Newly publicized emails reveal the FBI tried to muddle the Senate testimony of then-FBI Director James Comey regarding the discovery of Hillary Clinton emails on the laptop of Anthony Weiner that contained classified information.
The emails were among 345 pages of records from the Justice Department obtained by the Washington watchdog Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
In an email thread May 9, 2017, with the subject line “Comey’s Testimony on Huma Abedin Forwarding Emails Was Inaccurate – ProPublica,” nearly a dozen top FBI officials scrambled to draft a letter to Congress about the May 3, 2017, testimony.
The ProPublica report said Comey’s “most surprising revelation was that Huma Abedin — [Anthony] Weiner’s wife and a top Clinton deputy — had made ’a regular practice’ of forwarding ‘hundreds and thousands’ of Clinton messages to her husband, ‘some of which contain classified information.’”
ProPublica said Comey “testified that Abedin had done this so that the disgraced former congressman could print them out for her boss.”
But the publication reported “FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton explained in an interview with the Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity on Thursday night that the FBI officials’ letter “tried to walk (Comey’s testimony) back but really didn’t.”
Fitton said the emails are further evidence that the FBI was “concerned about protecting Hillary Clinton.”
Just hours after the FBI issued the letter, Trump announced Comey’s firing.
The new cache of documents, Fitton said, also showed Michael Schmidt of the New York Times sent over to the FBI as a “heads up” — not looking for comment — an anti-Trump story about White House aide Jared Kushner.
“It shows again collusion between the media and the Comey FBI,” Fitton told Hannity.
In addition, emails between former FBI lead investigator Peter Strzok and his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, show how a report on Judicial Watch’s disclosure that a grand jury had been used in the Clinton email investigation set off a spat between the two.
“It just shows you that the FBI under Comey was an ethical mess, unprofessional and their handling of these investigations deserves another look-see,” Fitton said.
Emergency conference call on Weiner emails
WND reported in February that on the day the FBI re-opened the Hillary Clinton email investigation shortly before the 2016 election, Clinton lawyer David Kendall contacted the bureau’s general counsel with an urgent request for a meeting, newly obtained documents show.
Kendall, the longtime attorney for both Bill and Hillary Clinton, was complaining about Comey’s disclosure to Congress of the discovery of 694,000 Hillary Clinton emails on the laptop of Weiner.
The Clinton attorney’s complaint to FBI General Counsel James Baker led to an emergency conference call with top bureau officials, according to the documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the government watchdog Judicial Watch.
The re-opened investigation – led by Strzok – then was closed within days. Comey claimed that “thanks to the wizardry of technology,” FBI agents had been able to comb through all 694,000 emails and determine there was no new classified information or other information that would warrant further investigation.
However, Judicial Watch previously discovered through FOIA requests that there were at least 18 additional Clinton emails with classified information on the Weiner laptop. And only 3,077 of the 694,000 emails were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information, according to a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation who spoke to RealClear Investigations reporter Paul Sperry.
‘Are you serious, dude?’
Among the newly released documents is a series of emails on April 27, 2017, in which an FBI official whose name was redacted states that a Politico reporter forwarded them a Judicial Watch press release discussing how an FBI court filing revealed the existence of a grand jury targeting Clinton. The official then forwarded it to Strzok, Page and other redacted officials in the Counterterrorism Division and Director’s Office.
In a separate email exchange on April 27, 2017, about the same Judicial Watch press release, Page replies to someone in the Office of General Counsel saying, “I didn’t realize that we had said this publicly.”
Page then appears to quarrel with Strzok via email about the issue:
Page writes to Strzok: Are you serious, dude? I sent to [redacted]. So I’ve committed some grave sin for not including you on this? My apologies, DAD Strzok, sir.
Strzok emails Page: You know what? Take a step back and look at this… And stop with the DAD Sir bullsh*t. That’s not the point and you know it.
Page emails Strzok: I think you think you should take your own advice. I didn’t look to see who was on the distribution when I sent it. Sorry, that’s on me. But this is distinctly not a big deal. And I definitely didn’t err in not including you on a two-line email to [redacted]. Get a grip.