New Clinton Emails: The Latest on the FBI’s Reopened Investigation

Here's the latest on FBI Director James Comey's unprecedented October surprise.

FBI Director James Comey.

By Liberty McArtor Published on October 31, 2016

It was around midday last Friday when FBI Director James Comey unveiled the October surprise no one expected — a letter to Congress announcing that the FBI was reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server during her time as secretary of state. The FBI discovered more relevant emails — over 650,000 — during an investigation that was “unrelated.”

Later that afternoon, officials said the “unrelated” investigation was of Anthony Weiner — former congressman, estranged husband to longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and currently undergoing investigation for allegedly sexting a 15-year-old girl. They found the new emails on his laptop.

The bombshell ignited bipartisan backlash against Comey, whom Democrats formerly praised for recommending no criminal charges against Clinton in July. It also revealed rifts between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ), sparking speculation about Comey’s motivations and whether his letter would ultimately harm Clinton’s bid for the White House (a recent poll shows Trump and Clinton now virtually tied.)

Here’s the latest.

FBI Obtains Warrant to Search Newly Discovered Emails

The Wall Street Journal reported that the new emails were discovered weeks ago at the beginning of October while FBI investigators searched Weiner’s device for child pornography. Investigators couldn’t search the emails further without a warrant, since their current warrant only extended to materials relevant to the Weiner investigation. When it became clear that the emails were from Abedin’s accounts and sent to or from Clinton’s private server, investigators were given permission to dig deeper.

But last week, sources told the Journal,  when officials asked for an update on the “Weiner laptop,”  they “realized that no one had acted to obtain a warrant.” Investigators then allegedly confirmed that the emails could be relevant to the Clinton investigation and updated Comey, who sent the controversial letter to Congress on Friday.

Comey stated in the letter that investigators would be searching the new emails for classified information, though he did not know yet whether the emails contained anything “significant” (they could be duplicates of emails already reviewed by the FBI).

The FBI officially obtained a warrant to search the newly discovered emails late Sunday.

Comey Draws Criticism from Democrats and Some Republicans

From Clinton herself to GOP vice presidential pick Mike Pence, people across the aisle are calling on the FBI to release more information immediately.

On Sunday, a bipartisan group of nearly 100 Justice Department officials and former federal prosecutors wrote an open letter calling Comey’s judgment into question, stating that his announcement just 11 days before Election Day undermined the nonpartisanship that makes the U.S. justice system “exceptional throughout the world.”

The letter writers note that Comey’s decision — while not a breach of law — defies “prevailing Department policy.”

The letter ended with a call for more information:

 [W]e believe the American people deserve all the facts, and fairness dictates releasing information that provides a full and complete picture regarding the material at issue.

Clinton’s Fault?

Since Friday, Abedin — who has worked closely with Clinton since she was 19 — and her estranged husband have come under scrutiny, with commentators wondering what role, if any, Abedin will have if Clinton is elected.

Others have noted that earlier this year, Abedin swore under oath that all her devices containing documents relevant to the FBI’s investigation of Clinton had been turned over — a claim that now seems questionable. Abedin now claims she does not know how her emails got on Weiner’s laptop.

While some have postulated how awkward it must be for Abedin to be involved in a political scandal so potentially detrimental to Clinton’s campaign given their longtime working relationship, others have asserted that the responsibility falls on none other than Clinton herself.

“The reason they’re in this fix is because Hillary Clinton inexplicably chose to have a private email server as secretary of state,” Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today, told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday. She also said Bill Clinton’s private meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch earlier this year has proved problematic.

“The reason they’re in this fix is because Hillary Clinton inexplicably chose to have a private email server as secretary of state.”

The Clintons and Lynch were criticized in June after Mr. Clinton and Lynch met on Lynch’s plane in Phoenix. Though Lynch claimed their conversation consisted of “grandchildren” and other “social” topics, it looked suspicious when the House Benghazi Committee’s report on the 2012 attack was released just days later. The FBI’s initial investigation into Clinton’s private email server was also ongoing at the time.

Lynch later admitted that the meeting had appeared questionable and recused herself from that investigation, saying that she would follow Comey’s recommendations regarding the outcome. Comey announced in early July that the FBI recommended the DOJ bring no criminal charges against Clinton.

Page said on Sunday that Mr. Clinton’s meeting with Lynch “made it impossible” for Lynch to stop Comey from going public with the reopening of the investigation, even though “we know from news reports that she was opposed.”

FBI vs. DOJ

Lynch wasn’t the only one who advised against Comey’s actions. According to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal, the DOJ and the FBI have long been at odds when it comes to investigating the Clintons.

Before Comey alerted Congress of the reopened investigation, senior DOJ officials warned that it would “violate policies against overt actions that could affect an election,” the Journal reported Sunday, adding that DOJ officials previously clashed with Comey over his public statements regarding the FBI’s Clinton investigation.

Sources also told the Journal that there was conflict between the DOJ and the FBI regarding how to investigate the Clinton Foundation.

Is Comey Getting Political ?

Thought some of have accused Comey of playing politics, in a press conference on Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest claimed that President Barack Obama considers Comey to be a man of “integrity” and “doesn’t believe that he’s secretly strategizing to benefit one candidate or one political party.”

