Hillary Clinton’s ‘second daughter’ dragged into email scandal

November 1, 2016 11:00 am
The US presidential campaign is entering a frantic final week as both sides grapple with the fallout from the FBI’s announcement surrounding newly discovered emails, and the is suddenly on Huma Abedin.
FBI investigators have now obtained a warrant that will allow them to begin to search a private computer that is believed to contain thousands of emails sent by Ms Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide and “second daughter”, law enforcement sources confirmed Monday.
FBI Director James Comey says the additional trove of emails may be relevant to the Clinton email server inquiry, which closed without charges in July, but resurfaced on Friday – just 11 days prior to the election.

Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton. Photo / AP

Sources familiar with the investigation confirmed the device was seized, among others, early in October during an unrelated sexting investigation of Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former New York congressman who is being probed about alleged sexting with an underage girl.

Ms Abedin, who is the estranged wife of Mr Weiner, has been at Ms Clinton’s side for two decades and has been a close confidante since she entered the White House as a 19-year-old intern in 1996, assigned to the first lady.It is believed the laptop belongs to Mr Weiner.
She then served as Ms Clinton’s deputy chief of staff from 2009 to 2013, and as vice chairwoman of her 2016 presidential campaign and has been by her side throughout her nearly two-year pursuit of the White House.
“I have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would be Huma,” Ms Clinton said at the time.
Ms Abedin, 40, actually met her future husband through the Clintons in the early 2000s. When the couple was married in 2010, former US president Bill Clinton officiated at the ceremony. She and Mr Weiner have one son together, Jordan Zain, born in 2011.
The political aide, who travels everywhere with the Democratic candidate, arranging her schedule, accommodation and transport, accompanied her boss in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday as Ms Clinton gave a terse statement about the reopened FBI investigation. But she spent the weekend holed up in her New York apartment as speculation mounted that Ms Clinton might be forced to sack Ms Abedin, or distance herself in order to quell the storm.
The trusted aide hasn’t spoken publicly about the newly found emails but has reportedly told colleagues she had no idea how they ended up on the computer.
“The possibility that this device contains any emails of hers is to her,” a source familiar with the investigation and civil litigation told CNN. “The device supposedly at issue now belonged to Anthony, not her.”
Ms Abedin testified under oath several months ago that she had handed over all of her devices that could hold emails relevant to the investigation into Ms Clinton’s private email server.Video
She also told lawyers that, like millions of internet users who don’t manage their inboxes, she never deleted old emails on her devices, either at work or at home. “I didn’t have a practice of managing my mailbox other than leaving what was in there sitting in there,” Ms Abedin said. “They all stayed in whatever device I was using at the time or whatever desktop I was on at the time.”
The Washington Postalso reports Ms Abedin was not a regular user of the computer, and when she agreed to turn over emails to the State Department for federal records purposes, her lawyers didn’t search the device for materials.
In February 2013, Ms Abedin signed a document in which she promised to “turn over all classified or administratively controlled documents and materials” before she left her government job.
She could be facing up to five years in prison, if found to be lying, Daily Mailreports.
Meanwhile, FBI director James Comey has come under fire for not disclosing the new discovery weeks ago, raising questions about why the information was kept under wraps until just days before the election.Video
The timing of his letter drew criticism from Democrats and some Republicans who cast it as unprecedented and as potentially tipping the scales in the presidential race in favour of Mr Trump.
In a scathing letter to the FBI chief, Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada accused Mr Comey of double standards by investigating Ms Clinton’s emails and not possible ties between the Republican candidate and the Russian government.
“Your actions in recent months have demonstrated a disturbing double standard for the treatment of sensitive information, with what appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another,” Senator Reid said.
“I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act, which bars FBI officials from using their official authority to influence an election. Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”
Energised by the news, the GOP presidential nominee has rallied his supporters, calling the latest developments worse than Watergate and arguing that his candidacy has the momentum in the final days of the race.
“We never thought we were going to say ‘thank you’ to Anthony Weiner,” Mr Trump said in Nevada.
The FBI is now preparing to inspect roughly 650,000 emails on Mr Weiner’s laptop that it believes to be potentially relevant to the separate Clinton email investigation. How they may be relevant – or whether they are significant at all – remains unknown.
It is unclear whether the FBI will complete its investigation of the newly discovered emails before Election Day on November 8.

