My new theory about the Weiner connection appears about halfway through this post. I beg you to consider the scenario with an open mind, because the possible implications go deep -- deeper than I originally realized. If I'm right, that particular laptop has been extremely
important over the past two years. In a subsequent post, we may discuss the matter in greater detail.
Want a hint? Very well. Ponder this: The Breitbart crowd has been focused on Weiner's online activities for a long, long time.
If there is one computer in the universe that the Breitbarters would want to hack into, that
computer is the one. I have long believed that Weiner was, in fact, hacked.
And with that, here is my original post...
* * *
You may already be sick of stories about the latest email pseudoscandal. But this piece in TPM
deserves your attention. An "insider" who knows how such things are done reports that a review of everything on the Abedin/Weiner computer shouldn't take very long -- a matter of days at most.
review of thousands of documents can be time-consuming, but the FBI has software which can pinpoint whether the documents duplicate known items, and whether anything is classified or relevant to a given inquiry.
So far, everything seems to point to the scenario outlined in my preceding post on this topic: Hillary didn't like reading long documents on her Blackberry, so she had Huma send them to her own account for printing out at home. For reasons given below, it seems obvious that none of this stuff was classified -- the State Department has a separate system for classified materials. So far, reports indicate that nothing new was found on the Abedin/Weiner laptop.
According to that Politico story from last month (see link in the post below), Huma told the FBI a long time ago that she forwarded messages to her personal account in order to use her printer at home. This NYT story
confirms the point.
Almost immediately, it became clear to investigators that the Weiner case might reignite the Clinton inquiry. Mr. Weiner’s estranged wife, Huma Abedin, is a top adviser to Mrs. Clinton, and F.B.I. agents in the earlier investigation had interviewed her and reviewed her emails looking for classified information.
On Oct. 3, F.B.I. agents seized several electronic devices from Mr. Weiner: a laptop, his iPhone and an iPad that was in large measure used by his 4-year-old son to watch cartoons, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Days later, F.B.I. agents also confiscated a Wi-Fi router that could identify any other devices that had been used, the person said.
While searching the laptop, the agents discovered the existence of tens of thousands of emails, some of them sent between Ms. Abedin and other Clinton aides, according to senior law enforcement officials. It is not clear if Ms. Abedin downloaded the emails to the laptop or if they were automatically backed up there.
"Automatically backed up"? Hmm. Y'know, that idea makes a lot of sense. That sort of thing has happened to me, and has probably happened to you.
I feel comfortable in presuming -- provisionally
-- that this scenario is likely. If you feel the same way, then we can toss out the allegations that Huma and her husband shared the same computer.
What about the claim that Huma defied instructions to turn over to the FBI all relevant computers and devices? Did she in any way deliberately mislead investigators?
My understanding is that she was the original owner of that machine, and that she gave it to her husband. After she handed it over to him, she probably didn't give it another thought.
Think about it: He could have peeked at her email account without her knowledge, using the password stored in the browser.
Millions of husbands have checked up on their wives in this fashion.
This procedure would result in Huma's email messages being stored locally on that laptop.
Obviously, this scenario reeks of hypocrisy, given Weiner's own recreational activities. Feel free to insert your own joke here; I'm too tired to come up with a witticism.
Can I prove this scenario? No. But it seems logical and common-sensical, dunnit? After all, he had given her ample grounds for divorce, and he would have been tempted to see if she was talking to friends about the big D. Both her username and password were right there on that machine.
If I am right, can we fairly say that Hillary allowed Weiner to access state secrets? No.
NO NO NO NO
Let's say it yet again
: None of the emails were from
Hillary or to
Hillary. As we've seen from previous releases, people in the State Department were passing around lots of internet articles and non-classified reports. Stuff like that. There was a lot of open-source stuff to read, or at least to skim. (I imagine that someone in Hillary's position has to do a lot of speed-reading.)
We have no reason to believe that any of the material forwarded to Huma's account was classified. In fact, we can safely presume the opposite. For two reasons:
1. As noted above, the FBI has had this computer since October 3.
2. As noted above, the FBI has software which can examine a document cache at lightning speed. As they say: There's an app for that
Today is October 29. Twenty-six days is plenty of time to discover classified material. If the FBI had found anything of that sort, Comey would have said so. Conclusion: Huma was simply sending innocuous texts home for printing, and anyone who says otherwise is mountain-izing a molehill for political purposes.
I wrote the above last night. This morning I read Michael Isikoff's report
that FBI agents did not yet have a warrant to review Abedin emails on the Weiner computer. Say what?
How is that even possible? They've had the bloody machine since the beginning of this month!
If you have an answer to that poser, please leave a comment. Meanwhile, let's return to last night's post...
Until today, my presumption was to give the Comey the benefit of the doubt, and to categorize his remarkable letter as a CYA exercise. I'm still open to that notion. But some recent news stories (like this one
) now have me leaning toward the theory that he did what he did for partisan reasons. (Comey is a Republican.)
Justice officials reminded the FBI of the department’s position “that we don’t comment on an ongoing investigation. And we don’t take steps that will be viewed as influencing an election,” said one Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the high-level conversations.
Speaking of partisanship:
“Director Comey understood our position. He heard it from Justice leadership,” the official said. “It was conveyed to the FBI, and Comey made an independent decision to alert the Hill. He is operating independently of the Justice Department. And he knows it.”
A Trump surrogate on CNN pissed me off today -- moreso than usual. Once again, he repeated the Big Lie that Clinton staffers destroyed cell phones in order to eliminate "incriminating information."
Why do the hosts of these programs allow these propagandists to spout lies without rebuttal? Time to repeat a point made in a number of previous posts. Once more into the breach dear friends...
Anyone who knows anything about how cell phones work can tell you that information is stored on the SIM cards, all of which were accounted for
. In destroying the hardware, the staffers thought that they were operating in accordance with regulation -- although, in truth, it doesn't matter if the phones were destroyed or re-purposed or used to create an avant-garde artwork. Without the SIM card, a phone is just plastic and metal.
The Trumpers have nothing left but pathetic lies and ultra-deceptive, ultra-aggressive trolling. The question is: Will the Big Lie tactic be enough to secure victory?