Two House Committee Chairmen sent letters this week asking that State Department employee Patrick Kennedy be removed from his position at the agency pending an investigation into allegations that he proposed a “quid pro quo” arrangement with the FBI to change the classification level of an email from Hillary Clinton’s private server.
Kennedy is the Undersecretary for Management at the State Department. According to records released Monday, he asked for assistance from the FBI last year to change the classification level of an email from Hillary Clinton’s private server in a proposed arrangement that would have allowed the FBI to deploy more agents in foreign countries. The FBI ultimately turned down the request.
Both the FBI and State Department have denied the allegations.
The story drew attention from House Members Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. They sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking that Kennedy be removed from his position pending an independent investigation into the situation.
“Until a proper investigation can examine the Under Secretary’s behavior and assure the public that he is not carrying out his duties in a corrupt, biased, or underhanded manner, we request that you remove him pending an independent investigation,” wrote Chaffetz and Nunes in their letter.
The Congressmen also sent a second letter to Steve A. Linick, Inspector General for the State Department to request that his office launch a formal investigation into what Chaffetz and Nunes described in the letter as “apparent abuse of power by senior State Department personnel trying to influence classification determinations for emails sent or received by Secretary Clinton.”
The letter also describes what it calls a “shadow government” at the State Department which coordinated review of the emails.
According to the letter, “State Department career employees described a group of senior State Department officials they called the ‘shadow government’ that coordinated the review of Clinton emails.” The letter says this group included Kennedy as well as two attorneys from the State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs.
“We request that you investigate the conduct of Under Secretary Kennedy, as well as the nature and activities of the ‘shadow government’ that may have inappropriately influenced the review of Secretary Clinton’s emails,” wrote Chaffetz and Nunes in their letter.