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F.B.I. Investigating New Emails That May Or May Not Be Connected To Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Blackberry

In a letter sent to Congress late this afternoon, F.B.I. Director James Comey informed Congress that the bureau was examining new emails that may or may not be connected to the previous investigation and Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State:

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials said Friday that the new emails uncovered in the closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server were discovered after the F.B.I. seized electronic devices belonging to Huma Abedin, a top aide to Mrs. Clinton, and her husband, Anthony Weiner.

The F.B.I. is investigating illicit text messages that Mr. Weiner sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. The bureau told Congress on Friday that it had uncovered new emails related to the Clinton case — one federal official said they numbered in the thousands — potentially reigniting an issue that has weighed on the presidential campaign and offering a lifeline to Donald J. Trump less than two weeks before the election.

In a letter to Congress, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said that emails had surfaced in an unrelated case, and that they “appear to be pertinent to the investigation.”

Mr. Comey said the F.B.I. was taking steps to “determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.” He said he did not know how long it would take to review the emails, or whether the new information was significant.

The announcement comes as Mr. Trump has fallen behind Mrs. Clinton in most national polls and in many battleground states. Polls have been tightening in recent days, however, amid the daily release of hacked Clinton campaign emails published by WikiLeaks.

Mr. Trump seized on the F.B.I. action on Friday at a rally in New Hampshire. To cheers of “lock her up” from his supporters, Mr. Trump said: “Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen before. We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office.”

After deriding the F.B.I. for weeks as inept and corrupt, Mr. Trump went on to praise the law enforcement agency.

“I have great respect for the fact that the F.B.I. and the D.O.J. are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made,” Mr. Trump said. “This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people fully understand. It is everybody’s hope that it is about to be corrected.”

NBC News has more:

The FBI revealed Friday it was reviewing a new batch of emails that “appear to be pertinent” to its previous investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server — and sources said they came from electronic devices of her trusted aide Huma Abedin and her scandal-scarred husband Anthony Wiener.

Those devices were seized in September by the feds two months after FBI Director James Comey announced that they found no evidence to warrant charging Clinton with a crime for using the server while she was secretary of state, the sources said.

In his letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee announcing the discovery of the emails, Comey made no mention of Abedin or Wiener, a former New York City congressman who resigned in disgrace in a sexting scandal and who is now separated from his wife.

“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” Comey wrote. “I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

A senior law enforcement official told NBC News Friday that the Comey letter was sent to the Hill “out of an abundance of caution” and to be extra-thorough.

The official said the emails were discovered “on another device.”

There’s no indication, the official said, that Clinton, her campaign or the State Department was withholding information. But the emails were not held by someone who was investigated in the Clinton email case, the official said.

The politically explosive revelation, which came just 11 days before Election Day, appeared to catch the Clinton campaign by surprise.

Campaign chairman, John Podesta, in a statement on Friday said Comey should “provide the American public more information than is contained in the letter he sent to eight Republican committee chairmen.”

“Already, we have seen characterizations that the FBI is ‘reopening’ an investigation but Comey’s words do not match that characterization. Director Comey’s letter refers to emails that have come to light in an unrelated case, but we have no idea what those emails are and the Director himself notes they may not even be significant,” he said. “It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election.”

When this story first broke based on Comey’s rather vague letter to Congress, there was a rather understandable frenzy in the media in reaction to the news. Not the least because it is, to say the least, highly unusual for the bureau to be making statements like this that could have an impact on the outcome of an election, especially this close to an election. This is especially true given the fact that it seems unlikely that whatever investigation the bureau is undertaking against these unspecified emails is likely to not be complete by the time of the election. What is clear, though, is that any characterization that the bureau is “reopening” its investigation of Clinton’s email server and her handling of email that it has already reviewed is quite simply not true, and that the initial reports that this was the case were, at the very least seriously misinterpreting what it was that Comey is saying in his letter. Instead, what apparently has happened is that the bureau’s investigation of the Weiner case, which I wrote about in September, turned up email that may be related to the Clinton investigation. If the reports that the “unrelated case” that Comey speaks of is the investigation into Weiners communications with an underage girl, communications that continued even after she told him she was only fifteen years old, and that suggests that what we’re talking about here are likely communications of some type between Weiner and his now-estranged wife Huma Abedin, who is one of Clinton’s closest aides. Some reports indicate that we could be talking about as few as three emails, but that hasn’t been confirmed and that they do not involve any of the email that was found on the Clinton server either by Clinton aides or by FBI investigators. Additionally, in a report on television, NBC News’s Pete Williams reported that one of the devices that was seized in the course of the Weiner investigation included a laptop that both Weiner and Abedin used and that one or more of the emails found appears to include communication from Abedin, possibly to Hillary Clinton  Given all of that, the media hysteria that initially followed the release of Comey’s letter seems to be vastly overblown to say the very least.

