A letter between the State Department and Hillary Clinton’s legal team could land the agency in trouble.
Obtained by the pro-accountability, pro-transparency of government and politics group Judicial Watch, the letter, sent from Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy to Clinton’s lawyers on June 30, 2015, requested the counsels delete or return any extra copies of an assortment of 25 emails deemed confidential to the State Department.
The document, released on Wednesday, “highlights how the State Department took a casual approach to Hillary Clinton’s violations of law concerning classified information,” President Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch reported.
According to Fitton, “The Obama State Department should have sent the FBI to retrieve and secure this classified information.” While adding, “Does Hillary Clinton still have other classified material she is hiding from the State Department?”
This comes after another letter, released in September 2015, and sent from the same Patrick F. Kennedy to Clinton’s lawyers, requested that they delete any additional copies of emails they had — emails which Congress and others had demanded be preserved. Knowing better, Clinton’s lawyer David Kendall denied the State Department’s request.
Here is part of the letter (note the disclaimer at the bottom of the message):
I am writing in reference to the e-mails on the attached listing (“listed documents”) that are among the approximately 55,000 pages that were identified as potential federal records and produced on behalf of former Secretary Clinton to the Department of State on December 5, 2014.
Please be advised that portions of the listed documents have now been classified as “Confidential” pursuant to Section 1.7(d) of Executive Order 13526 in connection with a review and release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In order to safeguard and protect the classified information, I ask – consistent with my letters to you dated March 23 and June 19, 2015 – that you, Secretary Clinton and others assisting her in responding to congressional and related inquiries coordinate in taking the steps set forth below.
- If there are electronic copies of the listed documents in your possession (other than on the master copies that are being secured at your firm), please delete them. Additionally, once you have done that, please empty your “Deleted Items” folder.
- Place any non-electronic copies of the listed documents that you locate in a brown envelope, seal it, address it to my office and mark the word “CONFIDENTIAL” on the outside of that envelope. Once that is done, please notify us and we will pick up the envelope from your office.
- If any of these documents have been further disseminated, the recipients must also be put on notice about their classification. As described above, electronic copies should be deleted and non-electronic copies should be retrieved and provided to the Department.
Finally, please note that the classification of portions of the listed documents pursuant to Executive Order 13526, Section 1. 7(d), does not in itself indicate that any person previously acted improperly with respect to the document or the information contained therein…
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