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    9 Jul 2016

    Comey: Clinton gave non-cleared people access to classified information

    Hillary Clinton granted non-cleared people access to classified information, FBI Director James Comey testified Thursday.

    But he could not definitively confirm that those with access, in this particular instance, her attorneys, had actually read the classified material, and a spokesman for Clinton sharply contested the assertion.

    “Did Secretary Clinton's attorneys have the security clearances needed?” Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) asked Comey, who responded, “They did not.”

    Asked whether that concerned him, the FBI director said, “Oh yeah, sure.”

    But Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted, “To be clear, the lawyers who sorted through Clinton's emails had Top Secret-level clearance."

    Clinton’s personal attorney David Kendall said last August that he received Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance from the Justice Department in November 2013 and a Top Secret clearance from State in the year that followed. In the same letter, Kendall said that his law partner, Katherine Turner, received State clearance in September 2014.

    “These State Department security clearances remain active. We obtained them in order to be able to review documents at the Department of State, to assist former Secretary Clinton in preparing to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi,” Kendall wrote in the letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry to say that Kendall's clearance was inadequate. 

    As far as criminal consequences for an attorney “rifling through … Hillary Clinton’s emails without a security clearance,” as Chaffetz characterized it, Comey said those were not in play.

    “But there's a great deal of concern about an un-cleared person not subject to the requirements we talked about in the read-in documents potentially having access,” Comey said. “That's why it's very, very important for us to recover everything we can back from attorneys.”

    Chaffetz pressed, “is there no criminal prosecution of those attorneys?” asking if, for example, they would be disbarred.

    “If they acted with criminal intent or they acted with some malintent,” Comey responded.

    “What you're telling us is, it doesn't matter if they have a security clearance or not, because I may be innocent enough, ‘hey I’m just an attorney, I like the secretary, I’m trying to help Hillary Clinton, I'm not trying to give it to the Chinese or the Russians, I'm just trying to help her,’” Chaffetz said. “ So there's no intent? It doesn't matter if these people have security clearances?

    Comey shot back, “Of course it matters.”

    “But there’s no consequence, director,” Chaffetz repeated. “There’s no consequence.”

    “Well I don’t know what consequence you’d have in mind,” Comey responded.

    “Prosecute ‘em!” Chaffetz exclaimed. 

    Asked whether he knew if Clinton’s attorneys saw classified information, Comey said he did not know the answer.

    Chaffetz was more certain. “It has to be yes, director,” he said. “You came across 110 and they said they went through all of them.”

    Comey referred Chaffetz to his statement Tuesday in which he said Clinton’s attorneys sorted the emails for classified information using headers and search terms.

    “Did Hillary Clinton give non-cleared people access to classified information?” Chaffetz asked.

    “Yes,” Comey said, repeating, “Yes.”

    Chaffetz asked, “What do you think her intent was?”

    “I think that was to get good legal representation and to make the production to the State Department,” Comey responded. “I think it would be a very tall order in that circumstance, if I don't see the evidence to make a case that she was acting with criminal intent in her engagement with her lawyers.”

    Read More:http://www.politico.com/blogs/james-comey-testimony/2016/07/comey-clinton-classified-information-225245
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