The big question, of course, is what impact all of this is going to have on the election as a whole. Understandably, Republicans are reacting with no small degree of glee to the news not the least because it gives them something to hit Clinton with over the next week or more for which Clinton is unlikely to be able to respond completely unless the F.B.I. gives further details about what it’s looking at. At the same time, though, the lack of specifics is likely to lead many voters to simply file this away along with every other bit of pre-election news. My guess is that, absent further details, it’s unlikely that this will have a major impact on the election at least at the Presidential level. It may help to energize Republican voters to some extent, or at least to give them some hope in the wake of several weeks of poll numbers that appear to point to a seemingly inevitable loss on November 8th, but it may also help to energize Democrats who see it as another example of Clinton being subjected to undue scrutiny in a manner reminiscent of the 1990s. Ideally, of course, the FBI owes it to the nation to be more specific about what is going on here given how close the election is, but that’s unlikely to happen given that it is in the nature of law enforcement to keep investigations like this secret. So, voters will just have to decide for themselves what this all means.

Here’s Director Comey’s Letter to Congress:

FBI Letter to Congress by Doug Mataconis on Scribd

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Terrye Cravens says:

    Is it just me, or does the timing seem a tad suspicious?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  2. Mikey says:

    So, voters will just have to decide for themselves what this all means.

    Given most major media outlets immediately picked up and ran with the GOP’s utterly inaccurate characterization of what this is, I’m pretty sure what they decide it means will be very different from what it actually means.

    And of course we have Trump blathering on in his usual barely-articulate fashion, and the execrable Paul Ryan saying Clinton shouldn’t get classified briefings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  3. Mikey says:

    @Terrye Cravens: I don’t think so, really. Comey’s duty-bound to tell Congress of any modifications he has to make to his prior testimony, and he could be in significant trouble if it came out after the election that he’d held back this information.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  4. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Mikey: I am not so sure about that. I think Comey should have released some pertinent details or kept quiet about it until he knew what he was dealing with. Trump is out there yammering about how Clinton is the most corrupt person ever and how he is so happy that Comey is finally doing his job by going after Clinton. He had to know that would be the reaction.

    And Ryan can not give classified briefings to Clinton…but Putin’s good buddy Trump? Oh well, he is fine with that.

    And I voted for Ryan and Romney. But that was back when the GOP had some integrity.

    So, yes, I smell a rat.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 7

  5. Terrye Cravens says:

    BTW, it is also strange that the FBI can leak this, but not talk about any investigation into Trump working with Russia. You know they have to be looking at that.

    They are supposed to refuse to comment on ongoing investigations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

  6. LaMont says:

    @Mikey:

    But Comey is using language like “may or may not” which tells me that it is likely that he really does not know if the new info would cause him to change his testimony. So the question is, why jump the gun with nothing concrete? He has no obligation to notify congress at such a preliminary stage! I think he did it for the very same reasons he did that inital and unusual press conference – to give the GOP as much red meat as possible!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  7. Mikey says:

    @Terrye Cravens: The FBI didn’t leak anything. The House GOP did.

    Comey had to send the letter and he had to be vague because it involves an ongoing investigation into Anthony Weiner sending dick pics to a 15-year-old girl. Now, I don’t know about you, but I want that investigation to proceed unimpeded, in no small part because I have a daughter and this sort of thing makes me want to punch the guy in the face.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  8. LaMont says:

    @LaMont:

    Also, it does not take much effort to look into Comeys history and understand that he probably hated the Clintons for years!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  9. Mikey says:

    @LaMont: What I think happened was investigators got hold of Weiner’s (or maybe Abedin’s) mobile phone and there were e-mails on it addressed to one of Clinton’s e-mail addresses. If that’s the case he has to notify Congress. They may or may not be classified or whatever, but that’s not relevant to his obligation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  10. Loviatar says:

    @LaMont:

    I think he did it for the very same reasons he did that inital and unusual press conference – to give the GOP as much red meat as possible!

    Of course not, Republicans would never politicize the Justice Department to pursue their hatred of the Clintons. /s

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  11. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Mikey: The point is Comey knew that the GOP would leak this. There is a reason why the DoJ usually does not even send out subpoenas this close to an election. They do not make notifications like this when they know what the reaction will be. Comey was aware of that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  12. JKB says:

    We need a special prosecutor to look into Hillary’s situation, if only to salvage the FBI’s reputation.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 31

  13. MBunge says:

    Barack Obama has spent eight years demonstrating that one can be a relatively successful Democratic President without constantly having this kind of stuff come up ALL THE TIME. But keep telling yourselves that this stuff in entirely about the Republican and has absolutely nothing to do with anything about the Clintons.

    Mike

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 34

  14. Pch101 says:

    J. Edgar Comey is certainly a fan of weasel language and innuendo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  15. al-Alameda says:

    @MBunge:

    Barack Obama has spent eight years demonstrating that one can be a relatively successful Democratic President without constantly having this kind of stuff come up ALL THE TIME. But keep telling yourselves that this stuff in entirely about the Republican and has absolutely nothing to do with anything about the Clintons.

