The FBI search warrant released today is fascinating [PDF]. This part looks like proof of misconduct:
6. In executing the search of the laptop computer (the Subject Laptop) XXXXXX, FBI agents sorted the emails on the Subject Laptop to segregate emails XXXXXX. As a result, the FBI reviewed non-content header information for emails on the Subject Laptop to facilitate its search. In so doing, the FBI observed non-content header information indicating that thousands of XXXXXX resided on the Subject Laptop. Because XXXXXX emails were outside the scope XXXXXX the FBI did not review the content of those emails.
7. XXXXXX The non-content header information that the FBI agents reviewed on the Subject Laptop indicates that the emails on the Subject Laptop include emails sent and/or received by XXXXXX and at a XXXXXX email account appearing to belong to XXXXXX as well as correspondence between one of both of these accounts and State Department email accounts during and around XXXXXX The FBI’s investigation of the improper transmission and storage on unclassified email systems and servers has established that emails containing classified information were transmitted through multiple email accounts used by XXXXXX including XXXXXX and XXXXXX email accounts.
So they knew the time and date the emails were sent, from and to whom, and likely the subject line.
They had sorted and reviewed that header information before Comey’s letter or the search warrant. Reviewing the header information would tell you if they were duplicates of emails already reviewed. If they reviewed and sorted all the header information, how didn’t they know they were duplicates?
Newsweek says that’s what they found after Comey’s letter. Why didn’t they check first, or did they?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation determined that almost every email discovered in a laptop used primarily by the husband of an aide to Hillary Clinton was a duplicate of previously produced documents or personal emails, a person close to the case told Newsweek. As a result, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress Sunday saying the new emails have not changed the bureau’s earlier decision that no crime occurred with Clinton’s use of a private server while she was secretary of state.
Less than two weeks ago, Comey set the election on its head when he informed Congress that his agents had located emails that “appear to be pertinent” to the Clinton investigation. At that point, the FBI did not have a warrant to review the emails, nor had they sought permission from the owners of the laptop to search it. In fact, people involved in the case said, the FBI never asked either the Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, or her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, if they would voluntarily allow for such a search.