FBI files reveal the existence of missing boxes containing Hillary Clinton’s emails as well as allegations of evidence tampering in the Clinton email scandal.
Two bankers boxes containing printouts of Clinton’s emails have gone missing, Fox News reported. Initially there were 14 boxes at an office used by Clinton and her associates in northwest Washington, D.C. Two were missing when State Department employees went to take custody of the boxes.
The details about the boxes are contained in five pages of the FBI file–with a staggering 111 redactions–that summarize the statements of a State Department witness who worked in the "Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS)." The employee told the FBI that, "Initially, IPS officials were told there were 14 bankers boxes of former Secretary of State Hillary CLINTON’s emails at CLINTON’s Friendship Heights office." Friendship Heights is a neighborhood that straddles the Northwest neighborhood of the District of Columbia and Maryland.
The State Department witness further explained to the FBI that "on or about December 5, 2014, IPS personnel picked up only 12 bankers boxes of CLINTON’s emails from Williams & Connolly."
The officials were not sure if the boxes "were consolidated or what could have happened to the two other boxes.
A senior State Department official, Patrick Kennedy, reportedly told employees under his charge to change markings on the emails so that the public and Congress would not know they were redacted because they contained classified information, Fox News reported.
In the same Aug. 18, 2015, interview, on page 42, the State Department witness also told the FBI there was a deliberate effort to change sensitive Clinton emails bearing the "B(1)" code–used in the Freedom of Information Act review process to identify classified information–to the category of "B-5." That category covers Executive Branch deliberations, "interagency or intra-agency communications including attorney client privileges," and makes material exempt from public release.
Over five pages of the single-spaced summary notes, the witness, whose name is redacted, alleges Clinton’s team which included Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy played classification games to confuse and obfuscate the formal FOIA review process.
"(Redacted) believed there was interference with the formal FOIA review process. Specifically, STATE’s Near East Affairs Bureau upgraded several of CLINTON’s emails to a classified level with a B(1) release exemption. (Redacted) along with (redacted) attorney, Office of Legal Counsel called STATE's Near East Affairs Bureau and told them they could use a B(5) exemption on an upgraded email to protect it instead of the B(1) exemption."
In early May 2015, the witness reported, "… KENNEDY held a closed-door meeting with (redacted) and (redacted) DOJ’s Office of Information Programs where KENNEDY pointedly asked (redacted) to change the FBI’s classification determination regarding one of CLINTON’s emails, which the FBI considered classified. The email was related to FBI counter-terrorism operations."
Many of the emails sent through Clinton's private server were marked classified retroactively, but FBI Director James Comey still said that Clinton was "extremely careless" in her handling of classified information as secretary of state.