by WorldTribune Staff, August 26, 2018
The FBI examined just 3,077 of the 694,000 emails found on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner which was used by his wife Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, a report said.
Despite then-FBI Director James Comey’s insistence that the agency had “reviewed all of the communications” discovered on the laptop, less than one half of one percent of the emails were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information, RealClear Investigations reported on Aug. 23.
A career FBI special agent involved in the case complained to New York colleagues that officials in Washington tried to “bury” what may have been on Weiner’s laptop, which the agent believed contained the full archive of Clinton’s emails – including long-sought missing messages from her first months at the State Department, the report said.
The discovery of the laptop led Comey to re-open the Clinton email investigation, but the director closed the probe for a second time just two days before the 2016 presidential election.
“There was no real investigation and no real search,” said Michael Biasello, a 27-year veteran of the FBI. “It was all just show – eyewash – to make it look like there was an investigation before the election.”
While many Clinton supporters continue to contend that re-opening the email case cost Clinton the election, “the evidence shows Comey and his inner circle acted only after worried agents and prosecutors in New York forced their hand,” the RealClear Investigations report said. “At the prodding of Attorney General Lynch, they then worked to reduce and rush through, rather than carefully examine, potentially damaging new evidence.”
The FBI’s New York office first alerted agency headquarters to the discovery of Weiner’s laptop on Sept. 28, 2016. The supervising agent at the time, Peter Strzok, did not try to obtain a warrant to search the emails until Oct. 30, 2016.
“Violating department policy, he (Strzok) edited the warrant affidavit on his home email account, bypassing the FBI system for recording such government business. He also began drafting a second exoneration statement before conducting the search,” the RealClear Investigations report noted.
In testimony before Congress, Comey claimed that “thanks to the wizardry of our technology,” the FBI was able to eliminate the vast majority of messages as “duplicates” of emails previously seen. He added that FBI agents were working “night after night after night” to scrutinize the emails that were not “duplicates.”
“Most of the emails were never examined, even though they made up potentially 10 times the evidence” of what was reviewed in the original year-long case that Comey closed in July 2016, a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation told RealClear Investigations.
Even the narrow search revealed that more classified material had been sent or received by Clinton through her illegal private server, the official said, including highly sensitive information dealing with Israel and the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas.
“The former secretary of state, however, was never confronted with the sensitive new information and it was never analyzed for damage to national security,” RealClear Investigations noted. “Even though the unique classified material was improperly stored and transmitted on an unsecured device, the FBI did not refer the matter to U.S. intelligence agencies to determine if national security had been compromised, as required under a federally mandated ‘damage assessment’ directive.”