A top Republican senator is demanding to know Clinton lawyer David E. Kendall’s security clearance level and what other precautions he took after it became clear he had classified information from former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in his possession for months.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Mr. Kendall had classified information since at least May, and possibly as far back as December, but was only issued a safe by the State Department in July. And it’s questionable whether even that was an acceptable level of security for information that’s now been deemed top secret, the Iowa Republican said.
“Many intelligence community personnel, uniformed personnel and the American people may be at risk when classified material is not properly secured,” the senator wrote in his letter to Mr. Kendall, dated Friday. “Accordingly, it is very important that the Judiciary Committee fully understand the events that have transpired.”
Mr. Kendall’s office said he is out of the country. A message left with another law firm employee to whom calls were referred was not immediately returned Monday afternoon.
The lawyer reportedly had clearance at some point because of his work representing former CIA Director David Petraeus.
Mr. Grassley questioned whether that was still active and what level it was, and whether Mr. Kendall’s associates at the law firm had clearance while they were in possession of a flash drive containing electronic copies of Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
Mrs. Clinton returned about 30,000 email messages to the State Department in December, or nearly two years after she left office. She printed them and delivered them in paper form, leaving the department to re-digitize them and process them.
But the files were available in electronic form on the flash drive kept at Mr. Kendall’s office, he has confirmed in court documents. He turned that flash drive over to the Justice Department earlier this month as the FBI began a probe into the storage of the emails.