The search warrant that allowed the FBI to search Hillary Clinton's emails one week before the election shouldn’t have been granted, say legal experts who looked at the warrant released Tuesday, reported the Huffington Post. Clinton more than once has in part blamed FBI director James Comey for her election loss.
The FBI applied for a warrant allowing for the search of Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s laptop after discovering new emails between the two. The feds made the discovery while investigating Abedin’s estranged husband Congressman Anthony Weiner’s sexting with a 15-year-old.
The warrant was unsealed Tuesday after attorney E. Randol Schoenberg sued to have the warrant unsealed. Schoenberg said he was “appalled” after reviewing the document, saying, “Nothing at all in the search warrant application that would give rise to probable cause, nothing that would make anyone suspect that there was anything on the laptop beyond what the FBI had already searched and determined not to be evidence of a crime, nothing to suggest that there would be anything other than routine correspondence between Secretary Clinton and her longtime aide Huma Abedin.”
Clark Cunningham, the W. Lee Burge chair in law and ethics at Georgia State University, told the Huffington Post that the FBI’s search warrant was in violation of the Fourth Amendment. “The heart of the warrant application is para 26 on [page] 10, which is nothing more than mere speculation that there is classified info on the laptop,” Cunningham said. “Unless probable cause is based on redacted sentences, which seems unlikely.”
Ken Katkin, a Salmon P. Chase College of Law professor, said of the warrant: “The warrant application seems to reflect a belief that any email sent by Hillary Clinton from a private email server is probably evidence of a crime. If so, then it must be seen as a partisan political act, rather than a legitimate law enforcement action.”
The warrant was also condemned by Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon, who said the released document has revealed the FBI probing was as “utterly unjustified” as they had thought.
The unsealed filings regarding Huma's emails reveals Comey's intrusion on the election was as utterly unjustified as we suspected at time— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) December 20, 2016
There was nothing in search warrant filing to controvert Comey's statements from July and truly establish probable cause of a crime— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) December 20, 2016
And yes, campaign made errors - esp in Wisc & Mich. But Comey must account for his actions too, given how unsupported we now see they were— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) December 20, 2016
The Clinton campaign has also blamed Russian hacking for impacting the election. Since then, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Russia's election hacking was meant to help Donald Trump win and that Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly involved with the hacks.