By Joe Dwinell and Bob McGovern
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The emails in question are reportedly on a family laptop used by Huma Abedin and her estranged husband Anthony Weiner. The FBI may need a court order to crack open that computer.
FBI Director James B. Comey’s new email probe into Hillary Clinton could expose the politically toxic relationship between the Democratic presidential nominee, top aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, who is embroiled in a sexting scandal with an underage teen.
Clinton last night demanded the FBI “release all the information it has” on potentially thousands of new emails that the feds are scrubbing to determine if they “contain classified information,” Comey told Congress in a letter provided to the Herald.
The emails are reportedly on a family laptop used by Abedin and Weiner. The FBI may need a court order to crack open that computer, NBC News is reporting.
Weiner — a former Brooklyn congressman and New York City mayoral candidate who called himself “Carlos Danger” online — is under investigation for allegedly sexting a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina.
Now his infamous underwear selfies are once again part of the presidential campaign just when the Clinton camp was trying to move on from a series of damning email leaks.
“It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election,” John Podesta, chairman of Clinton’s presidential campaign, said in a statement. “The director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining.”
Abedin is one of Clinton’s most-trusted aides who is seeking a divorce from her husband after repeated allegations of his sexting with women — including one case where he’s alleged to have sent a suggestive selfie as their 4-year-old son was in the bed next to him.
Abedin has been a constant presence in Clinton’s political life for the past two decades, with recent WikiLeaks emails showing her power over access to the former secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation.
Now investigators will once again look for any wrongdoing in this complicated political union as part of a probe former federal prosecutors expect will last well beyond Election Day.
“This is absolutely going to linger. It could be nothing, but they are going to take a look at it and drill down exactly what they are looking for,” said David Weinstein, a former longtime federal prosecutor in Florida.
As far as a possible criminal indictment against Clinton, Weinstein added that the FBI would need an untold “smoking gun” that hasn’t been uncovered.
When Comey announced in July that the FBI’s investigation found evidence of “potential violations of statutes regarding the handling of classified information” but concluded that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against Clinton, he set new precedent for federal investigators.
Congress and the American electorate will now demand updates on the investigation, blow for blow.
“What he did was unheard of. Normally the FBI would not release their thought process because their role is not to decide who to prosecute,” said Laura Coates, a former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. “I think this is an endeavor to appear transparent, but it is completely at odds with what standard protocol is.”