Grassley presses Kerry for details on Clinton email, attorney
© Lauren Schneiderman
 
"The transmission of classified material to an individual unauthorized to possess it is a serious national security risk," Grassley wrote in the letter to Kerry, released on Tuesday, raising concerns about Kendall's security clearance.
 
"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."
 
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In response to a letter Grassley sent earlier this month, Kendall said he received top secret clearance from the State Department in November, 2014, and that his law partner Katherine Turner received the same clearance in December. 
 
"We obtained them 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," Kendall wrote. "Our obtaining these clearances was unrelated to the 30,490 emails provided to the State Department on December 5, 2014; none of these emails were classified." 
 
Pointing to Kendall's letter, as well as a separate letter sent to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Grassley suggested that neither Kendall nor Turner had a high enough level of clearance, saying they were not "at a sufficient level to be a custodian of TS [top secret]/SCI [sensitive compartmented information] material. Thus, it appears Secretary Clinton sent TS/SCI material to unauthorized persons. 
 
"Given the importance of securing and protecting classified information, especially TS/SCI material, it is imperative to confirm when, how, and why the Department issued the security clearances in connection with the representation of Secretary Clinton and what steps the Department has taken to secure the classified material contained within the emails," Grassley added in the letter to Kerry. 
 
The senator wants Kerry to explain why the department gave Kendall and Turner security clearances, what levels they received and when they were issued. 
 
He also wants to know whether Kendall and Turner reached out about getting the clearances or if the State Department contacted them, when that happened, and what department officials were involved. 
 
Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, also wants to know if a "questionnaire for national security positions" was part of lawyers' process for obtaining clearances, whether they received background investigations including interviews by State Department investigators, or whether they were given clearances based on prior investigations, and, if so, when those investigations took place. 
 
The Iowa Republican also wants clarification on when Clinton transferred emails to Kendall and Turner, when the State Department installed a safe in their law firm and if it was adequate for housing TS/SCI-level material. 
 
Similar to his letter sent to Kendall, Grassley wants Kerry to explain if Kendall, Turner or Clinton currently has a security clearance, and if Clinton's clearance has been revoked since the FBI was notified that classified information had potentially been mishandled.