- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The State Department said there was “no wrongdoing” in the wake of newly-released FBI files that showed an accuser alleged there was a proposal for additional bureau personnel in exchange for the lowering of classification on Hillary Clinton’s email.

“Pat Kennedy did call the FBI and tried to get a little bit better understanding about why they wanted one particular email classified secret,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day.” “We didn’t see it that way. We didn’t think it needed to be classified, but the FBI held firm to their position.”

“There was no bargain sought by the FBI. There was no bargain rendered,” he said. “This was … an interagency conversation about the classification over one particular email. So there was no wrongdoing here.”

Mr. Kennedy, undersecretary for management at the State Department, offered a “quid pro quo” to let more FBI agents into some countries in exchange for the lowering of classification on Mrs. Clinton’s email, according to an accuser in the FBI’s files.

Mr. Kirby said there was a request for additional slots in Iraq, but that was a separate conversation.

“To try to link them together and say there was some sort of bargain sought is just not accurate,” he said.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said the situation “bears all the signs of a cover-up.”

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign said Mr. Kennedy should resign immediately from the State Department.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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