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What we know about the FBI’s new probe of Clinton’s emails

The FBI has dropped what amounts to a political bomb on Hillary Clinton’s campaign


 
A Pokemon poster is visible behind Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as she speaks to volunteers at a Democratic party organizing event at the Neighborhood Theater in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A Pokemon poster is visible behind Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as she speaks to volunteers at a Democratic party organizing event at the Neighborhood Theater in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — Thought the furor over Hillary Clinton’s private emails was over? Think again.

The FBI dropped what amounts to a political bomb on the Clinton campaign on Friday when it announced it was investigating whether new emails involving the Democratic presidential nominee contain classified information.

The announcement was a surprise considering the FBI had closed its investigation into Clinton’s private email server in July. Turns out, though, this investigation doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Clinton’s homebrew server. A U.S. official with knowledge of the case said the new emails were uncovered recently in an unrelated sexting probe involving the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

What we know:

CLINTON AND HER SERVER

Shortly after Clinton announced her plans to run for president, the FBI began investigating the handling of classified material involving her server in New York while she was President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

Clinton insisted all along that she never sent or received emails that were marked classified at the time, but some emails on her server were later deemed top secret or included confidential or sensitive information.

Most of the messages have shown how Clinton dealt with a series of foreign policy hurdles, from the Arab Spring in the Middle East to the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It has also offered a more private window into Clinton’s daily life, showing her asking an aide to help her find Showtime’s CIA-focused drama “Homeland,” getting political intelligence from longtime allies and managing a busy schedule and flights around the globe.

Last July, the FBI said it wasn’t recommending criminal charges against Clinton. But FBI Director James Comey delivered a blistering televised statement in which he called Clinton extremely careless with her handling of national secrets and contradicted her past explanations about her emails.

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WHAT’S NEW?

In a letter to Congress on Friday, Comey said the FBI is investigating whether there is classified information in newly discovered emails. Comey says the emails surfaced during an unrelated FBI case, but didn’t say where the new emails came from or who sent them.

A U.S. official with knowledge of the case said the emails were related to a separate sexting probe involving Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The official was not authorized to discuss details publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Federal authorities are investigating illicit text messages Weiner sent a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. The New York Times, which first reported the connection, said the FBI uncovered the new emails after it seized electronic devices belonging to Abedin and Weiner.

Clinton told reporters that she knew no more than they did about Comey’s revelation. “We don’t know the facts, which is why we are calling on the FBI to release all the information that it has,” she said at a brief news conference. “Even Director Comey noted that this new information might not be significant, so let’s get it out.”

As far as any connection to Abedin and Weiner, Clinton said: “You know, we’ve heard these rumours. We don’t know what to believe. And I’m sure there will be even more rumours.”

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CLASSIFICATION CONFUSION

Clinton told the FBI she didn’t pay attention to particular levels of classified information, though she said she treated all classified information the same.

She said she could not give an example of how classification of a document was determined, and told the FBI that she relied on career professionals to handle and mark classified information.

At one point in the interview, she was presented with a 2012 email that included a “c” marking before one of the paragraphs. Though the marking was meant to connote that the material was “confidential” _ the lowest level of classification _ Clinton said she wasn’t sure.

She speculated that perhaps the “c” referenced the paragraphs being “marked in alphabetical order,” according to the FBI interview.

Either way, Clinton said she regarded the content of the email as a “condolence call” and questioned the classification level.

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THE EMAILS OF SECRETARIES OF STATE PAST

According to the FBI investigation, Clinton contacted Colin Powell in January 2009 to ask about his use of a BlackBerry when he was secretary of state.

He warned her that if she used a BlackBerry to “do business,” her emails could become official public records.

“Be very careful. I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data,” he advised Clinton, the FBI said.

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WAIT … WEINER?

Yes. Federal authorities began investigating the former New York congressman in late September after an online news outlet, DailyMail.com, published an interview with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl who said she had exchanged sexually explicit messages with him over several months.

Among other things, the girl said that during a Skype chat, Weiner had asked her to undress and touch herself.

Weiner released a statement acknowledging that he’d corresponded with the girl. In it, he apologized, saying he had “repeatedly demonstrated terrible judgment about the people I have communicated with online.”

