The Wall Street Journal has up to date reporting on the mysteries surrounding Huma Abedin’s newly-discovered emails. The Journal’s account answers some questions, while raising others.
First, the “device” in question reportedly is a laptop that Huma Abedin considered to be Anthony Weiner’s. This makes sense: people like Abedin and Weiner don’t share laptops, any more than they share cell phones. They each have their own. Thus, when Huma testified under oath that she had turned over to her lawyers, for production, all of her devices that she thought could contain relevant information, it is likely that she was telling the truth. Reportedly, Abedin claims to be at a loss as to how her emails got onto Anthony’s laptop. That surprise could well be genuine.
The Journal reports:
As federal agents prepare to scour roughly 650,000 emails to see how many relate to a prior probe of Hillary Clinton’s email use…
Time out. Weiner’s laptop contains 650,000 emails? If he sent or received 200 emails a day, 365 days a year–a considerable number!–it would take 3,250 days, or just about nine years, to accumulate 650,000 on the laptop’s hard drive. It is not clear–to me, anyway–what would cause such a large number of emails to reside on the laptop, absent some sort of bulk downloads.
Metadata found on the laptop used by former Rep. Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife Huma Abedin, a close Clinton aide, suggests there may be thousands of emails sent to or from the private server that Mrs. Clinton used while she was secretary of state, according to people familiar with the matter.
The metadata would include the sender and recipient, the time and date, and the subject line, but not the content of the email. It makes sense that investigators looking for sexual communications with minors among hundreds of thousands of texts and emails would start by looking at metadata preserved on the laptop’s hard drive, and that such an examination would reveal the presence of thousands of emails to or from Hillary’s private server. Note, however, that several people, including Huma Abedin, had email accounts on clintonemail.com.
The FBI has had to await a court order to begin reviewing the emails, because they were uncovered in an unrelated probe of Mr. Weiner.
The Washington Post reports that the FBI has now obtained such a search warrant.
Of course, a warrant wouldn’t be necessary if Weiner gave the agency permission to review his entire hard drive. The New York Post raises the possibility that Weiner may be “cooperating with feds investigating his sexting scandal,” although this speculation is not, apparently, based on much evidence.
Still, the idea is intriguing. Why did Weiner have thousands of his wife’s emails on his laptop, likely without her knowledge? Huma has testified under oath that the only email account she had other than her official State Department and clintonemail.com accounts was on yahoo.com, an account which she described as personal, but on which she reportedly exchanged many communications with Hillary Clinton. What if Weiner knew the password to that account?
Let’s assume that Weiner could access Huma’s yahoo.com account. Yahoo is a web-based email service. Simply logging into her account would not put thousands of emails onto his computer. But if Weiner logged into Huma’s Yahoo account on his own laptop, all he needed to do was select all the items in Huma’s inbox, deleted emails, etc. (or, alternatively, do a search to identify those that included a clintonemail.com address). He could then move all of those emails–more than 10,000, we are told–in bulk to a folder that he created, and could later delete. He could then drag that folder to his desktop. Having tried this with my long-suffering wife’s yahoo.com account, I believe this will preserve the emails’ metadata. In the alternative, if he accessed the email account on his wife’s laptop, he could drag the folder to a flash drive and thus transfer it to his own computer.
Why would Weiner do that? His career is over, and he is a laughingstock. His wife, on the other hand, is just one degree of separation from great power, perhaps the next president. Do the math. And Weiner has had a lot of time on his hands lately. He may have thought that keeping a trove of communications between his wife and Hillary Clinton would afford him protection against criminal prosecution. Or he may have said to himself, if I am going down, I am taking Huma and her g*****n boss with me. Of course, that only works if he thinks there is something discreditable in those communications. He would know that better than we do.
This is all speculation, based on inadequate public information. But the possibility that Anthony Weiner could be the knowing agent of his wife’s and Hillary Clinton’s downfall is intriguing.