Abe­din data search ap­proved

FBI will scan lap­top for links to Clin­ton case

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY AN­DREA NOBLE

A fed­eral judge has or­dered the pub­lic re­lease of a search war­rant and other doc­u­ments re­lated to the FBI’s re­newal of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton’s use of a pri­vate email server.

The FBI filed the search war­rant Oct. 30 to ob­tain emails stored on the lap­top be­long­ing to Clin­ton aide Huma Abe­din so agents could re­view any mes­sages found to have been sent to or re­ceived by Mrs. Clin­ton dur­ing her four-year ten­ure in the State Depart­ment.

U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Cas­tel on Mon­day or­dered that the search war­rant, af­fi­davit and other doc­u­ments be un­sealed by noon Tues­day, un­less a higher court steps in.

FBI Di­rec­tor James B. Comey an­nounced Oct. 28 that the bureau would be re­new­ing its Clin­ton email probe af­ter emails “per­ti­nent” to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion were un­cov­ered as agents worked on an un­re­lated case. The case un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion turned out to be ac­cu­sa­tions that Ms. Abe­din’s es­tranged hus­band, Rep. An­thony D. Weiner, sent sex­u­ally ex­plicit text mes­sages to an un­der­age girl.

Some in­for­ma­tion from the doc­u­ments would be redacted, in­clud­ing ref­er­ences to Ms. Abe­din and Mr. Weiner, who were never ex­plic­itly named in the court’s or­der or by the FBI.

E. Ran­dol Schoen­berg, a Los An­ge­les-based ge­neal­o­gist and lawyer known for his work recovering art­work stolen by the Nazis, filed the law­suit last week seek­ing ac­cess to the doc­u­ments. Govern­ment at­tor­neys ini­tially op­posed the re­lease of the search war­rant and other doc­u­ments, but later agreed to their re­lease with redac­tions, ac­cord­ing to the judge’s or­der.

“Or­di­nar­ily, a per­son whose con­duct is the sub­ject of a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion but is not charged with a crime should not have his or her rep­u­ta­tion sul­lied by the mere cir­cum­stance of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Judge Cas­tel wrote in his 10-page or­der.

But not­ing the pub­lic com­ments Mr. Comey and Mrs. Clin­ton have made about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, he noted that Mrs. Clin­ton has “lit­tle re­main­ing pri­vacy in­ter­est in the re­lease of doc­u­ments iden­ti­fy­ing her as the sub­ject of this in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

“The strong pre­sump­tion of ac­cess at­tached to the search war­rant and re­lated ma­te­ri­als is not over­come by any re­main­ing pri­vacy in­ter­est of Sec­re­tary Clin­ton,” he wrote.

Mr. Comey’s Oct. 28 an­nounce­ment sent shock waves through the pres­i­den­tial con­test, as he an­nounced the re­newal of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion less than two weeks ahead of Elec­tion Day. The Clin­ton cam­paign, many of her sup­port­ers and even for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton have blamed her elec­toral loss to Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump, some­times par­tially and some­times wholly, upon the Comey an­nounce­ment.

Two days be­fore the elec­tion, Mr. Comey an­nounced that in­ves­ti­ga­tors had looked through the more than 600,000 emails on Ms. Abe­din’s lap­top and found noth­ing to change his con­clu­sion that Mrs. Clin­ton shouldn’t be pros­e­cuted for her han­dling of clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion.

Over the sum­mer, Mr. Comey said Mrs. Clin­ton was “ex­tremely care­less” with top-se­cret in­for­ma­tion and may have had her se­cret email server hacked by for­eign gov­ern­ments but that he would not rec­om­mend fil­ing crim­i­nal charges against her.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Huma Abe­din, top aide to Hil­lary Clin­ton, is not named in the FBI’s court or­der, but the agency has filed a search war­rant to ob­tain emails on her lap­top to re­view any mes­sages sent to or re­ceived by Mrs. Clin­ton.

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