The WSJ is breaking news that the total amount of emails that the FBI will have to comb over in connection with the Clinton email server investigation numbers approximately 650,000 messages.
The Wall Street Journal tweeted: “Thousands may be tied to Clinton’s server.”
Breaking: FBI to scour 650,000 emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop; thousands may be tied to Clinton’s server https://t.co/de3Y3Nqr6E
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 30, 2016
Even more stunning is that the WSJ is reporting that the Weiner emails are now connected to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Zerohedge reports that this is Andrew McCabe, whose wife the WSJ reported last week received $467,500 in campaign funds in late 2015 from the political action committee of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime ally of the Clintons and, until he was elected governor in November 2013, a Clinton Foundation board member.
Mr. McAuliffe had supported Dr. McCabe in the hopes she and a handful of other Democrats might help win a majority in the state Senate, giving Mr. McAuliffe more sway in the state capitol. Dr. McCabe lost her race last November, and Democrats failed to win their majority.
FBI officials have said Mr. McCabe had no role in the Clinton email probe until he became deputy director, and there was no conflict of interest because by then his wife’s campaign was over.
Here is how the FBI connected Weiner’s emails to re-opening the Clinton investigation…
At a meeting early last week of senior Justice Department and FBI officials, a member of the department’s senior national-security staff asked for an update on the Weiner laptop, the people familiar with the matter said. At that point, officials realized that no one had acted to obtain a warrant, these people said.
Mr. McCabe then instructed the email investigators to talk to the Weiner investigators and see whether the laptop’s contents could be relevant to the Clinton email probe, these people said. After the investigators spoke, the agents agreed it was potentially relevant.
Mr. Comey was given an update, decided to go forward with the case and notified Congress on Friday, with explosive results. Senior Justice Department officials had warned Mr. Comey that telling Congress would violate well-established policies against overt actions that could affect an election, and some within the FBI have been unhappy at Mr. Comey’s repeated public statements on the probe, going back to his first press conference on the subject in July.
The Washington field office was probing financial relationships involving Mr. McAuliffe before he became a Clinton Foundation board member, these people said. Mr. McAuliffe has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyer has said the probe is focused on whether he failed to register as an agent of a foreign entity. The FBI field office in New York had done the most work on the Clinton Foundation case and received help from the FBI field office in Little Rock, the people familiar with the matter said.
In February, FBI officials made a presentation to the Justice Department, according to these people. By all accounts, the meeting didn’t go well.
Some said that is because the FBI didn’t present compelling evidence to justify more aggressive pursuit of the Clinton Foundation, and that the career public integrity prosecutors in the room simply believed it wasn’t a very strong case. Others said that from the start, the Justice Department officials were stern, icy and dismissive of the case.
“That was one of the weirdest meetings I’ve ever been to,” one participant told others afterward, according to people familiar with the matter.
According to a person familiar with the probes, on Aug. 12, a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe, despite the department’s refusal to allow more aggressive investigative methods in the case. Mr. McCabe said agents still had the authority to pursue the issue as long as they didn’t use those methods.
At this point a question emerges: did McCabe seek to defend or press on with a Clinton probe:
“Mr. McCabe’s defenders in the agency said that following the call, he repeated the instruction that he had given earlier in the Clinton Foundation investigation: Agents were to keep pursuing the work within the authority they had.
Others further down the FBI chain of command, however, said agents were given a much starker instruction on the case: “Stand down.” When agents questioned why they weren’t allowed to take more aggressive steps, they said they were told the order had come from the deputy director—Mr. McCabe. Others familiar with the matter deny Mr. McCabe or any other senior FBI official gave such a stand-down instruction.”
At this point the two probes, into Hillary’s email and the Clinton Foundation converged:
“For agents who already felt uneasy about FBI leadership’s handling of the Clinton Foundation case, the moment only deepened their concerns, these people said. For those who felt the probe hadn’t yet found significant evidence of criminal conduct, the leadership’s approach was the right response to the facts on the ground.”
Things accelerated over the past two months, when in September, agents on the foundation case asked to see the emails contained on nongovernment laptops that had been searched as part of the Clinton email case, but that request was rejected by prosecutors at the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn. Those emails were given to the FBI based on grants of partial immunity and limited-use agreements, meaning agents could only use them for the purpose of investigating possible mishandling of classified information.
“Some FBI agents were dissatisfied with that answer, and asked for permission to make a similar request to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. McCabe, these people said, told them no and added that they could not “go prosecutor-shopping.”
Not long after that discussion, FBI agents informed the bureau’s leaders about the Weiner laptop, prompting Mr. Comey’s disclosure to Congress and setting of the furor that promises to consume the final days of a tumultuous campaign.”
While much of the latest developments are known, or could have been inferred assuming more corruption within government agencies, the punchline is that the weeks if not months of upcoming work means that if Clinton wins the White House, she will likely do so amid at least one ongoing investigation into her inner circle being handled by law-enforcement officials who are deeply divided over how to manage such cases. It also means that Trump will be hounding Hillary for the remainder of the campaign as being the only presidential candidate to seek election with a recently reopened criminal probe hanging over her head.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.