Emails released by the State Department over the past 18 months show that Huma Abedin frequently handled classified information — suggesting a major reason why the FBI has been eager to get a full look at the personal computer she shared with her now-estranged husband.
From Washington Times
That computer has become the center of a major political flap in the final week before Election Day. Ms. Abedin’s boss, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is trying to fend off concerns that there is a smoking gun still to be found among her top personal aide’s messages.
But the track record indicates a reason for concern: Of the messages Mrs. Clinton turned over to the State Department, nearly 5,000 were sent to, or received from, Ms. Abedin. More than 180 of those contain information now determined to be “confidential,” and one message is deemed to contain “secret” information.
In the “secret” message, Ms. Abedin forwards to Mrs. Clinton information about a 2009 ballistic missile test by North Korea.
“It is frankly remarkable that the FBI and Justice Department are only now investigating Abedin’s connection to Clinton’s mishandling of classified information,” said Tom Fitton, president of the watchdog group Judicial Watch, which has sued to try to get to the bottom of the Clinton-Abedin connection at the State Department.
The FBI has renewed its probe into Mrs. Clinton’s handling of classified emails based on what it might find on Ms. Abedin’s computer, obtained in a separate investigation into Ms. Abedin’s estranged husband, former Rep. Anthony D. Weiner.
The Weiner investigation is the latest involving the Clintons and those in their circle. It joins a reported investigation earlier this year into the Clinton Foundation; another into campaign donations to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime fundraiser and political ally; and the renewed look at Mrs. Clinton’s handling of classified information.
Whether anything on the Abedin-Weiner computer is relevant to the investigation into Mrs. Clinton, which the FBI closed in July, is heatedly debated.
Mrs. Clinton’s team insists there is nothing to be found, and they have excoriated FBI Director James B. Comey for publicly announcing less than two weeks before an election that he is looking at the new emails.
Ms. Abedin’s attorneys say the longtime Clinton aide — who is virtually guaranteed to get an influential White House post if Mrs. Clinton defeats Republican Donald Trump on Election Day — was wholly unaware that any of her messages were on Mr. Weiner’s computer.
“From the beginning, Ms. Abedin has complied fully and voluntarily with State Department and law enforcement requests, including sitting for hours-long interviews and providing her work-related and potentially work-related documents,” her attorney, Karen Dunn, said in a statement Monday night. “She only learned for the first time on Friday, from press reports, of the possibility that a laptop belonging to Mr. Weiner could contain emails of hers.”
She said Ms. Abedin will be “forthcoming and cooperative” with the latest FBI investigation, which surely will drag past the election.
Mrs. Clinton briefly addressed the controversy on Monday by acknowledging that voters had questions about the FBI inquiry, But during an appearance in the battleground state of Florida on Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton dropped all references to the investigation and instead slammed Mr. Trump’s past statements about women.
“Some of what we’ve learned, some of this stuff is very upsetting,” she said before reciting some of Mr. Trump’s most inflammatory comments.
Mr. Trump and fellow Republicans, meanwhile, have tried to keep attention focused on the FBI’s renewed probe, saying it shows voters what to expect if Mrs. Clinton wins the White House.
Indeed, the Clinton family and its allies have faced an extraordinary number of investigations over their quarter-century in Washington.
“There’s an interesting circumstantial case to be made how much smoke there has been surrounding the Clintons over the years,” said Chris Jenks, a law professor at Southern Methodist University and a former attorney adviser at the State Department.
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