Comey 'falsely claimed Huma forwarded classified emails to Weiner'Daily Mail
May 9, 2017
FBI director James Comey has allegedly admitted to exaggerating the number of Hillary Clinton emails involved in the scandal that was blamed on her losing the presidency race.
In his sworn Senate testimony, The FBI chief told the judiciary committee top Clinton aide Huma Abedin made 'a regular practice' of forwarding 'hundreds and thousands' of emails to her husband Anthony Weiner, 'some of which contain classified information.'
But it is understood FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey's testimony was false as a result of an inspection brought about by a DailyMail.com exclusive on Weiner's emails.
The bureau is also probing Comey's controversial decision to notify lawmakers just before the election that his team was re-examining its investigation into Clinton's emails by looking into messages found on Weiner's laptop.
The letter is viewed by many as costing Clinton the election, since she lost by less than a percentage point in key swing states after polling indicated she was well in front of her opponent before the FBI chief's move.
Revealing the controversy last week, Comey said his agents had uncovered thousands of new emails that it had not yet reviewed in its Clinton investigation, because they ended up on the laptop of disgraced ex-Rep. Weiner.
Now it appears that he misspoke in his testimony.
An investigation by ProPublica revealed that FBI officials now acknowledge that Abedin forwarded 'just a handful' of emails - not 'hundreds and thousands' as Comey stated - to her husband so he could print them out.
It has also become apparent that none of the emails forwarded by Abedin contained markings that would indicate they were classified.
FBI officials are now said to be trying to figure out how to correct the record in light of the revelations, according to ProPublica.
Weiner's laptop was seized by the FBI as part of an investigation into a matter unrelated to the Clinton emails - the former Congressman's sexually explicit online relationships with young women - as a result of a DailyMail.com story.
After Comey's letter which revealed the existence of the emails on October 28 - just days before the November 8 election which Clinton would eventually lose to Donald Trump - the investigation found that the emails contained no incriminating information.
Comey was asked by Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz about the 'hundreds and thousands' comment during his testimony why Abedin and Weiner weren't charged with mishandling classified information.
'You said Ms Abedin forwarded hundreds or thousands of classified emails to her husband on a non-government, non-classified computer,' said Cruz.
'How does that conduct not directly violate the statute?'
Comey backtracked, saying: 'If I said that, I misspoke. She forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information.'
He acknowledged that both Abedin and Weiner 'potentially' may have violated the law, but no charges were brought because the FBI could not establish that they acted with criminal intent.
The FBI chief said the bureau was unable to interview Weiner about the issue 'because he has pending criminal problems of other sorts'.
Returning to Capitol Hill to get grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey was immediately challenged by the top panel Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California - and ended up giving his most detailed explanation of the cross-currents he faced.
Addressing his decision to announce the investigation into the emails, Comey told Senators he had no choice but to reveal new developments in the bureau's investigation just days before the presidential election, as he faced only bad options.
'Why was it necessary to announce, 11 days before a presidential election, that you were opening an investigation on a new computer without any knowledge of what was in that computer? Why didn't you just do that investigation as you would normally, with no public announcement?' Feinstein asked him.
Comey laid out the details of the investigation, saying in detail why he felt he had no choice but to divulge information to Congress, which ultimately made it public.
'I could not see a door labelled "No action here",' Comey responded.
Laying out his mindset at the time, he said: 'There's an election in 11 days. Lordy that would be really bad.
'Concealing in my view would be catastrophic.'
The FBI director was asked to explain the moment he was faced with the decision of revealing the email scandal or keeping a lid on it, with less than a fortnight left to run of the race for The White House.
He said: 'Whether it's a dog catcher election or president of the United States, but I sat there that morning and I couldn't see a door labeled no action here.
'I could see two doors and they were both actions. One was labeled speak the other was labeled conceal.'