Clin­ton lawyer blasts FBI af­ter email search war­rant re­lease

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

NEW YORK: The FBI acted in­ap­pro­pri­ately when it an­nounced the revival of its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Hil­lary Clin­ton’s pri­vate email setup days be­fore the Nov 8 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Clin­ton’s lawyer said, cit­ing search war­rant doc­u­ments made pub­lic on Tues­day.

The pointed crit­i­cism from Clin­ton at­tor­ney David Ken­dall fol­lowed the re­lease in fed­eral court in Man­hat­tan of doc­u­ments re­lated to an Oc­to­ber search war­rant tar­get­ing emails in­volv­ing the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee.

The war­rant was is­sued two days af­ter Fed­eral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion Di­rec­tor James Comey in­formed Congress in a let­ter on Oct. 28 of newly dis­cov­ered emails that ap­peared “per­ti­nent” to his agency’s probe. Comey’s let­ter drew new at­ten­tion to Clin­ton’s use of the server while she was sec­re­tary of state from 2009 to 2013 and roiled the cam­paign 11 days be­fore the elec­tion, which Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump won.

The Blame game

Clin­ton has blamed Comey and his let­ter for her de­feat. In an af­fi­davit un­sealed on Tues­day, an FBI agent said there was “prob­a­ble cause” to be­lieve emails in­volv­ing Clin­ton were among “thou­sands” found on a lap­top in an un­re­lated probe that con­tained US State De­part­ment cor­re­spon­dence.

But the doc­u­ments gave no in­di­ca­tion the FBI had any ev­i­dence at the time of Comey’s let­ter that any of the emails on found on a lap­top in­volved clas­si­fied com­mu­ni­ca­tions with Clin­ton. Ken­dall said the doc­u­ments showed the “ex­tra­or­di­nary im­pro­pri­ety” of Comey’s let­ter, which “pro­duced dev­as­tat­ing but pre­dictable dam­age po­lit­i­cally and which was both legally unau­tho­rized and fac­tu­ally un­nec­es­sary.”

The FBI de­clined to com­ment. The lap­top be­longed to for­mer Demo­cratic US Rep­re­sen­ta­tive An­thony Weiner, the es­tranged hus­band of Clin­ton aide Huma Abe­din who was the sub­ject of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter a re­port about cell­phone and on­line mes­sages he sent a 15-year-old girl.

The search war­rant ma­te­ri­als’ re­lease was sought by Ran­dol Schoen­berg, a Los Angeles-based lawyer, who con­tended that trans­parency was cru­cial given the po­ten­tial in­flu­ence the probe had on the elec­tion’s out­come.

In a state­ment, Schoen­berg said he saw “noth­ing to sug­gest that there would be any­thing other than rou­tine cor­re­spon­dence be­tween Sec­re­tary Clin­ton and her long­time aide Huma Abe­din.”

WHITE PLAINS: In this Oct. 28, 2016 file photo, Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton speaks with se­nior aide Huma Abe­din aboard her cam­paign plane at Westch­ester County Air­port.

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