Drain the Swamp

Watchdog Group Sues for Emails on Anthony Weiner Laptop

Judicial Watch asks federal court to order release of messages on disgraced congressman's computer

A Washington-based nonprofit government watchdog group is suing the Department of Justice (DOJ) for emails the FBI obtained from former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop during its investigation of 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Weiner, a New York Democrat, was married to longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

The discovery of the laptop prompted then-FBI Director James Comey to reopen the investigation days before the 2016 election. Clinton has blamed that — among many other things — for her huge upset loss to President Donald Trump.

“The Anthony Weiner laptop-Clinton email cover-up by the Obama DOJ and FBI is central to uncovering the corrupt politicization of those agencies,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement Tuesday. “The same FBI that provided cover for Hillary Clinton was going full-bore against then-candidate Trump, and this lawsuit aims to uncover the full truth about that corruption.”

The FBI was investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server she had installed in her home north of New York City when she was secretary of state. Although numerous emails found on that server contained classified information, Comey determined that she did not intend to violate the law and, therefore, should not be charged.

Judicial Watch asked for the emails under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on Dec. 12, 2016. After the FBI denied the request, Judicial Watch appealed. The agency never acted on the appeal, so the nonprofit group filed a second FOIA request in September of last year.

The group seeks:

  • All records regarding the search of the laptop.
  • All records retrieved from the laptop.
  • All records of communications, emails, text messages and instant chats, sent to or from FBI officials relating to Clinton’s knowledge or possible knowledge of illicit activities involving Weiner.

Weiner (pictured above) resigned from Congress in 2011 after it became public that he was “sexting” with a woman. A second sexting scandal buried his comeback attempt in 2013, when he was running for mayor of New York.

In September 2016, as his wife was trying to help Clinton win the presidential election, the Daily Mail published an article claiming Weiner was sexting with a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina.

Weiner ended up pleading guilty last year to transferring obscene material to a minor.

He is serving a 21-month prison sentence.

Related: Despite Comey Assurances, Vast Bulk of Weiner Laptop Emails Were Never Examined

FBI investigators from the New York field office discovered Abedin’s emails on Weiner’s laptop in October 2016 while investigating the sexting case. The files include data indicating that the emails went through Clinton’s .gov email system.

A separate lawsuit by Judicial Watch uncovered at least 18 classified emails on Weiner’s laptop from the Clinton server. The organization obtained that information from among 798 documents produced by the Department of State.

That document release included 147 new Abedin work-related documents — including five newly discovered classified emails.

Judicial Watch referenced a report in RealClearInvestigations indicating the FBI had reviewed only 3,077 of 694,000 emails on Weiner’s laptop.

(photo credit, article image: Rep. Anthony Weiner, CC BY-ND 2.0, by Center for American Progress Action Fund)