Paul Ryan asks James Clapper to deny Hillary Clinton access to classified information

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks at a press conference at the Republican National Committee in Capitol Hill, Washington, U.S., July 6, 2016.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Speaker Paul Ryan is asking for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to block Hillary Clinton from accessing classified information for the rest of her White House run.

"I am writing to formally request that you refrain from providing any classified information former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the duration of her candidacy for president," he said in a letter to Clapper on Wednesday.

The Wisconsin Republican said that he decided to make the request after FBI Director James Comey revealed Tuesday that Clinton had sent and received emails containing classified information through her private email servers during her four years leading the State Department.

"As a former vice presidential nominee, I am keenly aware that Secretary Clinton is set to begin receiving classified intelligence briefings after the Democratic National Convention," Ryan said. "Given the FBI's findings, denying Secretary Clinton access to classified information certainly constitutes appropriate sanctions."

Ryan said there is "no legal requirement" for Clapper to provide Clinton with classified information as a presidential candidate and said it would send the "wrong signal" to people who safeguard the nation's secrets if he decides to provide it.

If Clapper rejects the request, Ryan asked him to provide his "rationale" for granting Clinton classified information.

Ryan's request comes as Comey testifies on Clinton's use of private email servers before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday morning.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Wednesday that the Justice Department had completed its review of the Clinton email server case and it is not pursuing any charges, which was Comey's recommendation.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.