Federal Bureau of Investigation releases partially redacted copy of Anthony Weiner search warrant
- Author: Phil Peters Dec 21, 2016,
Dec 21, 2016, 0:58
The FBI told a federal judge that it needed to search a computer to resume its investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server because agents had found correspondence on the device between Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin but they did not know what was being discussed, according to newly unsealed court documents.
A fresh batch of Clinton emails were discovered on the computer in connection to an email account of her longtime aide and Weiner's estranged wife, Huma Abedin.
The 21 pages detail the probable cause the FBI laid out for the new warrants in searching Weiner's Dell Inspiron laptop and its 1-terabyte hard drive, which agents apparently believed could contain digital evidence related to the Clinton investigation.
"There is also probable cause to believe that the correspondence between them located on the subject laptop contains classified information which was produced by and is owned by the USA government", reads the heavily redacted affidavit for the warrant.
He believes FBI Director James Comey's letter informing Congress of his decision to investigate the laptop for new information in the FBI's investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server markedly impacted the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
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Two days before the election, Comey said that the new investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing, but gleeful Republicans and a hungry news media had given the new developments wall-to-wall treatment. Watchers say this development damaged the Clinton campaign as it was brought to the fore, 11 days before the election that Mr. Trump eventually won. According to the Washington Post, it mostly relies on evidence the Federal Bureau of Investigation already had-evidence the Federal Bureau of Investigation had decided wasn't enough to bring charges against Clinton or keep the case open.
Meanwhile Mr. Comey's investigation was used by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who falsely claimed that Ms.Clinton was guilty of "criminal" activity. The warrant application released today also sets forth no basis whatsoever to support a belief that Secretary Clinton ever permitted any information relating to the national defense to actually be lost, stolen, abstacted, or destroyed, though it cites 18 U.S.C. 793 (f) which concerns only such loss, theft, or destruction. The judge acted after Los Angeles-based attorney E. Randol Schoenberg filed a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit in NY to make the search warrant public.
In the filing, though, the FBI said it treated the development as it would in any other investigation.
The warrant was unsealed after E. Random Schoenberg sued to unseal the search warrant. Some Republicans seized on Comey's letter mischaracterizing it as a "reopening" of the case.
The case is In re Search Warrant, 16-mc-00464, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). A judge is required to find probable cause that a crime may have been committed before issuing a warrant.