Justice Department officials should launch a “serious investigation” of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email address to conduct official U.S. business, according to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. The probe should include the “obvious violations of law” by her top aide, Huma Abedin, he also said.
The violations to which Fitton refers were the five emails marked “classified” that were found among 2,800 work-related emails by the FBI on a laptop owned by Abedin and her now disgraced and estranged husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
The emails were made public Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit Judicial Watch filed in March 2015. The 2,800 emails were among thousands found by the FBI that spurred the bureau to reopen its investigation in October 2016 and raise new questions about the Clinton team’s mishandling of classified information on the private server.
“This is a major victory,” Fitton said in a statement. “That these government docs were on Anthony Weiner’s laptop dramatically illustrates the need for the Justice Department to finally do a serious investigation of Hillary Clinton’s and Huma Abedin’s obvious violations of law.”
He added, “After years of hard work in federal court, Judicial Watch has forced the State Department to finally allow Americans to see these public documents. It will be in keeping with our past experience that Abedin’s emails on Weiner’s laptop will include classified and other sensitive materials.”
After Weiner found himself at the center of a sexting investigation, Abedin filed for divorce.
The classified and heavily redacted emails discovered on Weiner’s computer concerned discussions about Hamas, the Palestine Liberation Organization, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and United Arab Emirates officials. Other emails emphasized Clinton’s continued interest in politics while she served as the country’s top diplomat.
A State Department spokesperson said it “carefully reviews the content of records requested through FOIA to determine whether any information is sensitive or classified” when it noted Friday that several of the Abedin emails contained “classified information that has been redacted,” Politico reported.
The 2,800 emails released Friday returned the spotlight to the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation during the 2016 presidential election. Former FBI Director James Comey closed the bureau’s Clinton investigation in July 2016, while noting that the failed Democratic candidate and her aides had been “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
Earlier in December, President Donald Trump told reporters that “it’s a shame what’s happened” with the FBI and the results of its “really disgraceful” investigation into Clinton’s private email server usage.
“We’re going to rebuild the FBI. It’ll be bigger and better than ever, but it is very sad when you look at those documents, and how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful, and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it,” Trump said.