A “substantial amount” of material that the FBI delivered to Congress about the Hillary Clinton email investigation — including a summary of agents’ interview with top aide Huma Abedin — appears to be unclassified, which means it could possibly be released to the public.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles E. Grassley is calling for Senate officials to separate the classified from the unclassified documents in order to turn over as much information to the public as possible.
Grassley (R-Iowa) said Wednesday that many of the FBI documents appear to be unclassified or are specifically marked as such. He requested that the director of the Office of Senate Security identify and separate the unclassified material so that it might ultimately be released.
“If it isn’t classified, it ought to be public,” Grassley said in an interview.
It is unclear how soon that might happen. Grassley said it might take a significant amount of time to separate classified from unclassified material.
Among the materials the FBI turned over to lawmakers on Tuesday were a 32-page summary of its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state; interview summaries — known as “302s” — with Clinton, Abedin and others; and copies of classified emails that were recovered from the server, according to federal law enforcement officials and Grassley.
Right now, the materials are only able to be reviewed by members of Congress in what’s known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), and the FBI issued a statement saying they were being provided with the expectation such material would “not be disseminated or disclosed without FBI concurrence.”
The public release of many of the documents in the FBI’s probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server would be significant, offering prospective voters an even more thorough look into the criminal investigation that has long dogged the Democratic presidential nominee. While FBI Director James B. Comey has said publicly his investigators concluded neither Clinton nor her aides should face criminal charges because of the server, he has also called her conduct “extremely careless” and suggested those who acted as she did might face severe professional consequences.
The release of more details about the bureau’s probe would likely provide details that Clinton’s opponents could use as political fodder, even though they ultimately led the FBI to conclude she did not intend to mishandle classified information, nor was she criminally negligent.
In a letter to the director of the Office of Senate Security Wednesday, Grassley wrote that the FBI’s interview summaries of agents’ conversations with Abedin and several other witnesses “appear to be entirely unclassified, as there are no header or footer markings on each page and every paragraph is portion marked as UNCLASSIFIED.” Grassley wrote that of the 32 pages in the FBI’s “Letterhead Memorandum” summarizing the investigation, fewer than a dozen and a half paragraphs were marked “SECRET,” and the rest were marked “UNCLASSIFIED/FOUO,” or for official use only.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: The Washington Post, Matt Zapotosky