    When it comes to the Clintons, as 25 years of permanent investigation has proved where there’s smoke, there’s usually a Republican-set fire.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 11

  16. Loviatar says:

    Former DOJ spokesman blasts Comey after email letter

    “But today’s disclosure might be worst abuse yet,” Miller tweeted, adding that in his experience, the Justice Department “goes out of its way to avoid publicly discussing investigations” when elections are close.

    Miller said those precautions are not just limited to public statements, writing that the department often avoids sending subpoenas or taking other steps that might become public until an election is over.

    The Justice Department does that, he said, “because voters have no way to interpret FBI/DOJ activity in a neutral way.” Miller wrote that the new information being reviewed by the FBI “might be totally benign & not even involve Clinton. But no way for press or voters to know that. Easy for opponent to make hay over.”

    .

    Comey’s behavior has been especially suspect, Miller wrote, because the FBI has chosen not to comment on or even confirm the existence of other campaign-related investigations. He said the bureau is “undoubtedly” investigating any connection between Russian hacking into the email accounts of powerful U.S. political figures and the Trump campaign, but has rightly refused to publicly confirm whether or not an investigation is underway.

    Again, there is no way that Republicans would politicize the Justice Department to pursue their hatred of the Clintons. /s

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 4

  17. Terrye Cravens says:

    A Democratic group has filed a complaint against Comey…they say he has violated the law. I doubt if that is true, but I do think people are going to wonder about this.

    PoliticusUSA

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  18. Hal_10000 says:

    So, I had a thought. What if Tim Kaine is the evil genius behind this whole horrible election? Think about. The GOP nominates the only person on Earth bad enough to lose to Clinton. The DNC clears the field to make sure she’s the nominee. Clinton picks Kaine to shore up her mid-Atlantic flank. Clinton narrowly gets elected. Then Clinton gets impeached. BAM! President Kaine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  19. LaMont says:

    I think it is pretty clear now – Comey has shown all his cards! He should probably resign in the very near future becuase this much we know – Comey has made a mockery of the FBI investigative process and single handedly destroyed the FBIs credibility concerning political matters!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  20. Loviatar says:

    WTF Comey

    Pretty good summary with some links, but I’ll leave you with what I consider the money quote.

    But nobody cares about any of this stuff anymore. Anything goes. Wikileaks, FOIA, FBI all used for political purposes is just fine — as long as the ox that’s being gored is the ox you hate.

    .

    We’re seem to be returning to a Nixonian level politicization of the Justice Department. Bush and Gonzalez started it with the US Attorney dismissals and now Comey is continuing the process with his FBI tenure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  21. stonetools says:

    Carlos Danger strikes again!

    I would ask Michael Reynolds if fact isn’t outrunning fiction here. I’m betting if someone had brought this scenario to him 18 months ago, he would said , “I won’t write this, nobody would believe it.”

    My guess is that the FBI will comb through the emails this weekend, with teams of agents reading around the clock, and then early next week, they’ll conclude that there is nothing there.Trump will of course claim the fix is in.

    Oh well, we’ll see what happens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  22. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Terrye Cravens: If you start with the assumption that Comey’s role is “partisan spear carrier loyal to his party” rather than “director of the FBI/officer of the court,” it will all be clear as a bright sunny day.

    As we used to say back in the day, “you don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  23. dxq says:

    around a year ago i stopped taking seriously anyone who took the email bullshit seriously.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 7

  24. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @MBunge: Alas, this message is 24 months or so late. If only the voters hadn’t decided to give the nominations to either of these two yahoos, the world would most certainly be just as good, if not better, for it. Unfortunately, the voters did what they did and now we have to work with what we got. GET OVER IT!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  25. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Hal_10000: From your lips to God’s ears.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. Castanea says:

    Comet is a bowl of puke that is trying to get Trump elected. He knew exactly how the troglodytes in the media would react.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  27. Terrye Cravens says:

    I hear CNN is now calling for Comey’s resignation and Clinton is demanding he produce all the evidence he has. This might turn out differently than Trump had hoped.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  28. Hal_10000 says:

    Much as I enjoy the Comey pile-on, Judd Legum had an explanation for this on Twitter that made a lot of sense. He thinks they discovered e-mails on Weiner’s computer during the sexting investigation that *might* be related to the Clinton scandal. If so, they would need a court order to even read them. Comey then informed Congress in case it leaked and he would look like he was lying to them. And Congress leaked it to the media. This makes a lot of sense to me. If so, it looks like a big over-reaction to a fairly mundane legal maneuver.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  29. DrDaveT says:

    @Loviatar:

    Again, there is no way that Republicans would politicize the Justice Department to pursue their hatred of the Clintons.

