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Monday, December 09, 2019

FBI Search Warrant For Clinton Emails Issued On Shaky Evidence

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Search warrant documents released on Tuesday related to the probe of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email setup provided new details about the FBI’s decision to revive the investigation days before the Nov. 8 election.

The materials, which related to a search warrant issued after Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey on Oct. 28 informed Congress of the emails, were ordered released on Monday by U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan.

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.

In an affidavit, an FBI agent said there was “probable cause” to believe emails between Clinton and a person whose name was redacted were among “thousands” found on a laptop that contained U.S. State Department correspondence.

But the filings gave no indication that any emails involving Clinton containing classified information had been found on the laptop at the time the warrant was issued on Oct. 30.

The laptop belonged to former Democratic U.S. 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 in court papers said 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.”

Lawyers for Clinton and Weiner did not respond to requests for comment, nor did the FBI. Abedin’s lawyer declined comment.

In July, Comey recommended no charges be brought over Clinton’s handing of classified information in the emails, although he said she and her colleagues were “extremely careless” in handling such information.

That determination followed what the search warrant materials called a “criminal investigation concerning the improper transmission and storage of classified info on unclassified email systems and servers.”

In his Oct. 28 letter to Congress, Comey said emails potentially related to the investigation had been discovered in an “unrelated case.”

Federal investigators obtained the warrant to examine the emails on Oct. 30. Two days before the election, Comey disclosed the emails did nothing to change his earlier recommendation.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York, additional reporting by Scot Paltrow and Mark Hosenball in Washington; editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Tom Brown)

IMAGE: U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks about the FBI inquiry into her emails during a campaign rally in Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S. October 29, 2016.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Clinton Email Probe: Judge Orders Unsealing Of Search Warrant

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday ordered the unsealing of the application used to obtain a search warrant that allowed the FBI to gain access to emails related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private server before the November 8 election.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan directed the release by Tuesday of redacted materials used to obtain a search warrant after Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey informed Congress of newly discovered emails on October 28.

Comey’s letter drew new attention to a damaging issue for Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, and roiled the campaign 11 days before the November 8 election, won by Republican Donald Trump.

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

Sources close to the investigation have said the emails were discovered during an unrelated probe into former Democratic U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

In his order, Castel said he would allow the redaction of the identities of two unnamed individuals, one of whom is subject to an “ongoing criminal investigation.”

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

Lawyers for Clinton and Abedin did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did the U.S. Justice Department. A lawyer for Weiner had no immediate comment.

Clinton used the server while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

In July, Comey recommended no criminal charges be brought over Clinton’s handing of classified information in the emails, although he said she and her colleagues were “extremely careless” in handling such information.

In his October 28 letter to Congress, Comey said emails potentially related to the Clinton server probe had been discovered in an “unrelated case.”

Sources close to the investigation have said the emails were discovered during an unrelated probe into Weiner following a media report that he engaged in sexually explicit cellphone and online messaging with a 15-year-old girl.

Federal investigators got a warrant to examine the emails to see if they were related to the probe into Clinton’s private server. Only two days before the election, Comey disclosed that the emails did nothing to change his earlier recommendation.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Alistair Bell and Alan Crosby)

IMAGE: U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Clinton Emails: Huma Abedin Seeks To Review FBI Search Warrant

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Huma Abedin, the longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, asked a U.S. judge on Wednesday to allow her to review a search warrant the FBI used to gain access to emails related to Clinton’s private server shortly before the Nov. 8 presidential election.

In a letter filed in Manhattan federal court, Abedin said she was never provided a copy of the warrant, nor was her estranged husband, former Democratic U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, whose computer contained the emails in question.

The letter was filed as a federal judge considers whether to unseal the application for the search warrant, which was obtained after FBI Director James Comey informed Congress of newly discovered emails on Oct. 28.

Comey’s letter drew new attention to a damaging issue for Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, and roiled the campaign 11 days before the election won by Republican Donald Trump.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel had invited affected parties to weigh in on the potential release of the search warrant application, which is being sought by Los Angeles-based lawyer Randol Schoenberg.

In their letter, Abedin’s lawyers said she was unable to evaluate the issue as neither she nor Weiner was provided the warrant itself, despite federal rules requiring authorities to provide a warrant to a person whose property was taken.

Lawyers for Clinton and Weiner did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did the U.S. Justice Department.

Clinton used the server while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Comey in July had recommended to the Justice Department that no criminal charges be brought against Clinton over her handing of classified information in the emails, although saying she and her colleagues were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

In his Oct. 28 letter to Congress, Comey said emails potentially related to the Clinton server probe had been discovered in an “unrelated case.”

Sources close to the investigation have said the emails were discovered during an unrelated probe into Weiner following a media report that he engaged in sexually explicit cellphone and online messages with a 15-year-old girl.

Federal investigators got a warrant to examine the emails to see if they were related to the probe into Clinton’s private server. Only two days before the election, Comey disclosed that the emails did nothing to change his earlier recommendation.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)

IMAGE: Huma Abedin, aide to U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, looks on as Clinton makes a campaign stop in the Manhattan borough of New York April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar 

U.S. Judge To Review FBI’s Search Warrant For Clinton Emails

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Tuesday directed federal prosecutors to show him the search warrant application used to enable the FBI to access emails related to Hillary Clinton’s private server that were discovered shortly before the Nov. 8 presidential election.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan ordered prosecutors by Thursday to turn over the application, which investigators obtained shortly after FBI Director James Comey informed Congress of newly discovered emails on Oct. 28, 11 days before the election won by her Republican opponent Donald Trump.

Castel made the order as he considered whether any portion of the search warrant materials could be made public in response to a lawsuit filed by Randol Schoenberg, a Los Angeles-based lawyer who specializes in cases to recover artwork stolen by the Nazis, seeking to force the release of the documents.

In court papers, Schoenberg said the public had a “strong interest” in the disclosure of the search warrant materials, saying transparency was “crucial” given the potential influence the probe had on the election’s outcome.

The search warrant was obtained after Comey issued a letter to top U.S. lawmakers disclosing that emails potentially related to the Clinton server probe had been discovered in an “unrelated case.” Comey’s Oct. 28 announcement roiled the campaign and drew new attention to a damaging issue for Clinton.

Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, used the server while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Comey in July had recommended to the Justice Department that no criminal charges be brought against Clinton over her handing of classified information in the emails.

Only two days before the election, Comey disclosed that the newly reviewed emails did nothing to change his earlier recommendation after all.

Clinton days after her loss blamed Comey’s letter, so close to the election, as a reason she lost to Trump.

Sources close to the investigation have said the emails were discovered during an unrelated probe into former Democratic U.S. congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

In court, Castel said he would not be surprised if prosecutors, in submitting the materials to him, cited the presence of an ongoing probe in a case unrelated to Clinton as a reason to keep the search warrant application confidential.

“It could be potentially terribly unfair to a person who ultimately winds up not being charged,” Castel said, apparently referring to Weiner.

Castel said it was possible information unrelated to the Clinton email probe could be redacted, and noted that in Clinton’s case, Comey later indicated in a subsequent letter that the server probe was closed.

Castel invited prosecutors to propose redactions in case he decides to release the search warrant application.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)

IMAGE: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is backdropped by a U.S. flag during a campaign rally at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, New Hampshire February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif