FBI review involves thousands of newly discovered emails
The FBI will have to comb through thousands of newly discovered emails for classified material in its renewed examination of the email practises of Hillary Clinton and her aides, a US official said yesterday. Whether that review concludes by Election Day is far from certain.
The timing matters because Donald Trump has been assailing Clinton ever more vigorously since FBI Director James Comey revealed the existence of the emails in a remarkable and ambiguous letter to Congress last Friday. He said agents would take steps to review the messages, which were found on a computer seized during an unrelated investigation involving the estranged husband of a Clinton aide.
Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former New York congressman, is being investigated in connection with online communications with a teenage girl. He was separated this year from Huma Abedin, one of Clinton's closest advisers.
It was not immediately clear exactly how many emails have been recovered or what significance, if any, they might have to Clinton. The US official who spoke to the Associated Press said the trove numbers in the thousands and the FBI, which has obtained a warrant to begin the review, would be focusing on those deemed pertinent to its earlier Clinton email server investigation.
The FBI and Justice Department closed that investigation, which looked into whether Clinton and her aides had mishandled classified information, without charges in July.
The official who spoke to the AP was not authorised to discuss an ongoing investigation by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The fact that another cache of emails potentially important to the investigation has only recently been discovered raises an immediate question: How could Abedin have been unaware of their existence?
The answer is not yet clear, but it is possible that either she did not know about the emails on the computer of her estranged husband, forgot about them, or for some other reason did not turn them over.