The Justice Department has yet to allow the FBI access through a warrant to any of the newly discovered Huma Abedin emails, Yahoo News reported Saturday night. But that may not mean other law enforcement agencies in communication with the FBI did not have access to the new material.
“We do not have a warrant,” a senior law enforcement official said. “Discussions are under way [between the FBI and the Justice Department] as to the best way to move forward.”
The Clinton campaign responded to the news with campaign spokesman Brian Fallon tweeting, “In other words: Comey officially does not know what he is talking about.”
However, according to the letter FBI Director James Comey sent to lawmakers regarding the second look into the formerly-closed investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, Comey stated:
Yesterday, the investigative team briefed me on their recommendation with respect to seeking access to emails that have recently been found in an unrelated case. Because those emails appear to be pertinent to our investigation, I agreed that we should take appropriate steps to obtain and review them.
The case Comey referred to is the investigation into the sexting habits of former Democratic New York Congressman Anthony Weiner to a minor female who lives in North Carolina.
Federal authorities had seized four devices from Abedin and her estranged husband Weiner, including a laptop the former congressman used to send the sexual messages to the fifteen-year old girl. According to The New York Post, agents did not read the e-mails seized, because their warrant only covered Weiner’s messages.
However, The New York Police Department, along with the New York U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, led by Preet Bharara, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of North Carolina, may have all very well seen the emails in question when the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit first launched their own investigation into Weiner and his sexually explicit messaging to the teenage girl.
Additionally Fox News Channel’s Brett Baier reported no warrant was necessary for the FBI to search the laptop co-owned by him and Abedin, as Weiner gave permission to the agency to search the device.
I emailed that 2 sources say Weiner is cooperating w/ FBI- & co-owned laptop. Also NY FBI had info 4 a few weeks- pressure was building https://t.co/AHbQVtvQzg
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) October 30, 2016
Additionally, the U.S. Attorneys offices and local law enforcement have access to the FBI laboratory, for example, to conduct “scientific examinations of evidence for any federal, state, and/or local law enforcement organization in the United States.”
“With all of these law enforcement agencies, both local and federal, now looking into this case, it’s a sign that they’re really going after him,” a law enforcement source told The NY Post back in September. “They want to nail him.”
Less than two weeks ago, The Daily Mail reported that a federal grand jury was expected to hear the allegations against Weiner in the coming weeks. Weiner, as a result of the grand jury convening, already received a federal subpoena for his devices, as reported by CNN in September. The FBI confiscated Weiner’s electronic devices on October 3, The New York Times reported.