Report: FBI's McCabe Sat on Weiner Laptop's Classified Clinton Emails on Eve of 2016 Election
Sources familiar with the upcoming Justice Department inspector general (IG) report on how the FBI handled the investigation into former secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails suggested that former deputy director Andrew McCabe — who was forced to step down Monday — may have delayed the investigation into classified information in emails longtime Clinton adviser Huma Abedin stored on her husband Anthony Weiner's laptop.
Ironically, the FBI's announcement that it was reopening the Clinton investigation a few days before the election — which many Clinton supporters say cost her the election — may have come nearly three weeks later than it should have. McCabe may have intended to hold off until after the election, but ended up being unable to do so.
According to sources, the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, has been focused on why McCabe, as the second-top official at the FBI, appeared to stall for about three weeks after he was asked to examine a batch of Clinton-related emails found on Weiner's laptop. Anonymous sources close to the matter told The Washington Post that McCabe might have intended to stall on this part of the Clinton investigation until after the election.
This news proves particularly damning, as McCabe's wife — who was running for a seat in the Virginia state house — had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from one of Clinton's close allies, then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). Worse, McCabe seems to have changed his mind and acted on the Clinton emails — shortly after The Wall Street Journal reported on these contributions.
Last December, the State Department released hundreds of the emails from Weiner's laptop, and at least four were marked "classified."
The saga began in September 2016, when FBI agents in New York investigated Weiner for an alleged sexting incident with a 15-year-old girl. In that probe, agents discovered that his laptop contained thousands of work emails relating to Weiner's then-wife, Huma Abedin. The New York FBI office alerted national headquarters within days.
Officials told the Post that McCabe was aware of the matter by late September or early October at the latest. The agents on the Weiner case wanted to talk with the agents on the Clinton email investigation to judge the importance of the emails on Weiner's laptop.
Sources agreed that McCabe was involved in these discussions, but accounts differed as to whether or not then-FBI Director James Comey understood the situation in early October. Some sources suggested Comey did not learn about the emails on the Weiner laptop until weeks later.
For a period of at least three weeks, nothing much happened, and sources told the Post that Horowitz has zeroed in on this time lag.