Hillary Clinton forcefully challenged the FBI’s new email inquiry, declaring during a campaign rally in the battleground state of Ohio: “There’s no case here.”
Clinton’s comments were her most pointed yet on the subject, and they underscored her campaign’s decision to fight back aggressively against FBI Director James Comey.
Last weekend – just over a week from Election Day – Comey alerted Congress that the FBI has obtained new material that may be related to its dormant investigation into whether classified information passed through Clinton’s private email server while she served as Secretary of State.The FBI plans to review the emails to see if they contain classified information and if so, whether they were handled properly. The Justice Department said today it would “dedicate all necessary resources” to concluding the review promptly.

She said that if the bureau wants to look at the emails, which appear tied to her longtime aide Huma Abedin, “by all means, they should look at them”.Clinton accused the FBI of having jumped into the election “with no evidence of any wrongdoing with just days to go”.
But she insisted the FBI would reach the same conclusion it did earlier this year, when it declined to recommend Clinton and her advisers face charges for how they handled classified information.
“They said it wasn’t even a close call,” she said.
“I think most people have decided a long time ago what they think about all of this.”
The investigation appears to centre on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former Congressman and Abedin’s estranged husband.
It’s unclear whether the material on the device was from Clinton. It’s also not known if the emails in question are new or duplicates of the thousands the former Secretary of State and her aides have already turned over.


In another sign of the Clinton campaign’s escalating feud with Comey, her advisers leapt on a CNBC report that the director opposed releasing information close to election day about Russian interference in the White House race.
Campaign manager Robby Mook called the report evidence of a “blatant double standard”.
The AP has not confirmed that report, and the FBI declined to comment on it today. Intelligence agencies have linked Russia to the hacking of Democratic groups during the campaign. Clinton has charged the Kremlin is trying to tilt the election in favour of Donald Trump and has questioned the Republican’s financial ties to Russia.
The Obama Administration delayed for weeks formally blaming Russia because of sensitive negotiations that were taking place with Moscow at the time over Syria, according to people familiar with the investigation. Even hawkish officials within the Justice Department who were urging an announcement blaming Russia did not object to waiting for those negotiations to conclude.


When the Syria talks collapsed in failure, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Homeland Security Department released a joint statement accusing Russia of the hacking.
Clinton’s advisers were stunned by Comey’s decision to publicly alert Congress that the bureau had new information that could be pertinent to its initial email investigation. Comey’s letter was short on detail, infuriating the Clinton campaign, which accused him of leaving the situation open to inaccurate interpretations.
Trump has seized on the FBI review, gleeful over getting a new opportunity to hammer Clinton’s trustworthiness and perhaps change the trajectory of a race that appeared to be slipping away from him.
Today, Clinton tried to refocus the contest on Trump as she opened the final full week of campaigning with a rally at Kent State University.
She’s blasted Trump at length for being unfit to serve as commander in chief, bringing together several of the charges she has leveled against him throughout the campaign.


Speaking in serious tones, Clinton warned at length about putting Trump in control of the nation’s nuclear stockpiles. She accused him of talking “casually” about nuclear war and wondered whether he knows “that a single nuclear warhead can kill millions of people”.
Clinton’s message was amplified by Bruce Blair, a former intercontinental ballistic missile launch control officer. Blair said he would “live in constant fear” of Trump making a bad call about nuclear weapons if he were still a launch officer.
Clinton’s blistering warnings about Trump’s preparedness for the Oval Office were an attempt to refocus the choice in front of voters after a rough stretch for her campaign.
Her team has long accepted that many voters simply don’t trust the former Secretary of State, but they believe she is viewed as more qualified than Trump to be president – an assertion backed up by many public opinion polls.
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