FBI re­view in­volves thou­sands of newly dis­cov­ered emails

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Eric Tucker and Michael Biesecker

WASH­ING­TON >> The FBI will have to sort through thou­sands of newly dis­cov­ered emails in its re­newed ex­am­i­na­tion of the prac­tices of Hil­lary Clin­ton and her aides, a U.S. of­fi­cial said Mon­day, rais­ing ques­tions about whether any find­ings might be re­leased be­fore Elec­tion Day.

The Jus­tice De­part­ment, mov­ing to ad­dress con­cerns over the tim­ing of the rev­e­la­tion of the emails and a po­ten­tial post-elec­tion spillover, said Mon­day it would “ded­i­cate all nec­es­sary re­sources” to con­clud­ing the re­view promptly.

The tim­ing mat­ters be­cause Donald Trump has been as­sail­ing Clin­ton ever more vig­or­ously since FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey re­vealed the ex­is­tence of the emails in a re­mark­able and am­bigu­ous let­ter to Congress last Fri­day. He said agents would take steps to re­view the mes­sages, which were found on a com­puter seized dur­ing an un­re­lated in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volv­ing the es­tranged hus­band of a Clin­ton aide.

Rep. An­thony Weiner, the dis­graced for­mer New York con­gress­man, is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated in con­nec­tion with on­line com­mu­ni­ca­tions with a teenage girl. He was sep­a­rated this year from Huma Abe­din, one of Clin­ton’s clos­est ad­vis­ers.

At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest said he would nei­ther de­fend nor crit­i­cize the tim­ing of Comey’s disclosure. But he also said Pres­i­dent Barack Obama does not be­lieve Comey was try­ing to in­flu­ence the elec­tion, or strate­giz­ing to ben­e­fit one candidate or party.

“He’s in a tough spot, and he’s the one who will be in a po­si­tion to de­fend his ac­tions in the face of sig­nif­i­cant crit­i­cism from a va­ri­ety of le­gal ex­perts, in­clud­ing in­di­vid­u­als who served in se­nior De­part­ment of Jus­tice po­si­tions in ad­min­is­tra­tions that were led by pres­i­dents in both par­ties,” Earnest said.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear ex­actly how many emails have been re­cov­ered or what sig­nif­i­cance, if any, they might have. But the U.S. of­fi­cial who spoke to The As­so­ci­ated Press said the trove num­bers in the thou­sands and the FBI, which had a war­rant to be­gin the re­view, would be fo­cus­ing on those deemed per­ti­nent to its ear­lier Clin­ton email server in­ves­ti­ga­tion. It’s un­clear how many emails might be rel­e­vant.

In its let­ter to law­mak­ers, the de­part­ment promised to “con­tinue to work closely with the FBI and to­gether ded­i­cate all nec­es­sary re­sources and take ap­pro­pri­ate steps as ex­pe­di­tiously as pos­si­ble.”

The FBI and Jus­tice De­part­ment closed that in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which ex­am­ined whether Clin­ton and her aides had mis­han­dled clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion, with­out charges in July.

The of­fi­cial who spoke to the AP was not autho­rized to dis­cuss an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion by name and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The fact that an­other cache of emails po­ten­tially im­por­tant to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has only re­cently been dis­cov­ered raises an im­me­di­ate ques­tion: How could Abe­din have been un­aware of their ex­is­tence?

The an­swer is not yet clear, but it’s pos­si­ble that ei­ther she did not know about the emails on the com­puter of her es­tranged hus­band, for­got about them or for some other rea­son did not turn them over.

In a sworn de­po­si­tion taken in June as part of a law­suit filed by the con­ser­va­tive le­gal group Ju­di­cial Watch, Abe­din was asked about what de­vices she had used to send or re­ceive mes­sages from her ac­count on the clin­tone­mail. com server. As part of the process in 2015 of re­turn­ing her work-re­lated emails to the State De­part­ment, Abe­din said she “looked for all the de­vices that may have any of my State De­part­ment” work and pro­vided two lap­tops and a Black­berry to her lawyers for re­view.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey pre­pares to tes­tify on Capi­tol Hill in Wash­ing­ton on Dec. 9, 2015.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.