Comey’s Testimony on Huma Abedin Forwarding Emails Was Inaccurate
by Peter Elkind, ProPublica
May 8, 2017, 10:39 p.m.
FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found. On Monday, the FBI was said to be preparing to correct the record by sending a letter to Congress later this week. But that plan now appears on hold, with the bureau undecided about what to do.
ProPublica is reporting a story on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton emails and raised questions with government officials last week about possible inaccuracies in Comey’s statements about Abedin.
It could not be learned how the mistake occurred. The FBI and Abedin declined ProPublica’s requests for comment on the director’s misstatements.
During his testimony, Comey said that part of the reason for revealing the existence of the messages was that some appeared to fill an eight-week gap in records from early in Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. Comey said the FBI viewed them as “the golden missing emails that would change this case” because they might provide insights into Clinton’s intent when she set up her private server.
Comey testified that investigators searching Weiner’s laptop in the days before the election also found that “somehow, her emails are being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information, by [Clinton’s] assistant, Huma Abedin.” Abedin, he later testified, “appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him, for him I think to print out for her so she could then deliver them to the Secretary of State.”
After Comey painted this troubling picture, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz demanded to know why Abedin and Weiner hadn’t been charged with mishandling classified information, calling the failure to do so “puzzling.”
“You said Ms. Abedin forwarded hundreds or thousands of classified emails to her husband on a non-government, non-classified computer,” said Cruz. “How is — how does that conduct not directly violate the statute?”
Comey offered a partial clarification, telling the Texas senator: “…if I said that, I misspoke. She forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information.” Comey agreed both Abedin and Weiner “potentially” might have committed a crime, but said the FBI found no basis for concluding either had acted with criminal intent. Comey said the FBI had been unable to discuss the matter with Weiner “because he has pending criminal problems of other sorts.”
President Trump dismisses FBI Director Comey
By Devlin Barrett, Washington Post
May 9 at 5:46 PM
FBI Director James B. Comey has been dismissed by the president, according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer.
“The president has accepted the recommendation of the Attorney General and the deputy Attorney General regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Spicer told reporters in the briefing room, according to a pool report.
Earlier in the day, the FBI notified Congress that Comey misstated key findings involving the Hillary Clinton email investigation during testimony last week, saying that only a “small number’’ of emails had been forwarded to disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, not the “hundreds and thousands’’ he’d claimed in his testimony.
The letter was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, more than a week after Comey testified for hours in defense of his handling of the Clinton probe.
“This letter is intended to supplement that testimony to ensure that the committee has the full context of what was reviewed and found on the laptop,’’ wrote FBI Assistant Director Gregory A. Brower.
In defending the probe at last week’s hearing, Comey offered seemingly new details to underscore the seriousness of the situation FBI agents faced last fall when they discovered thousands of Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s emails on the computer of her husband, Anthony Weiner.
“Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,” Comey said, adding later, “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him I think to print out for her so she could then deliver them to the secretary of state.”
At another point in the testimony, Comey said Abedin “forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information.’’
Neither of those statements is accurate, said people close to the investigation.
Tuesday’s letter said “most of the emails found on Mr. Weiner’s laptop computer related to the Clinton investigation occurred as a result of a backup of personal electronic devices, with a small number a result of manual forwarding by Ms. Abedin to Mr. Weiner.’’
The letter also corrected the impression Mr. Comey’s testimony had left with some listeners that 12 classified emails were among those forwarded by Abedin to Weiner.
“Investigators identified approximately 49,000 emails which were potentially relevant to the investigation,” the letter said. “All were reviewed with a particular focus on those containing classified information. Investigators ultimately determined that two e-mail chains containing classified information were manually forwarded to Mr. Weiner’s account.’’
Ten other emails chains that contained classified information were found on the laptop as a result of backup activity.
F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
MAY 9, 2017
President Trump has dismissed the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Tuesday.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” Mr. Trump said in a letter dated Tuesday to Mr. Comey.
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the F.B.I. that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” Mr. Trump wrote.
Officials at the F.B.I. said they were not immediately aware of Mr. Comey’s dismissal.
In a separate letter released at the White House, Mr. Spicer said that the president informed the director that he has been “terminated and removed from office.”
Will he do a perp walk for lying in sworn testimony? Of course not. For Trump of course this is too little, too late and opens up another line of inquiry- who did Comey get his marching orders from, and when?