    Wait, I’m confused — I thought all executive agencies were the robotic minions of Obama, using all of their might to implement his merest whim. IRS targeting, EPA, ICE refusal to deport illegals… They’re all administration stooges, right? Wasn’t that the narrative?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  30. john430 says:

    Can a President-Elect be impeached BEFORE she takes office?

    I want front row seats for this one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  31. Guarneri says:

    Oh no! Now Putin got to Comey??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  32. george says:

    @Mikey:

    I doubt many people are still forming their opinions from the major media outlets – I suspect most people find it on the Internet, and go to sites that confirm their already existing biases.

    My prediction based on that hypothesis: Clinton’s numbers will barely budge because of this. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but I’m pretty confident, based on my very unscientific observations of where people I know actually get their information.

    The whole conservative lament about the MSM being against Trump is pointless for a number of reasons. For one thing, the MSM isn’t nearly as uniform as they claim, it has conservative and progressive sources and people automatically go to the one that matches their world view. But more importantly, its just not the driving source in most people’s opinions anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  33. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Hal_10000: He has not kept them informed of any other possible investigations. He should have waited until he knew what he was dealing with…or he could have classified that letter himself to keep it quiet until he knew. This is just ridiculous. To be honest, I am more concerned with Trump’s relationship with Russia and yet Comey has been a total professional about that. Not a word to anyone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  34. Terrye Cravens says:

    @john430: If Trump did half the insane crap he promises he will do,he would face impeachment himself and his fan club is just fine with that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  35. dxq says:

    The impeaching of bill in the 90s was a disaster for the GOP, and led to the ruin of Gingrich. That’s why they didn’t even talk much about impeaching Obama, they knew their dummy supporters would want it, and it would hurt their careers. McConnell didn’t want to go down like that. Right now there simply isn’t strong enough leadership in congress to attempt to impeach hillary, there’s simply no way it would happen, even if they didn’t learn it was dumb, which the guys at the top did. Although as a liberal I’d like to see them try, because clinton’s team picked up seats in 98 in unheard-of fashion, due to that debacle.

    No, the big congressional story is how boned Ryan is. Manafort’s gonna wreck him. Which is great.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  36. dxq says:

    I am reminded of the story of the Golem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  37. MBunge says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    The problem is that “getting over it” is exactly how we wound up here in the first place. Standards are about NOT “getting over it.” I mean, how long ago was it that Republicans threatened to create economic chaos over the debt limit, which is nothing but a damn accounting technicality? When is the last time anyone mentioned that?

    Just look at the replies in this thread. Comey has gone from being the guy so trustworthy that no one could possibly question his judgment that Hillary didn’t break the law to Republican slime who only exists to screw over Hillary.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  38. MBunge says:

    And one more thing in the interests of maintaining a hold on reality.

    A great deal has been made of the abnormal things that have happened on the GOP side in this campaign. The FBI began to investigate Hillary’s emails in August, 2015. Comey didn’t announce their findings until July, 2016. Which means that months before the first votes were cast and through the entire primary season, there was a distinct possibility that the prohibitive front runner for the Democratic nomination could be indicted for federal crimes. And not only did no one one in the party or the media care, they were actively hostile to anyone who brought it up.

    That was not normal, if only for the extreme recklessness of it.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

  39. Kari Q says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If he was able to maneuver all this while being nothing more than a sitting Senator and running mate, then I stand in awe of his skills. In a normal year, I would worry about someone capable of such maneuver having no moral code. This year? What the hell, why not? President Kaine!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  40. Grewgills says:

    @MBunge:

    Just look at the replies in this thread. Comey has gone from being the guy so trustworthy that no one could possibly question his judgment that Hillary didn’t break the law to Republican slime who only exists to screw over Hillary.

    No, he started as partisan with an axe to grind that went beyond previously accepted bounds to comment on Clinton’s use of emails beyond issuing a standard statement that there were no grounds for an indictment. He is now a partisan with an axe to grind that has found an excuse to bring it up again with 11 days to go til the election. That isn’t a far distance for him or our arguments to move. You are stretching to find hypocrisy where it doesn’t exist to feed your bothsidesdoititis.

    The FBI began to investigate Hillary’s emails in August, 2015. Comey didn’t announce their findings until July, 2016. Which means that months before the first votes were cast and through the entire primary season, there was a distinct possibility that the prohibitive front runner for the Democratic nomination could be indicted for federal crimes.

    Pretty much every legal authority that knew anything about the laws surrounding Clinton’s emails knew then that there was approaching 0% chance that there would be any crime found, much less anything indictable. You perceived people being annoyed at having to explain this to you yet again as hostility for having the temerity to bring it up. That is on you, not them.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 5

  41. Hal_10000 says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    I”m more concerned about trump’s dealings too. But Comey has to get a court order to even read the e-mails.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    Based on the limited information available, it seems that this inquiry is less about Clinton’s actions than those of Huma Abedin and her sloppiness in using Weiner’s computer for reading Clinton’s emails.

