FBI Gets Warrants to Examine Clinton-Related Emails
Major Controversy Reaches New Heights as Election Day Approaches
CBJ — U.S. federal investigators have secured a warrant to examine newly discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton’s private server, as a prominent Democrat accused FBI Director James Comey of breaking the law by trying to influence the election.
The warrants will allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation to examine the emails to see if they are relevant to its probe of the private email server used for government work by Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
Sources close to the investigation have said the latest emails were discovered as part of a separate probe of former Democratic U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Weiner is the target of an FBI investigation into illicit text messages he is alleged to have sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. The FBI already had a warrant to search Weiner’s laptop in that probe, but needed a warrant to look at the material that might be related to Clinton.
Emails from the account of Weiner and the 40-year-old Abedin are now being scoured by FBI agents after warrants were obtained.
Comey came under heavy pressure from Democrats on Sunday to quickly provide details of the emails, as Clinton allies worried the prolonged controversy could extend beyond the Nov. 8 election and cast a shadow over a Clinton transition if she wins the White House.
Comey’s disclosure of the email discovery in a letter to Congress on Friday plunged the final days of the White House race between Clinton and Republican Donald Trump into turmoil. Clinton had opened a recent lead over Trump in national polls, but it had been narrowing even before the email controversy resurfaced.
The unexpected turn in the email controversy shook financial markets’ conviction of a Clinton victory in the election and the U.S. dollar slipped against major currencies in early Asian trading on Monday.
U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid sent a letter to Comey on Sunday suggesting he violated the Hatch Act, which bars the use of a federal government position to influence an election.
“Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law,” Reid, a senator from Nevada, said in the letter to Comey.
Then again, he may not have. That is the opinion of Harry Reid — not the courts.
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign manager Robby Mook questioned Comey’s decision to send a letter notifying Congress of the email review before he even knew whether they were significant or relevant.
Comey’s letter was “long on innuendo, short on facts,” Podesta said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, and accused the FBI chief of breaking precedent by disclosing aspects of an investigation so close to the election.
Regardless, the ongoing email scandal continues to plague Clinton as she and Republican nominee Donald Trump head towards election day on Nov. 8. Trump of course has had his own share of scandals to have to deal with during his campaign.