Judicial Watch: FBI Documents Detail Weiner Laptop / Clinton Email Find Just Before the 2016 Election
OCTOBER 17, 2018
‘A significant number of these 340,000 emails appeared to be between Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton …’
(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch announced today that it has received 45 pages of FBI documents that reveal a “significant number” of 340,000 emails on the laptop of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner were between the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin.
Judicial Watch obtained the documents as the result of a September 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Justice Department did not act on two FOIA requests for Anthony Weiner laptop investigation documents, including any Clinton emails found on the laptop (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No.1:18-cv-02105)).
The new documents include an October 3, 2016, email to a FBI official in New York that reads:
Just putting this on the record because of the optics of this case.
During the course of my review of a computer seized from Anthony Weiner, a seizure and search of which was authorized by an SDNY [Southern District of New York] Search Warrant, I encountered approximately/at least 340,000 emails stored on the computer. The large number of emails appears to be a result of a mail client program installed on that computer (such as Outlook) that pulled emails from servers belonging to both Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin.
A significant number of these 340,000 emails appeared to be between Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton (the latter who appears to have used a number of different email addresses). This is based simply a review of the header information. I did not review content of these emails, as the warrant only authorized me to view items that would give me probable cause to believe that CP [child pornography] evidence may reside therein.
SDNY is comfortable with me continuing my review as I have, which is to NOT read any emails to/from Anthony Weiner to which his wife, or a possible attorney is a party. Even if there is a third party on those emails, I will not review their content out of an abundance of caution. Obviously, I will not review any emails to which Anthony Weiner is not a party (such as emails between Ms. Abedin and Mrs. Clinton). I just wanted to formally bring this to your attention due to the pending election, the ongoing Congressional investigation into the FBI’s own investigation into Ms. Clinton’s email activities, etc.
The documents also include a September 29, 2016, FBI report indicating that after agents served unidentified persons with a grand jury subpoena on September 22, “Discussions immediately ensued between the US Attorneys’ Offices in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and [redacted], as well as the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.”
RealClear Investigations’ reporter Paul Sperry reported that only 3,077 of the emails found on the Weiner laptop “were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information. Three FBI officials completed that work in a single 12-hour spurt the day before Comey again cleared Clinton of criminal charges.”
In a related case, Judicial Watch obtained an email revealing that fired FBI official Peter Strzok created the initial draft of the October 2016 letter then-FBI director James Comey sent to Congress notifying lawmakers of the discovery of Hillary Clinton emails on Weiner’s laptop.
The notification to Congress, according the DOJ IG, came a full month after the emails were discovered by the FBI on Weiner’s laptop. The delay, the IG suggests, may have been the result of anti-Trump bias by FBI official Peter Strzok and others:
In September 2016, the FBI’s New York Field Office (NYO) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) began investigating former Congressman Anthony Weiner for his online relationship with a minor. A federal search warrant was obtained on September 26, 2016, for Weiner’s iPhone, iPad, and laptop computer. The FBI obtained these devices the same day. The search warrant authorized the government to search for evidence relating to the following crimes: transmitting obscene material to a minor, sexual exploitation of children, and activities related to child pornography.
The Weiner case agent told the OIG that he began processing Weiner’s devices on September 26, and that he noticed “within hours” that there were “over 300,000 emails on the laptop.”
In assessing the decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop, we were particularly concerned about text messages sent by Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions they made were impacted by bias or improper considerations.
After October 4, we found no evidence that anyone associated with the Midyear investigation, including the entire leadership team at FBI Headquarters, took any action on the Weiner laptop issue until the week of October 24, and then did so only after SDNY raised concerns about the lack of action.
“These new documents show the FBI knowingly sat on the Clinton emails for over a month before notifying Congress,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And even worse, we now know the FBI didn’t even bother to look at the emails, and then again only partially, for weeks. The Clinton email scandal needs to be reviewed again and immediately by the Justice Department.”