Transparency. I don’t think they know what it means.
The House Oversight Committee recently received classified documents and notes from the FBI’s untaped interview with Hillary Clinton in order to understand why Director James Comey didn’t recommend charges against her. The FBI said it wants to remain as transparent as possible, but Chairman Jason Chaffetz said he has a few problems with the documents, especially since many are heavily redacted:
“Hillary Clinton is out there saying there’s not very much sensitive information in there, that she didn’t trade in sensitive classified information. It’s so sensitive and so classified that even I as the chairman of the Oversight Committee don’t have the high level of clearance to see what’s in those materials,” Chaffetz said. “I think the documents are overly classified. We’re going to call on the FBI this week to give us a version where there’s non-classified, the unclassified material and the classified material redacted so that that could be out there in the public. I think that’s the right thing to do.”
He also said the FBI gave him different documents when he asked them for “a second copy of the documents in a classified setting.” When he asked them why, he said the FBI claimed there is “new information:”
“A lot of this that they claim is classified is just flat-out embarrassing. There’s nothing classified about it, it’s just embarrassing. It’s a lot of immature name-calling, stuff like that,” Chaffetz said, while adding that he was not accusing the FBI of protecting Clinton.
As far as what his theory is, Chaffetz responded, “Well here’s the full set of documents and then they give a copy by definition that would be the same, they’re not. You start turning the page and suddenly there’s new documents, new information in there and, so, we’re going back to square one. We’ve only had them for days and, still, the second copy is different than the first copy. Why is that?”
The committee promised they would tightly control the documents since the government has labeled them as secret or classified.
But the redactions and secrecy with the documents contradict Clinton’s claims that she did not mishandle classified and secret information. The delivery “includes an investigative summary from the FBI’s probe of Clinton; reports known as ‘302s’ containing interviews with the Democratic presidential nominee and others; and classified emails found on her private server.” The FBI did confirm that Clinton sent and received 113 classified emails and they categorized over 2,000 as “classified after the fact.”
Yet documents sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) did not have many redactions:
But Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement “it seems that much of the material given to the Senate today, other than copies of the large number of emails on Secretary Clinton’s server containing classified information, is marked ‘unclassified/for official use.’”
“The FBI should make as much of the material available as possible,” Grassley said. “The public’s business ought to be public, with few exceptions. The people’s interest would be served in seeing the documents that are unclassified. The FBI has made public statements in describing its handling of the case, so sharing documents in support of those statements wherever appropriate would make sense. Right now, the public is at a disadvantage and has only part of the story.”
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