Despite some fairly terrible reporting from news sources yesterday who failed to wait for the facts to be presented before jumping to conclusions, sources in the FBI say that the “new” emails that James Comey says he’s investigating may not even be new.
The emails in question were found on a laptop formerly shared by both Anthony Weiner, the disgraced congressman from New York caught in numerous sexting scandals, as well as Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin. Abedin has served as Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff during Clinton’s years as secretary of state and currently works as the vice chairwoman to Clinton’s presidential campaign. Abedin testified before the FBI during the initial investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, for which Clinton was exonerated from any criminal wrongdoing.
The laptop belonging to Weiner, and Abedin was reported to have raised all new questions since thousands of the emails found on the laptop were work emails related to Abedin’s time as Clinton’s chief of staff during her service as secretary of state. FBI Director James Comey, a registered Republican, broke all FBI protocol and sent “updates” to Congress less than two weeks before the presidential election on Nov. 8 stating that he was “reopening” the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails.
Comey wrote in a memo to FBI employees that he felt “it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record,” although he acknowledged that “we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails.” In fact, the emails themselves are not in question. It was the way they were printed that is being investigated, which has absolutely nothing to do with Hillary Clinton whatsoever, and none of the emails were to or from Hillary Clinton.
Despite Comey’s qualifier about the email’s significance and his concerns about creating “a misleading impression,” Republicans crowed about the “new” investigation and Donald Trump declared it to be proof of corruption “on a scale we have never seen before,” which seems to be the exact impression Comey was trying to create.
The emails from Huma Abedin are also likely to be ones that the FBI have already investigated during their initial attempt to find criminal wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton. The “new” investigation is not actually new, nor is it unprecedented. According to Newsweek, “such investigations are never actually closed, and it is common for law enforcement to discover new information that needs to be examined.” The emails in question may have even already been cleared, according to a tweet by Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal.
This is a possibility, per sources https://t.co/cxzWsWD8P1
— Devlin Barrett (@DevlinBarrett) October 29, 2016
Comey seems to have left that part out in his fortuitous “update” to Congress less than two weeks before Election Day.
Featured image via Getty/Win McNamee