Comey: Classified Clinton emails forwarded to Anthony Weiner
Zachary Cohen, CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN) — FBI Director James Comey revealed Wednesday that Hillary Clinton emails containing classified information were “somehow” being forwarded to former congressman Anthony Weiner by his wife and top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.
Comey provided new details to Congress about how Clinton’s emails ended up on Weiner’s computer as the FBI director strongly defended his decision to alert Congress just days before the 2016 election about his agency’s investigation into emails potentially related to Clinton’s personal server.
“The team also told me we cannot finish this work before the election and then they worked night after night after night and they found thousands of new emails, they found classified info on Anthony Weiner,” Comey said while responding to a question from Sen. Dianne Feinstein at a Senate judiciary committee hearing.
“Somehow, her emails were being forward to Anthony Weiner, including classified information by her assistant, Huma Abedin,” he said.
In separate exchange with Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, Comey said that Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to Weiner for him “to print out for her so she could then deliver them to the Secretary of State.”
But there was no indication that Abedin “had a sense that what she was doing was in violation of the law” Comey added, and investigators couldn’t prove any sort of criminal intent.
The fact that Clinton and Abedin previously exchanged classified emails gave federal prosecutors probable cause to justify their review of Weiner’s laptop, according to a search warrant application.
The review of the laptop — publicly disclosed less than two weeks before the election — jolted Clinton’s campaign and resurfaced the controversy over her use of a private email server at the State Department.
At the time, Comey announced the FBI discovered emails possibly “pertinent” to the Clinton email server probe “in connection with an unrelated case.” That unrelated case was New York prosecutors’ separate investigation into allegations that Weiner — a former New York congressman and the estranged husband of Abedin — had allegedly exchanged sexually explicit messages with an underage girl.
Abedin’s lawyers have previously said she did not know the emails were on Weiner’s laptop and did not know how they got there.
In the end, the investigators determined the emails were mostly ones they had previously seen and Clinton was ultimately cleared by the FBI two days before the election.
“And so I met with them and they said we found a lot of new stuff,” Comey told Feinstein. “We did not find anything that changes our view of her intent.”
CNN’s Laura Jarrett contributed to this report.