Tuesday, October 18, 2016

FBI official at center of alleged 'quid pro quo' deal: 'There was no collusion'

The previously unnamed FBI official who allegedly considered a "quid pro quo" deal with the State Department during its investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server denied colluding with Clinton aides. 

“Listen, there was no collusion, there was absolutely no collusion,” Brian McCauley said in an interview with the Washington Post Tuesday. “That’s illegal. Something that was underhanded, illegal, I would not do it. No one in the FBI would do it. It’s a matter of integrity.”

Newly released FBI documents showed that State Department official Patrick Kennedy pressed FBI officials to declassify one of Clinton's emails concerning Benghazi. In its notes from the investigation and interviews with staff, the FBI said that McCauley told investigators he would “look into the email matter if Kennedy would provide authority concerning the FBI’s request to increase its personnel in Iraq.” 

But one of McCauley's colleagues characterized the conversation as a "quid pro quo." 

McCauley, the Post reported, had been trying in vain to get someone from State to allocate more FBI posts in Iraq. He said that when Kennedy called him to ask about the email, he repeated the request.

“He said, ‘Brian. Pat Kennedy. I need a favor,’” McCauley told the Post. “I said, ‘Good, I need a favor. I need our people back in Baghdad.”

But McCauley said they talked about exchanging favors before he knew what Kennedy was asking, and Kennedy's effort to declassify the email was ultimately rejected.

“He had a request. I found out what the request was for. I absolutely said emphatically I would not support it,” McCauley said. “I said, ‘Absolutely not, I can’t help you,’ and he took that, and it was fine."

According to a statement from the State Department, Kennedy said that the request was made in order “to better understand a proposal the FBI had made to upgrade one of former Secretary Clinton’s emails prior to its public release.”

McCauley's request for two extra FBI officials in Baghdad was said to be “an entirely separate matter,” according to the statement.

“There was no quid pro quo, nor was there any bargaining. At no point in our conversation was I under the impression we were bargaining,” said Kennedy.

“I have served as a member of the Foreign Service for some 40 years — serving both Democratic and Republican administrations,” he added. “My sole aim was to ensure that we were responsive to our legal obligations under FOIA.”

Full story http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/301650-fbi-official-at-the-center-of-alleged-collusion-denies-quid-pro

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