    It makes me wonder, what training did the State Department security officers provide DoS staffers about precautions to take when using electronic communications.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  43. Terrye Cravens says:

    @MBunge: I don’t think Comey is slime, I think he is either incompetent or naive…and someone may have forced his hand for all we know…but the point is to put something this vague out there at this time is just ridiculous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  44. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Grewgills: Donald Trump is going to trial for fraud in November and for child rape in December and yet his idiot fan club nominated him anyway. Nothing in Clinton’s email fiasco can compare to the criminal behavior we have seen from Trump for years. And years. This is who he is. Imagine any other candidate getting help from the Russians…what would that to do a real politician? But when it is Donald…all is well.

    Disgusting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  45. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Doug

    F.B.I. Investigating New Emails That May Or May Not Be Connected To Hillary Clinton

    Thank you.

    You are one of the few people on the internet that has positioned this realistically. Potential new information has turned up that must be considered.

    Good job.

    Compare this with most of the reports predicting a complete overturn of fates and downfall before election day… we likely have a tempest in a teapot.

    The question is: How quickly can they review and post results?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  46. Pch101 says:

    Anthony Weiner shared a laptop with his wife, who happened to be a Clinton employee.

    There is a possibility that Huma Abedin mishandled email on this shared laptop. That’s all that this is about.

    http://www.newsweek.com/hillary-clinton-emails-fbi-comey-donald-trump-anthony-weiner-huma-abedin-514918

    Unless Clinton was somehow helping Weiner to hook up with underage girls, this really has no linkage to her at all. But it doesn’t take much to get the conservative hysteria machine into high gear. They should be ashamed, but they lack the basic self-awareness and sense of morality that shame requires.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  47. Mikey says:

    More from Kurt Eichenwald, who’s been doing yeoman’s work on this campaign so far:

    https://twitter.com/kurteichenwald/status/792192057863397377

    In my FBI story, I name every email account involved, every device, every person. Clinton not implicated in anything

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  48. Ben Wolf says:

    @Sleeping Dog: If Abedin knowingly withheld these emails she could be in serious trouble. That’s the question at this point, at least to me. I doubt Clinton would have been aware of their existence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  49. Jen says:

    @Mikey: Wow, Eichenwald’s whole Tweet stream from last night is interesting. Esp. the info from inside the FBI at how many are furious with the way Comey has handled…well, everything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  50. Mister Bluster says:

    Johnny Telephone: So you are conceding the election to (your words) President Elect…before she takes office.
    Of course the answer to your inane question is…It would take an amendment to the USCon.
    The convention will be at your house.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. Kari Q says:

    Having had a night to let this settle in, I am practically breathing fire over this now. I have never been a Clinton fan, but I was going to vote for her because Trump is utterly unqualified to be president by every conceivable standard. But now?

    I am with her. I am furious at the way she has been treated and I am voting for her enthusiastically. Proudly. And defiantly.

    This is unacceptable behavior. Anyone with an ounce of sense would know that you don’t say you’ve got new information on a case involving a candidate, a week before Election Day, when you don’t even know what you have. Comey may not be a partisan hack. He may be a great law man who is a complete idiot about everything else in the world. But that’s the best interpretation of his behavior I can come up with.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 2

  52. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Hal_10000: My wife and I share this computer. She has an email account that stores the emails that she sends and receives and places them in a folder with her name on it. I also have an email account that does the same thing. One folder with my emails another folder with her emails, despite that we use the same email service provider.

    If the FBI seizes that computer hard drive (that contains both folders) because I am the subject of an investigation — does the FBI need a warrant to open my wife’s email folder?

    Unless they open her folder, there is no way that the FBI would know that my wife had been communicating with – let’s say Hillary Clinton – or that there were emails relating to a separate (supposedly closed) investigation.

    My point here is that either the Weiner warrant encompassed the entirety of the hard drive or it was limited to just his communications that might have violated laws. I don’t know, I suspect none of us know how the warrant was worded.

    The warning may well be this, whatever maybe stored on a shared harddrive, shared cloud or shared external storage device is potentially subject to search without a warrant.

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  53. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @MBunge: I will note that in the first post about Comey all those months ago, my conclusion about him was that he was a partisan hack who was doing what he could to serve the interests of the BENGHAZI!!! faction of the House and Senate and that several others here did the same thing so that you can get back to riding your hobby horse.

    And you still need to find a way to dismiss your more Trumpian inclinations to hold on to your frustration.

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  54. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Ben Wolf: There is no evidence that anyone withheld any emails…in fact, it is said that these emails might actually be duplicates of emails Comey has already seeen…but sense he has not actually even looked at them, he does not know if they are pertinent or new. But they were not hidden in anyway.

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  55. MBunge says:

    That ABC news poll that had Hillary up 12? It now has her up by just 2. And that’s measuring public opinion before the latest email development.

