The warrant connected to the FBI search that Hillary Clinton says cost her the election shouldn’t have been granted, legal experts who reviewed the document released on Tuesday told The Huffington Post.
FBI Director James Comey shook up the presidential race 11 days before the election by telling Congress the agency had discovered new evidence in its previously closed investigation into the email habits of Clinton, who was significantly ahead in the polls at the time.
When Comey made the announcement, the bureau did not have a warrant to search a laptop that agents believed might contain evidence of criminal activity. The FBI set out to rectify that two days later, on Oct. 30, when agents applied for a warrant to search the laptop, which was already in the FBI’s possession. The FBI had seized the computer as part of an investigation into former Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The unsealed warrant “reveals Comey’s intrusion on the election was as utterly unjustified as we suspected at time,” Brian Fallon, a Clinton campaign spokesman,said on Twitter Tuesday.
Clinton’s lead in the polls shrank in the wake of Comey’s announcement. Then, just days ahead of election, the FBI announced its search was complete, and it had found no evidence of criminal activity. Clinton officials believe that second announcement damaged her as much as, or more than, the first, by enraging Trump supporters who believed the fix was in.
The legal experts’ argument against the validity of the subpoena boils down to this: The FBI had already publicly announced that it could not prove Clinton intended to disclose classified information. Without that intent, and without evidence of gross negligence, there was no case. The warrant offers no suggestion that proving those elements of the crime would be made easier by searching new emails.
The essence of the warrant application is merely that the FBI has discovered new emails sent between Clinton and Abedin.
That’s not enough. The idea that the mere existence of emails involving Clinton may be evidence of a crime is startling, said Ken Katkin, a professor at Salmon P. Chase College of Law. Read full story here