The FBI on Tuesday released the search warrant of Anthony Weiner’s laptop showing that investigators were trying to get a look at thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails to see if anyone had hacked in to steal classified information.
The search warrant was filed two days after FBI Director James Comey publicly announced he was reopening the investigation into Clinton’s email server, sending shockwaves throughout the campaign eleven days before the presidential election.
The FBI had seized the laptop during the sexting probe of the disgraced former congressman, but discovered that it also had messages between Clinton and senior aide Huma Abedin.
Via the AP:
When the FBI asked a magistrate judge in New York to issue a search warrant for Weiner’s computer on Oct. 30, an agent spent pages describing concerns it might contain evidence Clinton had mishandled classified information.
The warrant application, made public Tuesday, was filed two days after Comey informed Congress investigators had discovered email correspondence that could be pertinent to his recently closed probe of Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
In the document, the agent wrote that thousands of emails between Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin had been discovered on a laptop used by Weiner, Abedin’s estranged husband.
At the time, investigators had yet to look at the content of those emails, but based on previous work in the case the agent wrote they had reason to suspect they might contain classified material, possibly including top-secret information that could cause “grave damage to national security” if disclosed.
“A complete forensic analysis and review,” the agent added, “will also allow the FBI to determine if there is any evidence of computer intrusions into the subject laptop, and to determine if classified information was accessed by unauthorized users or transferred to any other unauthorized systems.”
A magistrate judge signed off on the search warrant that day.
The FBI hasn’t publicly revealed whether it found any evidence of a hacking attempt.
Director Comey wrote to Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on November 6: “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July.” On July 5, Comey announced that the FBI had found that Clinton did mishandle classified information, was probably hacked and did put national security at risk, but she was just too technologically inept to know any better.
Many Democrats blame the FBI director for derailing Clinton’s campaign, which did seem to go into a tailspin after Comey’s announcement.
“I am appalled,” E. Randol Schoenberg, the attorney who sued to release the FBI’s Clinton warrant, wrote in an email to the NY Daily News. “There was simply nothing in the warrant that would justify a finding of probable cause.”
Schoenberg filed suit in Manhattan Federal Court seeking the search warrant be made public. He’s said that facts in the case “do not make sense at all.”
Former Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon also blasted the FBI. “The unsealed filings regarding Huma’s emails reveal Comey’s intrusion on the election was as utterly unjustified as we suspected at time,” Fallon tweeted.
He called it “salt in the wound to see the FBI rationale was this flimsy.”
Not sure what’s “flimsy” about the FBI wanting to find out if the thousands of emails discovered on Weiner’s non-government laptop contained classified information, or if the computer was hacked. I think that’s called “doing their jobs.”