Fox News: Weiner voluntarily released crucial PC to FBI

Loretta Lynch, DOJ refused warrant for FBI to seize Anthony Weiner's computer. Turns out they didn’t need that warrant says Fox News anchor Brett Baier. UPDATED.

"Trick or Treat!" (Cartoon by Branco, reproduced by arrangement and with permission. See below)*

WASHINGTON, October 30, 2016 – Things continued to get worse for Hillary Clinton and her campaign, as Fox News released a follow-on bombshell scoop this morning to the fast-breaking announcement that the FBI was effectively re-opening the Clinton email case.

According to a syndicated Sunday morning report posted on Town,

“Fox News chief political anchor Brett Baier reported Sunday that former Congressman Anthony Weiner voluntarily turned over to the FBI a personal computer that may have thousands of emails related to an investigation of Democratic president nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state…

‘Baier reported that two sources have told him that Weiner is cooperating with the FBI in the Clinton email investigation. Because he is cooperating, Baier reported, no warrant was needed to access his computer, which was shared at times by [his estranged wife, Huma] Abedin.”

Baier’s stunning announcement had first emerged as a Tweet:

PJ Media’s Debra Heine provided further details on this still-breaking, still developing bombshell story:

“A former FBI assistant director told CNN Saturday night that the FBI has for months been conducting an ‘intensive’ investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The former G-man, Tom Fuentes, also contradicted CNN’s reporting from earlier this year that said the FBI’s attempts to open a public corruption case into the Clinton Foundation were quashed by the DOJ. CNN reported back in August that three field offices wanted to launch an investigation, but DOJ officials had pushed back against opening a case because ‘the request seemed more political than substantive.’ There were conflicting reports at the time, however, which said a joint FBI-U.S. Attorney probe was indeed underway.

“Fuentes said, ‘The FBI has an intensive investigation, ongoing, into the Clinton Foundation.’ He added that ‘the reports that three divisions came in with a request to Washington to open cases, and that they were turned down by the Department of Justice – that’s not true.’

“… Fuentes continued, saying that ‘now you have her emails on a computer where the FBI already has a separate case going for Anthony Weiner’s alleged activities with a minor girl – so in a sense it’s almost turned into a one-stop shopping for the FBI. They could have implications affecting three separate investigations on one computer.’

“… Fuentes seemed to want to stress the importance of the Clinton Foundation investigation: ‘Intermixed with all of this is still the ongoing foundation investigation … so three separate cases,’ he said.”

UPDATE: Media reports agree that since the time of Brett Baier’s original report, the FBI has also obtained a warrent to examine and search the data on his computer. None of the reports thus far indicate the individual who issued the warrant. Earlier reports had agreed that the U.S. DOJ had refused to issue a warrant.

News is leaking hard and fast about this stunning political development, which is occurring during the final, conclusive week of Campaign 2016. Assembling the bits of the puzzle as they appear, a picture of what’s going on behind the scenes in official Washington, D.C., is beginning to emerge.

  1. Earlier this summer, current FBI Director James Comey, clearly under pressure from Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the White House, tried to finesse the ongoing Hillary Clinton email debacle by claiming Clinton had effectively committed no prosecutable offense, while at the same time dumping a treasure trove of relevant emails into the public domain—emails that effectively demonstrated she had committed not one but many prosecutable offenses. Comey—a Republican appointed to the FBI’s top post by the current administration—was apparently attempting to thread the needle, bowing to administration pressure to drop the case as the Presidential campaign began in earnest, but also providing damning evidence against Clinton for the electorate to examine before casting their votes.

Having also given immunity to a number of key Clinton aides, Comey also effectively closed off the ability of agents on the case to obtain computers and other devices from these officials or to grill them on what they knew and when they knew it. Leaks from one or more former FBI officials in communication with unknown agents inside the FBI quickly ascertained that Comey’s carefully orchestrated finessing of the Clinton email scandal had badly damaged the agency’s professional pride and reputation, a major blow keenly felt by agents and high agency officials who’d been working diligently on the case. Persistent leaks surfaced that some top agents and officials were threatening to resign en masse in protest. But no resignations were forthcoming.

2. In 2015, well before the FBI’s apparent Clinton email non-solution was engraved in stone, Virginia’s current Democrat governor and former Clinton bundler Terry McAuliffe may have attempted to influence the agency’s investigation according to recent media reports, including this one from the New York Post:

“Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton confidant, helped steer $675,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an FBI official who went on to lead the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system, according to a report.

“The political action committee of McAuliffe, the Clinton loyalist, gave $467,500 to the state Senate campaign of the wife of Andrew McCabe, who is now deputy director of the FBI, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“The report states Jill McCabe received an additional $207,788 from the Virginia Democratic Party, which is heavily influenced by McAuliffe.

