Lawyer 'Appalled' by Warrant FBI Used in Clinton Email Case

Judge unseals warrant used to seize and search Anthony Weiner's laptop
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2016 1:59 PM CST
FBI Warrant That Led to New Clinton Accusations Unsealed
FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. A federal court on Tuesday released redacted copies of the search warrant and other documents that gave the FBI new license to dig into a trove of Hillary Clinton emails days before the presidential election.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

A judge has unsealed the warrant the FBI used to search Anthony Weiner's laptop in connection with the Hillary Clinton email case—and the lawyer who requested its unsealing says he's "appalled" by what it says, USA Today reports. The warrant states that the FBI had "probable cause to believe" the laptop held "evidence, contraband, fruits, and/or items illegally possessed" but doesn't get more specific. According to the Washington Post, it mostly relies on evidence the FBI already had—evidence the FBI had decided wasn't enough to bring charges against Clinton or keep the case open. "There is probable cause to believe that the Subject Laptop contains correspondence between [REDACTED] and Clinton," CNN quotes from the warrant. The redacted name is Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

The Post notes the warrant will likely lead critics to conclude the FBI relied on "flimsy evidence." And indeed Randy Schoenberg, the lawyer who filed the Freedom of Information Act request that got it unsealed, says it's unclear "why they thought they might find evidence of a crime, why they felt it necessary to inform Congress, and why they even sought this search warrant." "I see nothing at all in the search warrant application that would give rise to probable cause," he tells USA Today. On the other hand, a defense attorney tells the Post that the FBI's rationale in the warrant is sufficient to meet the "low standard" of probable cause. (More emails stories.)

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