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FBI document spurs new controversy over Hillary Clinton e-mails

The e-mail in question had to do with the September 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of the ambassador and three other Americans

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October 18, 2016: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released some 100 pages relating to its investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during her tenure as Secretary of State.

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Clinton, while acknowledging in hindsight that she made a mistake in bypassing the official communications channels, has insisted she did not knowingly send or receive classified information via the server, located in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, New York, EFE news reported.

One of the documents published on Monday cites an FBI agent saying that the State Department’s top administrative official sought to persuade investigators to retroactively declassify a classified item found in the e-mails.

The agent, whose name was redacted, “indicated he had been contacted by Patrick Kennedy, Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the e-mail’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo’,” the FBI document stated.

“In exchange for marking the e-mail unclassified, State would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more agents in countries where they are presently forbidden,” the document said.

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The e-mail in question had to do with the September 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of the ambassador and three other Americans.

There was “no quid pro quo”, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Monday when asked about the document during his daily session with reporters.

Toner added that disagreement among agencies about the proper classification of documents is common.

The FBI likewise denied any notion of a quid pro quo.

Clinton’s opponent, Republican Donald Trump, was not convinced by the assurances from the State Department and the FBI, reacting to the Kennedy document with a one-word tweet: “Unbelievable”.

A Trump ally, retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn, said the new documents “provide undeniable proof that Clinton colluded with the FBI, Department of Justice and State Department to cover up criminal activity at the highest levels.”

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“If any person had done a fraction of what she (Clinton) has done with our sensitive information, they would be criminally charged and those in our military would be court-martialed,” the former head of the Defence Intelligence Agency said in a statement. (IANS)

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There’s Evidence to Open Case Against Donald Trump: Indian-American Attorney Preet Bharara

Mr Bharara said in the ABC News interview that watching how Mr Comey's interactions with Mr Trump and how his firing played out "felt a little bit like deja vu".

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The Department of Justice has obtained search warrants; one of which was issued for the DisruptJ20 Facebook page, which organized protests upon President Trump's inauguration (VOA).
  • The former US attorney for the Southern District of New York made the remarks in an ABC news interview on Sunday night
  • Mr Bharara was in office until March when he and 45 other US attorneys remaining as holdovers from the former President Barack Obama’s administration were asked to step down
  • The Indian-American said Mr Trump, when he was still the president-elect, made a series of “unusual phone calls” to him

New York, June 12, 2017: Indian-American prosecutor Preet Bharara who was fired by Donald Trump’s administration in March, has said that said there were “absolute evidence” to begin a case for obstruction of justice against the President, the media reported. The former US attorney for the Southern District of New York made the remarks in an ABC news interview on Sunday night when asked whether he believed that there was enough evidence for a case claiming that Trump tried to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe into former national security adviser, Michael Flynn’s ties with Russian officials.

“There is absolutely evidence to begin a case for obstruction of justice by Trump,” Mr Bharara said in his first television interview since being fired by Trump in March.

“No one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction… there’s no basis to say there’s no obstruction.”

ALSO READ: Can US President Donald Trump be Indicted for Obstruction of Justice?

Mr Bharara was in office until March when he and 45 other US attorneys remaining as holdovers from the former President Barack Obama’s administration were asked to step down.

Mr Bharara, a friend and former colleague of James Comey — the FBI director fired by Trump in May — attended the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 8 when Mr Comey testified about conversations he had with the President about the agency’s overall Russia investigation and its probe into Flynn.

Mr Bharara said in the ABC News interview that watching how Mr Comey’s interactions with Mr Trump and how his firing played out “felt a little bit like deja vu”.

The Indian-American said Mr Trump, when he was still the president-elect, made a series of “unusual phone calls” to him.

“In reporting the phone call to the chief of staff to the attorney general I said, it appeared to be that he was trying to cultivate some kind of relationship,” Mr Bharara said.

“It’s a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation without the attorney general, without warning between the president and me or any United States attorney who has been asked to investigate various things and is in a position hypothetically to investigate business interests and associates of the President.”

After Trump took office, Mr Bharara refused to take one of Mr Trump’s calls.

“The call came in. I got a message. We deliberated over it, thought it was inappropriate to return the call. And 22 hours later I was asked to resign along with 45 other people,” Mr Bharara said.

“To this day I have no idea why I was fired,” Mr Bharara added. (IANS)