Secretary of State.

The suspect email was found in a State Department FOIA search to respond to a House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attack on U.S. officials in Benghazi that ended up with the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.

Attorney David Kendell of Washington-based law firm Williams & Connolly, LLC, began representing President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1993 during the Special Prosecutor investigation into the Whitewater scandal; Kendell continued to represent the Clintons “in a variety of matters, including independent Counsel, Senate House of Representatives, FDIC, RTC {Resolution Trust Corporation}, and bar counsel investigations, civil litigation, and the 1998-99 impeachment hearings.”

On Aug. 23, 2015, the New York Times reported on a controversy that developed when Kendell, then representing former Sec. Clinton had in his possession a thumb drive containing Clinton State Department emails that Kendell may not have secured properly to prevent public disclosure of national security classified information.

“For more than 20 years, Mr. Kendell has been on the front lines for Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton as their personal lawyer, battling investigators and litigants in the superheated environment where law and politics meet,” wrote Peter Baker in the Times report.  “So as Mrs. Clinton faces questions about her use of a personal email server as secretary of state, no one is surprised she turned to Mr. Kendall.”

In August 2015, Kendall turned over the thumb drive to the Justice Department and gave copies to the FBI, after the thumb drive, believed to hold copies of some 55,000 Clinton emails, after a report to Congress by the intelligence community inspector general reported to Congress that Clinton’s State Department emails were found to contain classified material.


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