WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) – A judge on Monday ordered the warrant obtained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to review emails on Hillary Clinton assistant Huma Abedin’s laptop in late October be unsealed and released to the public.
U.S. District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel issued an order requiring the warrant be filed by 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, unless an appeal is filed before then that allows the Department of Justice to delay the filing.
In early October, weeks after the FBI announced they would not pursue charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or anyone who works for her, agents found emails on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton surrogate Huma Abedin.
While agents had a warrant to search anything connected to Weiner, they needed a new one to look at email that might relate to the Clinton investigation. After obtaining the warrant, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress that more emails, which had not been seen by agents before, had been discovered on a laptop two steps removed from Clinton.
“The judicial determination whether to grant a search warrant, and thus allow the government to enter and search private property, directly affects individuals’ substantive rights,” Castel, an appointee of President George W. Bush, wrote in his decision. “Documents that a court relies on in making this determination, such as affidavits, directly affect the court’s adjudication of those rights… The common law presumption of access to the search warrant and related materials sought by this applicant is thus entitled to great weight.”
Initially the Department of Justice opposed unsealing the documents because of the potential for privacy violations or other fallout, however Castel suggested the department present him with a redacted version they propose and he will decide what is and is not acceptable.