If there’s someone who is in immediate danger of the fallout from the latest FBI bombshell concerning Clinton’s emails, it’s not the former first lady. It’s her top aide, Huma Abedin. New emails sent to the former Secretary of State were found on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, Abedin’s estranged husband who is under investigation for his online interactions with an underage girl. Abedin and Weiner shared his laptop and that’s how the new emails were found. FBI Director James Comey informed Congress Friday that the bureau would be reviewing these emails that number in the thousands. Here’s the catch: Abedin swore under oath that she had turned over all devices with State Department emails on them, which was part of her June testimony in the lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch. The Daily Beast had the scoop:
But the new information that the FBI found State Department-related email on her home laptop also calls into question whether Abedin in fact turned over all of the devices she used to send and receive email while working at State.
On June 28, 2016, Abedin said under oath in a sworn deposition that she looked for all devices that she thought contained government work on them so the records could be given to the State Department. (These records were subsequently reviewed by the FBI.)
“How did you go about searching for what records you may have in your possession to be returned to the State Department?” Attorney Ramona Cotca for Judicial Watch asked her.
“I looked for all the devices that may have any of my State Department work on it and returned — returned — gave them to my attorneys for them to review for all relevant documents. And gave them devices and paper,” Abedin answered.
Cotca then asked Abedin specifically what devices she gave her attorneys.
“If memory serves me correctly, it was two laptops, a BlackBerry, and some files that I found in my apartment,” Abedin said, adding the BlackBerry was associated with her Clintonemail.com account.
Abedin maintained that she was “not involved in the process” of what records on her devices would be given to the State Department.
“I provided them [her attorneys] with the devices and the materials and asked them to find whatever they thought was relevant and appropriate, whatever was their determination as to what was a federal record, and they did. They turned the materials in, and I know they did so….”
Abedin was asked whether she supplied her login, password and other credentials to her “Clintonmail.com” account so that her attorneys could eyeball “all of the emails that were on that account” Abedin said she had.
Pressed how she was sure, Abedin said, “I cannot answer that question.”
Also, we now know why there are thousands of emails, besides government work being very heavy on email; Abedin never deleted what was in her inbox. Hence, why this review is going to take a while, something that almost everyone was stating when the FBI made this announcement public Friday. Yet, The Associated Press also noted that Abedin signed a routine State Department agreement to turn over all devices with government emails on them upon leaving government work. That was back in February of 2013 under penalty of perjury:
Abedin's testimony in a recent civil lawsuit about State Department records may help explain why agents found emails that Comey said "appear to be pertinent" and would be reviewed "to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation."
Abedin told lawyers in June in a deposition that, like millions of internet users who don't manage their inboxes, she simply never deleted old emails, either at work with Clinton or at home with Weiner.
"I didn't have a practice of managing my mailbox other than leaving what was in there sitting in there," Abedin said. "I didn't go into my emails and delete State.gov emails. They just lived on my computer. That was my practice for all my email accounts. I didn't have a particular form of organizing them. I had a few folders, but they were not deleted. They all stayed in whatever device I was using at the time or whatever desktop I was on at the time.
Abedin's testimony in the civil suit was complicated by a routine State Department document she signed under penalty of perjury in February 2013. She promised she would "turn over all classified or administratively controlled documents and materials" before she left her government job, and promised that she was not retaining copies, "including any diaries, memorandums of conversation or other documents of a personal nature." The document required her to give back all "unclassified documents and papers relating to the official business of the government acquired by me while in the employ of the department."
So, what does Clinton’s top aide and vice chair of her campaign have to say about these latest developments? Well, it can be aptly described in three words: I don’t know (via WaPo):
Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin has told people she is unsure how her emails could have ended up on a device she viewed as her husband’s computer, the seizure of which has reignited the Clinton email investigation, according to a person familiar with the investigation and civil litigation over the matter.
The person, who would not discuss the case unless granted anonymity, said Abedin was not a regular user of the computer, and even when she agreed to turn over emails to the State Department for federal records purposes, her lawyers did not search it for materials, not believing any of her messages to be there.
Abedin doesn’t know how her emails wound up on her husband’s computer since she wasn’t a frequent user of it. As a result, her lawyers didn’t even search for State Department materials, but that’s not going to cut it. She can’t remember? Are we really expected to believe that from a woman who is part of Clinton’s inner circle (and fiercely loyal), whose been serving her since she became an intern at the Clinton White House in 1996? She can deny all she wants; emails to Clinton were found on that laptop. She said that she turned over all devices tat she thought had "relevant documents." Someone is lying. And in this case, the penalty is being carted off to jail. Right now, Huma could be in the crosshairs. The only saving grace is that no one at the FBI has seen the new emails, even when FBI Director Comey sent that letter to Congress about the renewed probe, something that the Justice Department tried to dissuade him from doing (via Yahoo! News):
When FBI Director James Comey wrote his bombshell letter to Congress on Friday about newly discovered emails that were potentially “pertinent” to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, agents had not been able to review any of the material, because the bureau had not yet gotten a search warrant to read them, three government officials who have been briefed on the probe told Yahoo News.
At the time Comey wrote the letter, “he had no idea what was in the content of the emails,” one of the officials said, referring to recently discovered emails that were found on the laptop of disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Weiner is under investigation for allegedly sending illicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl.
As of Saturday night, the FBI had still not gotten approval from the Justice Department for a warrant that would allow agency officials to read any of the newly discovered Abedin emails, and therefore are still in the dark about whether they include any classified material that the bureau has not already seen.
“We do not have a warrant,” a senior law enforcement official said. “Discussions are under way [between the FBI and the Justice Department] as to the best way to move forward.”
If work-related State Department emails are found, things aren’t looking so good for Ms. Abedin and possibly Hillary. In the meantime, she’s not being removed from the campaign. She’s staying right where she is, according to campaign chair John Podesta.