A senior law enforcement official told Yahoo News that the FBI doesn’t have a warrant to read the emails contained on the laptop of former N.Y. Sen. Anthony Weiner.
When FBI Director James Comey informed Congress that the bureau reopened the case into Hillary Clinton’s email server, he may not have read any of the emails from the computer of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s estranged husband.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch has not given the FBI a search warrant to examine the emails, according to an exclusive report by Yahoo News.
The letter to lawmakers was written when Comey “had no idea what was in the content of the emails,” an official familiar with the case said.
The FBI was still seeking a search warrant from the Justice Department as of Saturday night.
“We do not have a warrant,” a senior law enforcement official told Yahoo News. “Discussions are under way [between the FBI and the Justice Department] as to the best way to move forward.”
Senior officials discouraged Comey from sending the letter to Congress for fear that it would violate the department’s long-standing policy to not make any announcements that could affect the outcome of an election within 60 days of the election taking place.
“He was acting independently of the guidance given to him,” the official said.
Comey contended he had to inform Congress of the new information because he had previously testified that Clinton’s case had been closed.
“This was the least bad choice,” the official said.
The FBI could have avoided this scenario if it had followed up on its interview with Abedin last April when, according to the report, she strongly hinted that there might be pertinent material on Weiner’s computer. The same computer he allegedly used to exchange sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl.
“The first thing they should have done was gotten a sworn affidavit about all her accounts and devices,” former U.S. attorney and independent counsel Joseph DiGenova said.
Clinton has continued to say she wants Comey to release more information about her emails to the public. If that is the case then perhaps she ought to have her husband meet Attorney General Loretta Lynch in an airplane again and ask her to give Comey the warrant he needs.
Or Abedin could simply give the FBI her permission to search the emails, if there is nothing to hide.
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