Legal Expert: Hillary Derailed By ‘Bigger-Than-Watergate’ Conspiracy At FBI (TWEETS)

For all the flurry over the presidential election being tainted by hackers aligned with the Kremlin, one other story that raises questions about this election’s integrity has largely been pushed into the background. Namely, the now-infamous letter FBI director James Comey wrote to Congress announcing that his agency was reviewing evidence that could potentially be related to Hillary Clinton’s email server. Well, a legal expert and former public defender has looked at the circumstances surrounding that letter, and believes that they strongly suggest FBI agents deliberately conspired to cripple Hillary’s campaign and hand the election to Donald Trump.

As we all know by now, on October 3, FBI agents investigating former congressman Anthony Weiner stumbled on emails from his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, on one of Weiner’s computers. Abedin was also Hillary’s top aide, and as such had been a major focus of the email server investigation. However, they waited some three weeks before notifying Comey. Supposedly, they wanted to make sense of what they’d found before escalating the matter.

Seth Abramson, an English professor at the University of New Hampshire and a former public defender in the Granite State, isn’t buying it. Abramson notes that the agents knew or should have known that they could not look at any emails from Abedin to anyone other than Weiner without a search warrant. They also knew or should have known that the moment they found any emails from Abedin to anyone related to the email server investigation, they would have needed a warrant to read them. For that reason, Abramson concluded that the agents had “all the information they needed” to call Comey and get said warrant on October 3.

The fact that they didn’t do so is gross incompetence at best, especially considering the stakes. It is reason by itself to demand that Comey and the agents handling the Weiner case be fired. But Abramson took a close look at the timeline of this affair, and found a number of anecdotes that take this from mere incompetence to what is potentially a “bigger-than-Watergate scandal.”

For one thing, the agents hadn’t talked to Abedin as late as October 29. This made Abramson wonder whether the agents wanted to deny her “a public or even a private platform” to give her side of the story.  As it turned out, most of those emails were duplicates of emails that the FBI already had. Comey himself could have cross-referenced those emails with the meta-data from the emails found on Weiner’s computer, and quickly determined that there was no there there. It simply defies belief that Abedin would risk prison time for sitting on emails with almost no evidentiary value. It’s even more suspicious when you consider that the FBI has stated all along that Abedin has cooperated fully.

While the Weiner agents didn’t seem to have time to alert Comey, they did find the time to tell the investigators from the email server case, whose interest was certainly piqued by this information. The email server investigators, in turn, illegally leaked the information to Trump BFF Rudy Giuliani, who noted that there was “tremendous anger” among several agents who wanted Hillary indicted in July. How angry were they? Well, Abramson has a theory.

Abramson also notes that as soon as the letter was released, FBI agents announced that there was no way they could possibly complete the investigation before Election Day–only to be immediately overruled by Comey. This meant that millions of people went to the polls before Comey ultimately cleared Hillary of any wrongdoing.

The consensus of most analysts is that a statement about these emails in early October would have been far less damaging to Hillary’s chances than a late-October announcement. There’s mathematical proof to back it up, too. Nate Silver crunched the numbers, and found that enough voters flipped from Hillary to Trump in the week before Election Day to cost Hillary Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin–and therefore, the Electoral College.

Put it all together, and at the very least this situation is firmly in “what did they know and when did they know it” territory. Firmly enough, in fact, that Abramson wonders–loudly–why the media hasn’t even tried to “connect the dots they themselves have drawn with so much care.” That’s a valid question, in light of what appears to be overwhelming circumstantial evidence that Hillary lost the Electoral College because of behavior on the FBI’s part that was unprofessional at best and criminal at worst.

It may not be long before we know which of the two it is. Last week, attorney E. Randol Schoenberg sued the FBI to force the release of the search warrant for Abedin’s emails. He wouldn’t have even had to file the suit had the FBI complied with a FOIA request for that warrant. On Tuesday, federal judge P. Kevin Castel strongly hinted that he may release the warrant as early as Thursday–two business days before the Electoral College convenes.

Abramson notes that if the warrant or any redactions are in any way suspicious, it would be strong evidence of “political collusion at the FBI.” It could also potentially cause enough electors to defect that it would cause a deadlock–and thus allow “ample time” for investigations of both the FBI’s behavior and Russian interference before the House meets to decide the presidency.

At best, the FBI handled the Abedin emails in a grossly unprofessional and incompetent manner–one that directly impacted the outcome of the election. That alone demands that everyone responsible for this, including Comey, lose their jobs. But unless the agents on the Weiner case have a very good explanation for why they told the Hillary server investigators about the emails rather than tell Comey, they’d better have lawyers on speed dial.

(featured image courtesy DonkeyHotey, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.