The Weiner laptop revisited

RealClearPolitics has just posted Paul Sperry’s 7,000-word investigation into the FBI’s misrepresentations and nonfeasance in the matter of the Weiner laptop and the Clinton emails. Sperry’s column runs under the headline “Despite Comey Assurances, FBI Failed to Examine Vast Bulk of Weiner Laptop Emails.”

Sperry reports that the FBI examined only a tiny fraction of hundreds of thousands of Hillary Clinton emails discovered on the Weiner laptop six weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Sperry disputes then-FBI Director James Comey’s assurance to Congress that the FBI had “reviewed all of the communications” found on the Weiner laptop in justifying a hasty second exoneration of Clinton in the email affair just days before the 2016 election. With a little help from the RCP email summary noting the piece this morning, I should add that Sperry also reveals:

• After claiming they could not possibly review the 675,000 potentially relevant emails in the two weeks before the Nov. 8 election, FBI officials suddenly claimed they had made a great technological breakthrough that allowed them to eliminate the vast majority of emails as duplicates. But that technology didn’t work.

• The highly restrictive warrant issued to search the Weiner laptop‘s contents prevented investigators from capturing any “smoking-gun” emails outside the time frame of Clinton’s official tenure as Secretary of State, ones that might show intent to evade security requirements in setting up her private server, or efforts to cover up culpability afterward.

• Ultimately, the FBI manually reviewed only about one percent of the emails – a total of 6,827. FBI lawyers deemed more than half of these personal or outside the scope of the investigation, so that ultimately, only 3,077 emails were reviewed for potential classified material. This review was performed by three agents in one 12-hour session.

• Attorney General Loretta Lynch tried to limit public leaks about the existence of the emails. Once their existence was exposed, she pushed the FBI to review them as quickly as possible.

• As he was leading the review of these emails, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump bias contributed to his recent firing, exchanged a series of text messages about the Weiner laptop with another opponent of Trump, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. He assured her, “We’re going to make sure the right thing is done,” and, “It’s gonna be ok.”

• The FBI was drafting a statement about the emails before it had reviewed them.

• The FBI did not interview either Weiner or Huma Abedine before closing the case again.

• The FBI did not refer the Weiner laptop matter to the intelligence agencies to determine if national security were compromised, as required under a federally mandated “damage assessment” directive.

• The emails that were searched revealed new material, classified and unclassified, not seen by the FBI in its prior investigation of Clinton. At least five new classified emails were on the laptop, including highly sensitive information dealing with close Israel and the terrorist group Hamas.

Does President Trump know about this? His Twitter find suggests he hasn’t gotten to Sperry’s story yet. I should think he will want to take note of it some time soon.

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