Why did Comey make the renewed investigation public? John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary Magazine hypothesizes that the alleged disagreements between the DOJ and the FBI could have contributed to Comey’s decision. Perhaps, Podhoretz speculates, Comey wanted to cover all his bases lest he be “accused of complicity in a cover-up by the Republicans in Congress,” should the newly-discovered emails prove truly incriminating for Clinton.

Whatever Comey’s intentions, and regardless of whether the new emails contain anything “significant,” the ramifications of Comey’s letter to Congress are proving significant. With only eight days to go until November 8, the reopened investigation of the Democratic presidential nominee is dominating election coverage.

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  • Hmmm…

    “Sources close to the” FBI were saying even last week or so that both retired and current FBI agents are furious over the handling of the Clinton investigation, which ended last March. That was especially true of those who worked on the investigation. By all expert accounts, it amounted to a sham investigation, failing many FBI and law enforcement standards, both at the time of the investigation and ongoing. That is, it would be proper to convene a grand jury on the type of allegations, subpoenas and warrants would have been issued, no evidence would have been destroyed as was reported with some of the devices in the FBI custody, immunities would not have been passed out like candy to everyone who could provide information, the actual interview of the subject, Mrs. Clinton, would have been recorded, follow up questions would have been asked and points pursued, likely the director or another high ranking official would have been there and more. It was reported that the agents were near mutiny, with leaking of information likely. Agents did not even return greeting to him as he passed them in the halls. One person even said that Mr. Comey’s wife was mad at him about the handling of the case. I think the politics of the matter are the least of it to Mr. Comey with all of these problems.

    • Nels

      You know that this was briefed all the way up to the White House before any action was taken – unless the orders came down from the White House!

      0bammy hates the Clintons, and now that it is apparent that she cannot win, it makes sense for him to make a deal with Trump. He probably offered that the FBI would kneecap her too late for her to recover, and 0bammy gets a pardon from the Trump administration. Since it is obvious that she cannot win, it makes less sense for Trump to go along with that, except that victory can never be too sure.

      • Hmmm…

        Wow. That’s quite a stew! Again, it’s an amazing time. I’m concerned that Trump stay solid, shedding his old frame of reference that went with cutthroat business dealings. He’s vulnerable to his own aberrant instincts still, unfortunately, as well as the machinations about. It’s so good to have a God who cares and know that he is working, and utilizing our prayers for those in valleys of decision amidst all of this.

  • faithntrust

    I will reflect that prayers are being answered. PTL. Benghazi, private server, & Clinton Foundation are going to keep raising their ugly heads in the Clinton’s camp.

    • Hmmm…

      It is amazing.

  • Dean Bruckner

    “On Sunday, a bipartisan group of nearly 100 Justice Department officials and former federal prosecutors wrote an open letter calling Comey’s judgment into question, stating that his announcement just 11 days before Election Day undermined the nonpartisanship that makes the U.S. justice system “exceptional throughout the world.””

    That’s the funniest, and stupidest, thing I’ve read all month! Are you kidding?! The DOJ is banana-republic crooked! It’s Louisiana Democratic Party crooked! It’s Clinton crooked!

    Regarding supposed bipartisanship, which “Republicans” were part of the “backlash?” What are there names? This so called backlash was no more bipartisan than Obamacare.

    As for the crooked White House praising Comey, they are just saying “nice doggie” as they reach for the biggest stick they can find.

    Come on, Stream, you can do better!

    • Nels

      0bammy hates the Clintons, and vice-versa. It seems probable, now that it is clear that Hillary cannot win, 0bammy is throwing Hillary under the bus, where he wanted her all along. This lets the Dems claim that she only lost because of the FBI, so they can have a face saving explanation for her dramatic loss. Hillary winds up in jail, so it’s win-win – if you hate the Clintons. It’s a safe bet that most of the (D) elite hates and fears them.

    • Hmmm…

      Some in the law field, like judges, who know the rules regarding near election publishing practice among the Republicans objected to the violation of that practice, even while supporting its purpose. Judge Jeanine Pirro was one who mentioned that had happened to her when she ran for election some years back, and that it hurt her in the polls. It casts suspicion immediately. However, to me, it appears that the Clintons have sown plenty of dirty tricks, they are due a harvest of the same. It was not sown by Mr. Comey as a dirty trick to them, just pressure on him to reveal the find to be informative, rather than withhold the information and be confronted with that after the election. He was caught between on that. For some reason, he went along with a light investigation and cover for Clinton the first time, unlike his reputed sterling dealing. Again, the verse comes to me, that God is not mocked; one reaps what they sow.

  • Jim Walker

    Comey have dealt his last Spade Ace card, hoping to redeem himself.
    Hillary and DNC are playing so dirty, so corrupt, this can be made into a movie and will be the huge blockbuster.
    As for Trump and RNC, I see nothing illegal.
    Frankly, DNC should just implode and dissolve.

  • SophieA

    It occurs to me that the Persident of the United States enjoys the power of absolute pardon. This power supplies the Democrats many alternatives to victory. Just consider the warped ways the Democrats must be planning their paths to victory from a Presidential pardon on the eve of our election for Hillary et al to the more likely Presidential pardon on the eve of her “coronation.” Less likely, but still within the absolute pardoning power, “President” Hillary will pardon herself and her corrupt cronies. This last scenario presents untold political ramifications, but not outside the personality of this horrible woman.

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