    Now, I suspect this 2 point lead may be as much an outlier as the 12 point one and maybe this email thing will spark a Pavlovian reaction and send people scurrying back to support her. It is another lesson, though, in how reality matters. The “it’s over” narrative and the gloating that accompanied it wasn’t based in reality and the problem with believing in fantasies is they can leave you unprepared and unsteady when they abruptly end.

    Mike

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  56. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Kari Q: Would you be willing to consider partisan hack and complete idiot?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  57. Jen says:

    @MBunge: I’m not sure you care at this point, but Sam Wang had a very thorough piece about why polls seem so erratic right now:

    http://election.princeton.edu/2016/10/27/why-do-the-polls-seem-so-variable-this-week/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  58. gVOR08 says:

    @Mikey:

    I don’t think so, really. Comey’s duty-bound to tell Congress of any modifications he has to make to his prior testimony, and he could be in significant trouble if it came out after the election that he’d held back this information.

    It’s reported that in his testimony to congress he said the FBI would continue to investigate and evaluate any new information that turned up. So no, he has not changed his testimony and doesn’t appear to be under any obligation to report that he’s doing what he testified he would do.

    I recall that in ’96, shortly before Bill Clinton’s reelection, Ken Starr, apparently at the urging of his mentor, the late Richard Mellon Scaife, announced that he had a major announcement to make concerning his ongoing investigations of Clinton. He went on to say that as he did not wish to influence the election, he would hold his announcement until after the election. After the election he announced…crickets. He had nothing, so he took a shot at hurting Clinton the only way he could, while pretending to be high minded. So Comey’s announcement is history repeating, hopefully it’ll work out as farce.

    Somebody explain to me again how there wasn’t really a “vast right wing conspiracy” against the Clintons. And why I shouldn’t believe it’s still active.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  59. gVOR08 says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    But that was back when the GOP had some integrity.

    1865?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  60. dxq says:

    User Actions
    Follow

    jim jefferiesVerified account
    ‏@jimjefferies

    We get it an old person used the wrong email server

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  61. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Alameda:

    When it comes to the Clintons, as 25 years of permanent investigation has proved where there’s smoke, there’s usually a Republican-set fire.

    As some commenter on another blog put it, you can’t say ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ when we can see your smoke machine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  62. Bill says:

    @Mikey: yeah, the msm is a bunch of right wingers now….get a clue. More than likely they’ve already made up their minds as to how this episode ends- aka “nothing happened “.
    For measure, hillary could post video of herself drowning kittens and you all would have no issue with it. After all, her husband cheated on her ….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  63. gVOR08 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If so, it looks like a big over-reaction to a fairly mundane legal maneuver.

    That couldn’t have waited twelve days?

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  64. gVOR08 says:

    @john430:

    Can a President-Elect be impeached BEFORE she takes office?

    No. But an FBI Director could be. If his coRepublicans didn’t have a majority.

    @Bill:
    Dammit, clicked the wrong box. It ain’t Hillary who said, truthfully, that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any of his supporters.

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  65. Mikey says:

    @gVOR08:

    It’s reported that in his testimony to congress he said the FBI would continue to investigate and evaluate any new information that turned up.

    Yeah, I saw that later. Now I think he was covering his own ass by eliminating the possibility someone would discover there was new information being investigated and accuse him of trying to cover for Clinton.

    Whatever his motivation, he’s done this just about the worst way imaginable. His reputation is in the toilet now and there are a whole bunch of FBI agents fuming at the damage he’s doing to the Bureau’s reputation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  66. Pch101 says:

    So I hire an employee.

    My employee has a laptop and reviews some of my email.

    As it turns out, my employee has a significant other whose hobbies include using that same laptop to exchange racy messages with underage folks of the opposite sex.

    How is this supposed to be national news about me, exactly? What sort of OCD nutjob would demand my public lynching when I had nothing to do with any of this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  67. Kari Q says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    I regard that as a distinct possibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  68. charon says:

    @gVOR08:

    Somebody explain to me again how there wasn’t really a “vast right wing conspiracy” against the Clintons. And why I shouldn’t believe it’s still active.

    HRC herself said recently she got the “vast” part wrong – it was a very small but influential and active right wing conspiracy

    .@Pch101:

    Eichenwald has good run through of what occurred …

    http://www.newsweek.com/hillary-clinton-emails-fbi-comey-donald-trump-anthony-weiner-huma-abedin-514918

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  69. Terrye Cravens says:

    @MBunge: That is not the same polling outfit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  70. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Bill: I voted Republican for years and was never a fan of the Clintons. But once the GOP nominated Trump, I walked away from that party. They are in no position to judge Hillary or just about anyone else after making that lying scum bag the nominee. The man is facing a child rape case in December. Imagine the reaction if that were Bill Clinton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  71. Terrye Cravens says:

    @gVOR08: George Bush had integrity. You might not agree with his politics, but he is not a scum bag like Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  72. Joe says:

