The FBI had no probable cause to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails just under two weeks before Election Day, according to a federal judge who ordered the unsealing of the search warrant documents.
FBI investigators seized a laptop belonging to the husband of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s husband, Anthony Weiner in a sexting scandal investigation. Agents found thousands of emails sent by Ms Abedin on the laptop, and petitioned a judge to reissue a warrant to search the emails.
The agents believed the emails likely contained classified information sent from Ms Clinton’s private server while she was Secretary of State.
Democrats, including Ms Clinton herself, attributed Donald Trump’s unexpected victory to a congressional letter from FBI director James Comey announcing the investigation into the emails.
When a federal judge unsealed the search warrant on Tuesday, the attorney who petitioned for the release of the documents lambasted the FBI, and said that they did not have probable cause to reopen the investigation, according to the Daily Mail.
E Randol Schoenberg said he was appalled by what he saw in the documents.
He added: I see nothing at all in the search warrant application that would give rise to probable cause.
Nothing that would make anyone suspect that there was anything on the laptop beyond what the FBI had already searched and determined not to be evidence of a crime, nothing to suggest that there would be anything other than routine correspondence between Secretary Clinton and her longtime aide, Huma Abedin.
Former Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon condemned the probe after the warrants were unsealed.
The unsealed filings regarding Huma’s emails reveals Comey’s intrusion on the election was as utterly unjustified as we suspected at time, he tweeted. There was nothing in search warrant filing to controvert Comey’s statements from July and truly establish probable cause of a crime. On day when new election data freshly suggests decisive impact of Comey letter, it is salt in the wound to see FBI rationale was this flimsy.
The Department of Justice had notified Mr Comey that his letter to Congress would go against department policy, which prohibits officials from commenting on investigations so close to an election. Mr Comey sent his letter to Congress 11 days before Election Day.
With only days left before 8 November, Mr Comey announced that the reopened probe did not change the conclusion not to bring charges to Ms Clinton reached in July.
Prior to the announcement of the letter, Ms Clinton was leading in national polls and in key battleground states.
President Bill Clinton blamed Mr Comey for the loss to Mr Trump recently.
James Comey cost her the election, he reportedly told a Bedford-Pound Ridge Record Review journalist.