The FBI is about to sift through 650000 emails it found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop – Business Insider
The FBI will inspect some 650,000 emails found on a laptop
belonging to disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner that may
be relevant to an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night.
The Journal cited sources familiar with the investigation to say
that metadata within the messages suggested that thousands could
have been sent to or from Clinton’s private email server.
The messages were uncovered after investigators seized devices
they suspected Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide
Huma Abedin, of using to exchange sexually explicit texts with
The investigation into Clinton’s private email server was
completed in July, with James Comey, the FBI director,
recommending that no criminal charges be brought against Clinton
for her use of the server while she was secretary of state. But
in a vague letter released Friday to congressional leaders,
Comey announced the discovery of more emails “that appear to be
pertinent” to the Clinton investigation.
The bureau came under fire over the weekend after a
Washington Post report revealed that agents had known about
the emails since early October but chose not to tell Comey about
them until fewer than two weeks before the presidential election.
Developments over the weekend have laid bare internal strife both
within the FBI and between the FBI and the Justice Department in
multiple inquiries involving Clinton.
The Justice Department reportedly asked the FBI not to disclose
the discovery of the emails to Congress so close to the November
8 election, but Comey
wrote to his employees on Friday that he felt “an obligation
to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that
our investigation was completed.”
Some within the FBI have apparently considered Comey to have
overshared various aspects of the Clinton investigation with
lawmakers and the public, stemming back to the unprecedented
press conference the director gave in July to announce that the
FBI would not recommend criminal charges in the case.
Agents were also frustrated with the FBI leadership’s apparent
lack of interest in aggressively investigating the Clinton
Foundation for possible conflicts of interest and financial
crimes, according to The Journal.
The foundation’s controversial donation practices came under
renewed scrutiny last week when WikiLeaks published
a hacked memo titled “Bill Clinton, Inc.” that raised
questions about the blurring of lines between the charity and the
Clintons’ personal finances.
With no solid evidence of criminal wrongdoing, however,
prosecutors within the public-integrity section of the
Justice Department — who are not politically appointed — worried
that they would be perceived as trying to influence the outcome
of the election if they pursued the Clinton Foundation
investigation. As such, they reportedly pressured FBI leadership
to drop the foundation investigation.
Adding to that perception over the weekend was the revelation
that the FBI had not obtained a separate warrant to sift through
the roughly 650,000 Clinton emails found on Weiner’s laptop
before announcing on Friday that the emails existed. Weiner’s
laptop, which he evidently shared with Abedin, was subpoenaed in
late September. The FBI eventually obtained a warrant over the weekend.
Clinton’s email scandal has dogged the Democratic presidential
nominee for more than a year. She first admitted in March 2015 to
exclusively using a private email account to send and receive
work-related emails while she served as secretary of state. The
controversy compelled her to hand over roughly 30,000
work-related emails to the State Department, which have been
released in batches since last year.
But she deleted about 30,000 additional emails from her server
that she said were “personal” in nature before handing it over to
the FBI in August, five months after she gave individual emails
to the State Department.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, seizing on the
issue over the weekend, said during a Sunday rally that the FBI
may have renewed the Clinton investigation because it found some
of those 30,000 deleted emails. He described them as the
potential “mother lode” that could bring down Clinton’s
Reports have indicated, however, that many of Abedin’s emails,
going back years, passed through Clinton’s inbox at some point
and therefore already would have been examined by agents who
investigated her server from August 2015 through July of this
When asked during a congressional hearing in July whether he
would renew the investigation if he “discovered new information
that was both relevant and substantial,” Comey replied that the
FBI “would certainly look at any new and substantial
“The American people deserve to get the full and complete facts
immediately,” she said at a news conference.
It is unclear whether the FBI will complete its investigation of
the newly discovered emails before November 8.