    As many in this thread opine on Comey’s motives and how he has used or been used by the email investigation, let’s pause for a moment and recall why it is that he is commenting on this at all, rather than the DOJ to which he reports and which makes charging decisions. Someone’s husband put the Attorney General in an impossible position by dropping in very publicly to her airplane when parked on the tarmac shortly before a certain investigation was due to close. The Attorney General responded by publicly announcing she would defer to the recommendation of the FBI, thus taking her own ass out of the fire. But for Bill’s visit to Loretta, Comey would be a cog in the wheel and not the face of the investigation. That was not foreseeable before the tarmac meeting. Thanks, Bill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  73. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Your right on Abeden perhaps being in deep doo doo on this. Hinderaker asks that question and quotes from the transcript of her FBI testimony http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/10/did-huma-commit-perjury.php

    At the moment this is Abeden’s problem not Clintons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  74. Bill says:

    @Terrye Cravens: um, the gop didn’t nominate him- the voters did. He’s basically a 3rd party candidate at this point and is head and shoulders above anything “clinton “.
    If he was involved with anything “rapey ” the msm would have already convicted him on tv….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  75. Kari Q says:

    @Bill:

    Right. Which is why he isn’t the Republican Party’s nominee for … Oh, wait.

    Well, that’s why no Republican elected officials support him … Oh wait.

    As for the last point, I have no clue if he is guilty or not. I hope not because, as much as I find him a completely unqualified candidate and a terrible human being on many levels, I truly hope that he isn’t this awful.

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  76. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Joe: Would you like to try again?

    link” Comey and AG disagree blah blah blah.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  77. Ben Wolf says:

    @Terrye Cravens: Abedin promised she turned over all devices with emails; clearly that did not happen. Either she was incompetent or she lied both to the investigators and to Clinton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  78. dxq says:

    Has anybody added up the tens of thousands of dollars Comey and his wife gave to McCain, Romney, Ryan, etc?

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  79. C. Clavin says:

    I think the initial reaction was that this would help Trump.
    I think that’s wrong.
    Comey obviously fwcked up…they haven’t even seen the emails? They’re not from her or to her or off her server?
    I think it just energizes Democrats.
    I’m no Clinton fan…but enough of this bullshit already.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  80. dxq says:

    The american people are sick and tired about hearing about your damn emails. -bernie sanders, Oct 13, 2015

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  81. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    The device in question was not hers to tender. It belongs to her (soon to be ex) husband.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  82. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Keeping in mind that Abedin and Weiner are not tech astute……

    I suspect that the “newly found emails” were not actually on Weiner’s computer, but rather were actually on the Yahoo server.

    When Abedin was interrogated by the FBI many months ago she told them that she occasionally forwarded HRC related mail to her Yahoo account because printing was problematic at the office.

    So the FBI already knew that HRC related emails were in Abedin’s “folder” at Yahoo.

    Yes it is possible to “save” Yahoo mail to a storage device like a harddrive, but setting up a POP third party account is likely beyond Abedin’s or Weiner’s scope of skills.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  83. Ben Wolf says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The device in question was not hers to tender. It belongs to her (soon to be ex) husband.

    This has not been established. All that is known so far is that the device was shared and Weiner held possession after their separation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  84. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Ben Wolf: See my comment above.
    In order for the emails to “be on anyone’s device” they have to be stored to that device. They may be accessible by a device, but the storage is elsewhere.

    I’m suggesting that someone operating a generic yahoo account “thinks” that messages are on that device, when in fact they are actually on the yahoo server.

    Frankly I’d be shocked that either Abedin or Weiner went through the additional technical requirements (for yahoo) to store emails to their devices

    Emails might be in cache (temporary storage), but emails from 2009-10? Does anyone clear their cache?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  85. Pch101 says:

    One of Abedin’s jobs was to print out hard copies of Clinton’s email. Perhaps she saved copies of some emails on her computer in order to print them out, then neglected to delete them.

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  86. dxq says:

    For people who think the Bureau is part of idiot Scalia’s New Professionalism, above the political fray:

    Enemies is the first definitive history of the FBI’s secret intelligence operations, from an author whose work on the Pentagon and the CIA won him the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

    We think of the FBI as America’s police force. But secret intelligence is the Bureau’s first and foremost mission. Enemies is the story of how presidents have used the FBI to conduct political warfare, and how the Bureau became the most powerful intelligence service the United States possesses.

    Here is the hidden history of America’s hundred-year war on terror. The FBI has fought against terrorists, spies, anyone it deemed subversive—and sometimes American presidents. The FBI’s secret intelligence and surveillance techniques have created a tug-of-war between national security and civil liberties. It is a tension that strains the very fabric of a free republic.

    enemies: a history of the FBI

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  87. Tyrell says:

    There needs to be an investigation all right: why insurance rates are going up 50, 60 %, or in some cases doubling. This is the elephant in the room that is being ignored. Why ?
    A relative has a ten year old whose monthly rate is jumping from $350 to $600 ! Insurance on a child should not be over $100 a month. The president and Congress need to do something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  88. Mikey says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Emails might be in cache (temporary storage), but emails from 2009-10? Does anyone clear their cache?

