Grassley just wants the facts

Chuck Grassley -- HearingFrom Press Release


U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is continuing his efforts to learn more about the process that allowed top secret classified information to be sent on unsecure communication lines and the subsequent possession of this classified material on improperly secured storage devices.

Asking additional questions, Grassley wrote in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, “The transmission of classified material to an individual unauthorized to possess it is a serious national security risk.  Moreover, if a person unauthorized to maintain custody of classified materials does in fact maintain custody, it raises legitimate questions as to whether the information was properly secured from foreign governments and other entities.”

Grassley’s questions come on the heels of a response from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal attorney, David Kendall, to questions regarding Kendall’s security clearance during the time he was in possession of thumb drives containing Clinton’s State Department emails.  According to the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community, a small sample of the emails contained top secret/sensitive compartmented information when generated.

Kendall’s response to Grassley notes that he and his law partner, Katherine Turner, obtained top secret clearance from the State Department in November 2014 and December 2014, respectively.  In December 2014, Kendall and other unnamed attorneys sent Clinton’s emails to the State Department.   Kendall notes that the State Department clearances were obtained, “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.”  (emphasis added).  Yet, his office retained electronic copies of the emails, rather than turning over all copies to the State Department.  On August 11, 2015, the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community notified congressional offices that two of the four emails contained information classified up to Top Secret/SCI/TK/NOFORN when generated.  According to Kendall, neither he nor Turner had a clearance issued at that level from the State Department. Consistent with the understanding that Kendall and Turner’s classification was not sufficient, the FBI is now in custody of all thumb drives previously in their possession as well as the non-government server Clinton used for email during her tenure at the State Department. 

Grassley’s letter to Kerry is pasted below and can be found here.  The letter to Kendall can be found here and the response from Kendall can be found here.