Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, blamed the former first lady’s 2016 election loss to GOP nominee Donald Trump on then-FBI Director James Comey in her newly released book.
Abedin cited Comey for reopening an investigation into Clinton after her emails were discovered on a laptop belonging to her then-husband, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, in the days before the 2016 election.
John Robertson, an FBI agent who was working in the child sex crimes unit in New York, made the discovery, finding tens of thousands of Clinton’s emails in late September of that year on one of Weiner’s laptops as the bureau investigated him for sex crime allegations involving a minor.
However, for several weeks after they were alerted to the emails, top FBI officials including since-fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI agent Peter Strzok, as well as FBI counterintelligence head Bill Priestap, did not take any investigative actions. None of them are mentioned in “Both/And,” Abedin’s new tome.
Comey, however, sent a letter to Congress advising members of the discovery in late October 2016 not long after he was briefed on the situation, which Abedin alleges affected the outcome of the election.
In her book, she wrote that “most of all, the totally gratuitous reopening of the FBI email investigation, had tilted the election” to Trump, a political newcomer at the time who walked away with the GOP nomination in a field of 17 candidates.
“For a long time, Comey was a daily nightmare for me, and even now the thought of what he did sometimes creeps in to torture me,” she also wrote. “But I have slowly come to accept that I am not the sole cause of the 2016 election loss.
“One man’s decision to play God forever changed the course of history. It should not be my burden to carry the rest of my life. It should be his,” she added.
But Abedin did not mention anything regarding revelations about the timing that have been revealed since then.
“Robertson implored Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Kramer of the Southern District of New York during an Oct. 19, 2016, meeting to push FBI leadership to look at the thousands of emails he had unearthed,” the Washington Examiner noted.
The outlet went on to note that a 2018 report from Justice Dept. Inspector General Michael Horowitz regarding the Clinton email probe noted that a search warrant for Weiner’s devices was obtained on Sept. 26, 2016, and that the “Weiner case agent,” Robertson, noted “within hours” that there were “over 300,000 emails on the laptop,” including many between Abedin and Clinton.
Two days later, William Sweeney, then with the New York Field Office of the FBI, was advised of Robertson’s discovery, and he, in turn, quickly told senior FBI leaders including McCabe.
The IG’s report noted “by no later than September 29, 2016, FBI executives and the FBI Midyear team had learned virtually every fact that was cited by the FBI in late October as justification for obtaining the search warrant for the Weiner laptop.”
But, Horowitz noted: “After October 4, we found no evidence that anyone associated with the [Midyear Exam] investigation, including the entire leadership team at FBI Headquarters, took any action on the Weiner laptop issue until the week of October 24, and then did so only after the Weiner case agent expressed concerns to SDNY, prompting SDNY to contact the Office of the Deputy Attorney General on October 21.”
Abedin wrote that she learned the email investigation into Clinton was being reopened in late October 2016 when the Democratic candidate’s comms director, Jen Palmieri, informed her. She wrote that “the instant she said ‘Anthony,’ my heart stopped.”
“This man was going to ruin me, and now he was going to jeopardize HRC’s chances of winning the presidency,” she noted.
“It turned out that the Southern District, which was prosecuting Anthony’s case involving the teenager, had found emails of mine on his laptop and to this day I do not know where or how because I never knew they were there,” wrote Abedin.
“I watched HRC’s face as she processed it. The moment she made eye contact with me, I just broke down.”
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