If you thought Congress was done probing Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, of Utah, has some news for you.
The Republican chair of the House Oversight committee told Fox News that new evidence turned over by the FBI pointed to a “quid pro quo” arrangement between the FBI and the State Department and that was grounds for at least “four new hearings” after Congress comes back from recess.
“This is a flashing red light of potential criminality,” Chaffetz said.
The allegations emerge after the FBI gave lawmakers a third tranche of documents related to their investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal email server during her time as secretary of state. Those documents have not been made public, but some lawmakers have been given access and Chaffetz said he was briefed on the matter.
According to Fox News, State Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy may have asked an FBI official to change the classification of an email in exchange for space at foreign postings for extra FBI agents.
In a statement, the FBI tells a different story. They say all of this happened before the FBI started investigating Clinton. The agency says a State Department official asked the FBI to give an email a second look. The official wanted the FBI to make sure it was supposed to be classified and if it wasn’t, the State Department official wanted to know whether the email could still be protected from public disclosure.
The FBI said that one of its agents, who was not involved in the Clinton investigation, had been trying to get in touch with the State Department official on another matter, so he took the opportunity to talk to him.
“The FBI official asked the State Department official if they would address a pending, unaddressed FBI request for space for additional FBI employees assigned abroad,” the FBI said in a statement.
After the conversation, the FBI decided that the email should remain classified at the Secret level.
“The classification of the email was not changed, and it remains classified today,” the FBI said. “Although there was never a quid pro quo, these allegations were nonetheless referred to the appropriate officials for review.”
The third batch of emails could be made public soon. According to Fox, they include interviews with State Department officials about the possibility of a quid-pro-quo arrangement.