But he also said he had “likely been the subject of a hoax” and provided an email, written by the girl to a teacher, in which she recanted her story.

Federal prosecutors in both North Carolina and New York were initially involved in the investigation, but agents in New York subsequently took the lead, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after it was revealed he had been exchanging sexually explicit messages with multiple women. Abedin announced their separation in August following new sexting revelations.

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WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

The FBI disclosure isn’t good news for Clinton, who had just begun to pull away from Republican rival Donald Trump in the polls after the release of a 2005 video in which Trump bragged about sexual assault.

The best scenario for Clinton is that the investigation is resolved quickly without charges. But it’s more likely the review will take some time, casting a shadow over the election.

Within minutes of Friday’s FBI announcement, Trump accused Clinton of orchestrating a “criminal scheme” before a boisterous and jubilant crowd.

“Perhaps finally justice will be done,” Trump said.

 


 

What we know about the FBI’s new probe of Clinton’s emails

  1. This may be planned by the Obama administration in cahoots with the Clinton campaign. This Weiner / Clinton sexting / email “news” is not new…maybe a month old, so they might find some item here that they can blame on Weiner or Amedin, or even Clinton.

    First, if Hillary is charged with anything before the election, Obama could pardon her. Secondly, even if she loses the election and is then charged, Obama could pardon her or, thirdly, and this is astounding; if she is elected President, following the inauguration, she can even pardon herself !!!

    If she is charged, she can be pardoned. If not, there is no reason to pardon her. BUT, if Trump wins and she is NOT charged until after the inauguration in January, who will pardon her then? Certainly not Trump!

    Solution: Vote Trump and hope that she isn’t charged before Obama leaves office. This would save Comey’s reputation, for sure.

  2. To me, this is a big stink bomb designed by the GOP congress, getting the FBI to do it’s dirty work in order to kneecap the DNC lead, but I don’t think it’s going to work, because I would venture to say the FBI will pay a price for this uncoordinated stunt to play ‘Double Jeopardy’ on a case they already bungled. The FBI is going back to it’s ‘Edgar J Hoover’ days, if you don’t like the new president to be, just call Edgar(Comey). The funny thing, the American MSM is running with a ghost story, because it’s nothing but smoke and mirrors to keep the MSM from calling Groper Trump, what he is, is a Groper. That Groper story, was killing Trump personally, It was wearing on him, you could see it in Trumps eyes. If there was a scandal to take Trump down, it was the Groping story, and now if he is elected, the White House going to have to segregate Trump from the female staff at the 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I would rather see a women with years of on the job experience, than a President with experience as an on the job Groper. Lock up the women at 1600 Penn.

    • I take back what I said, lock up the women on 1600 Penn Ave if Groper Trump is elected, I should have said, lock up Groper Trump from the women who work on 1600 Penn Ave., at least put an ankle bracelet on him to keep a track on his movements in the Whitehouse, if elected, sorry ladies.

      • Well, Carpet Bomber, Trump won, even though the main stream media obfuscated and ignored known facts about Hillary. The Dems lost because they, not only fielded the worst candidate they have ever put up, but it was Republicans who didn’t want Hillary, nor her confirmed sexual predator husband occupying the White House.

    • So are you saying that somehow this is the GOPs fault? My goodness. Talk about suburban myths and breaking out the tinfoil hats. It must be like an episode of Dr. Who to you?

      I suppose the GOP forced Weiner into sexting underage teenagers and than planted the Hillary email evidence on his laptop? And it was the GOP who many years ago talked poor old Bill into his clandestine behaviour with the ladies? Where’s all your rage on these guys? At least try for a smidgen to talk off the partisan glasses. Is that possible for you?

      Fact – 35000+ emails have been released from Hillary’s “poor decision making” behaviour.
      Fact – The Dems have claimed the emails were illegally obtained from them (i.e. stolen). They have not denied nor confirmed the content of the emails.
      Fact – Anthony Weiner’s laptop, along with those of other Dems corroborate the emails. Thereby demonstrating that the content of the emails is accurate (see above about Dems also not denying nor confirming the content of said emails).
      Fact – The FBI re-opened the investigation into Hillary solely based on new evidence obtained on Weiner’s laptop.
      Fact – You can actually read the public record of the re-opened investigation on the FBI’s website.

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