FBI Director James Comey apparently lied under oath about the number of emails Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin sent to then-husband Anthony Weiner.
As ProPublica reported, Comey’s estimate that Abedin sent “hundreds and thousands” of emails to Weiner’s laptop on a regular basis to be printed out for the former Secretary of State has turned out to be a dramatic overestimation. In actuality, Weiner’s laptop only had a negligible number of emails, and none had the “classified” designation at the time they were sent. Many of those emails apparently were put on the laptop inadvertently as a result of Abedin backing up her mobile device:
According to two sources familiar with the matter — including one in law enforcement — Abedin forwarded only a handful of Clinton emails to her husband for printing — not the “hundreds and thousands” cited by Comey. It does not appear Abedin made “a regular practice” of doing so. Other officials said it was likely that most of the emails got onto the computer as a result of backups of her Blackberry.
While FBI officials were planning to send a letter to Congress this week to explain the error, that plan has since been put on hold, and the nation’s chief investigatory agency is now at loggerheads with itself on what to do. As of this writing, no official explanation has been given for Comey’s error, and neither the FBI nor Huma Abedin have offered any comment on the matter.
The FBI’s late October announcement that it was re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server due to the emails found on Weiner’s laptop has been widely panned by Clinton supporters as the “October surprise” that pushed Donald Trump to victory. Princeton professor Sam Wang called the late October email surprise as “the Comey effect,” documenting how Clinton’s poll numbers dropped in the days between the investigation and the election by a wide enough margin to give Trump the edge he needed.
Clinton was ultimately vindicated after the conclusion of the investigation.