A search warrant has been issued for the FBI to scrutinize newly found emails sent through former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server, a federal law enforcement official said Sunday.
The emails in question, which have been reported to number in the tens to hundreds of thousands, were found on the personal computer of former Congressman and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, who is under a separate FBI investigation in New York and North Carolina for sending sexually inappropriate text messages to a 15-year-old female.
A second anonymous federal official said the agency knew of the new emails since early October, but reports over the weekend suggested the Justice Department had asked the FBI not to inform Congress about their existence, being so close to Election Day. An internal memo from Director James Comey on Friday to agency personnel said that he believed he was obligated to tell the public about the reinvigorated investigation of Secretary Clinton after choosing not to bring charges in July.
An anonymous Justice Department employee with knowledge of the investigation told AP that it was “news to (Abedin)” that “Clintonmail.com” emails had been in Weiner’s possession.
In sworn testimony to Judicial Watch lawyers in June, Abedin, who helped setup Clinton’s server, said she turned over all “devices and paper” that contained State Department emails, including “two laptops, a Blackberry, and some files that I found in my apartment.”
Abedin also testified under oath that she never deleted any of her old emails and had given her lawyers her Clinton email login credentials so they could see “all the emails that were on that account”.
While the Justice Department disagreed with Director Comey’s decision to write congressional committee members on Friday, the department cooperated with the FBI in petitioning for a warrant. In order to obtain the legal authority to search Clinton’s documents, Justice’s lawyers had to argue that their is reasonable cause to believe that they show evidence that the law was broken.
In September, Comey told Republican House Judiciary members that the FBI’s decision not to charge Clinton with federal crimes in July, “was not a close call.”
A through review of Clinton’s recently recovered emails will likely take over a month to complete, as the FBI and Justice Department must work in concert with other federal agencies to determine if the content includes any classified information.
[AP] [Politico] [The Daily Beast] [Photo courtesy rickwells.us]