“The money directed by McAuliffe began flowing two months after the FBI investigation into Clinton began in July 2015. Around that time, the candidate’s husband was promoted from running the Washington field office for the FBI to the No. 3 position at the bureau.

“Within a year, McCabe was promoted to deputy director, the second-highest position in the bureau.”

The NY Post report does note that the agency claimed McAuliffe’s financial support influenced neither McCabe nor the agency in any way. Nevertheless, due to his rapid promotion first to the agency’s number 3 slot and then to FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe became part of the FBI’s Clinton investigation team.

Ohio’s late Democrat Senator Howard Metzenbaum once famously lectured the Reagan administration’s attorney general Ed Meese on avoiding “even the appearance of impropriety.” Whatever the eventual truth of the matter, Andrew McCabe’s rapid promotion to second in command at the FBI, plus his subsequent involvement in the Clinton email investigation, does understandably create “the appearance of impropriety.”

3. After over two months of relentless Wikileaks document dumps of damning emails from both Clinton and her associates, FBI Director Comey suddenly sent a letter to Congress informing him that new information had come to light on the Clinton email scandal, leading the director to effectively re-open the case the Obama Administration and the Clinton organization had already assumed was behind them.

4. Friday, Saturday and now Sunday reports and leaks are fleshing out the still mysterious details behind this most-unexpected October Surprise. Here’s what we are learning:

* Damning new evidence was apparently discovered—accidentally—on a computer and/or other electronic devices obtained from Anthony Weiner during an unrelated investigation into the former Democrat Congressman’s ongoing sexting scandals—an investigation apparently involving New York City FBI agents and possibly law enforcement officials as well. Unconfirmed estimates claim that “tens of thousands” of damning Clinton-related emails resided on this computer, perhaps including many if not all the likely-damning emails Clinton carefully erased and “bleached” from her own servers.

*Learning of this unexpected treasure trove of new information—including those potentially “smoking gun” emails—those same frustrated FBI agents and/or officials, still furious over Comey’s earlier effective termination of the Clinton email investigation likely pressured Comey into opening the books back up on the case and informing Congress of this development, standard procedure in such cases. As noted in PJ Media’s report, former FBI assistant director Fuentes “told CNN that several ‘senior officials’ in and out of the bureau had been apprising him of what was going on with the investigations.”

*Unconfirmed leaks claim that either DOJ or AG Lynch herself refused to provide the FBI with a warrant to obtain and review the information on Weiner’s computer, which he apparently shared with his now-estranged wife, Huma Abedin, Clinton’s closest confidante for years.

*But, as Brett Baier revealed Sunday, in an amazing and unexpected twist to this story, it appears the FBI doesn’t need a warrant at all, since Weiner apparently granted the FBI free access to his computer. In other words, by volunteering to give the machine to the FBI for examination, Weiner freed the agency from the need to get a warrant to search it, leading to the speculation that the former Congressman may be cutting some kind of deal with law enforcement agencies—certainly a horrifying possibility for anyone even remotely involved with the Clinton campaign.

Trick or Treat from the NY Post, reporting on the latest Clinton doc dump that caused the FBI to re-open the case, via Anthony, The Weiner the World Awaited.
Trick or Treat from the NY Post, reporting on the latest Clinton doc dump that caused the FBI to re-open the case, via Anthony, The Weiner the World Awaited.

In typical Clinton fashion, Hillary Clinton and numerous surrogates immediately leaped into action with a two-pronged smear-and-innuendo attack on Comey and the FBI. Clinton is “demanding” that Comey release to her and to the public—immediately—whatever “new” evidence the agency has uncovered. Not only is this contrary to standard legal procedure in such a case. But what should also be obvious is that if they truly believe in “transparency,” both Clinton and Abedin are well aware of what’s in the newly-obtained emails and could likely release much of that “new” evidence themselves.

Hillary’s phony demand that Comey and the FBI release what they can’t release is another clever example of Clintonian smoke and mirrors meant to encourage Clinton’s supporters, baffle the general public, and smear Comey and his agency for not releasing what Clinton and/or Abedin could have released at any time during the FBI’s earlier investigation, but did not.

Hillary Clinton also openly lied when she claimed that Comey had sent his informational letter only to House Republicans. Not true. CDN’s expert fact checkers have awarded this whopper a solid Four Pinocchios. The letter was sent to all members of the appropriate House committee, Democrats included. More charitably, perhaps, we can regard Clinton’s devious half-truth as a sin of omission.

The Clinton team’s intentionally misleading but well-orchestrated response to the FBI’s latest political bombshell provides yet another example of the sociopathological dishonesty that has defined Hillary Clinton’s entire political career. Whether Clinton’s relentless, guiltless lying and eye-popping disregard for the law will derail her presidential ambitions still remains to be seen. But this time, we don’t have long to wait.

*Cartoon by Branco. Reproduced with permission and by arrangement with LegalInsurrection.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17