    On my work e-mail I have e-mails going back to 2003.

    I’m kind of an e-mail pack rat, I guess. And I’m a techie so I know how to get rid of the damn things. I guess if there were a TV show “Hoarders (of e-mail)” I’d be on it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  89. dxq says:

    A relative has a ten year old whose monthly rate is jumping from $350 to $600 ! Insurance on a child should not be over $100 a month. The president and Congress need to do something.

    we could lower the Death Panel age, I suppose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  90. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Mikey:

    As you are tech savvy, does your cache go back 2 or 3 years or more ?

    But the essential question I am raising is this: Are these emails that Comey says may or may not be pertinent actually on the seized devices or are those emails actually on an Yahoo server ?

    If they are on an Yahoo server, they should require a search warrant pertinent to Abedin’s communications.

    CNN is reporting that Comey has not yet obtained a Abedin warrant and may not get one until after Nov 8th.

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  91. Pch101 says:

    the Justice Department has obtained a warrant that will allow it to begin searching the computer that is believed to contain thousands of newly found emails of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, two law enforcement sources confirmed to CNN.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/30/politics/clinton-emails-fbi-abedin/index.html

    If true, then she probably saved copies of some emails (presumably in PDF format) on the hard drive. If true, then she probably did this in order to print them out for Hillary Clinton.

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  92. Tillman says:

    This seems like something people here should read.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  93. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Pch101:
    You don’t have to “save” emails to print.
    I’m betting that FBI accessed her yahoo account because her userid and password had been saved on Weiner’s laptop. They would have logged into her Yahoo mail account, saw her inbox and archive (both of which are preserved on the Yahoo server). When they examined her archive list they noted that there were old emails from clintonemail.com.

    That’s the time that they realized that they had no warrant to be into HER yahoo mail account.

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  94. Pch101 says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    The quote above says that the emails are on the computer.

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  95. mannning says:

    Suppose Uma had early-on discussed the Clinton email strategy with Clinton or other staff via email in considerable detail, and a copy of the remarks remained on Uma’s device. That would show criminal intent, and would trigger Comey to go back in, never mind the looming election. Given this, it would be advisable for Comey to restart the investigation and inform Congress of his actions.

    Interesting!

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  96. mannning says:

    Should be Huma, not Uma.

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  97. Mikey says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    As you are tech savvy, does your cache go back 2 or 3 years or more ?

    Work e-mail is on MS Outlook, so I’ve just been moving my .pst files to new machines whenever I get one.

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  98. Mikey says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Are these emails that Comey says may or may not be pertinent actually on the seized devices or are those emails actually on an Yahoo server ?

    My understanding is they are actually on the machine itself.

    See, this is one problem with what Comey has done: we have nothing but patchy reporting and speculation to go on.

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  99. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Mikey:@Pch101: I’d agree that either by direct FBI statement or by FBI implication the public has been led to believe that the texts of 650,000 emails are actually on the Wiener laptop.

    IMO that’s it’s highly unlikely.

    IMO there is a somewhat better chance that there are 650,000 emails existing on Yahoo’s servers that at one time or another may have been accessed by the Weiner computer.

    I’d like to see the affidavit that the FBI filed to obtain the warrant that was just issued. Specifically whether that warrant grants privilege to search for information on Yahoo’s servers.

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  100. Pch101 says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    I have no idea why you think that it it’s crazy or impossible for copies of emails to be saved on computers, but whatever.

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  101. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Pch101: Not saying that it’s impossible or crazy…. at all.
    Just saying that it highly unlikely that Abedin actually saved 650,000 emails to Weiner’s laptop.

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  102. Pch101 says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    If you understand the work that she was doing for Clinton, then it’s not difficult to understand why she may have saved some emails on the computer.

    Go read the link to the Newsweek article that I posted, then consider how she might have actually accomplished those tasks.

    For example, I could imagine that she spent evenings and weekends at home sifting through Clinton’s correspondence and organizing it so that she should print it out as Clinton had asked. It would not be surprising if she saved them as PDFs, put them on a thumb drive, then printed them out at the office; people with work ethics tend to bring their work home with them.

    On the other hand, these may very well be emails that the feds have already seen. This email thing has proven to be a snipe hunt, but the idiots are eating it up.

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  103. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Pch101:

    This email thing has proven to be a snipe hunt, but the idiots are eating it up.

    Absolutely agree!

    I did go back and review the Newsweek article, what stood out to me was:”This procedure for printing documents, the government official says, appears to be how the newly discovered emails ended up on the laptop shared by Abedin and her husband. It is unclear whether any of those documents were downloaded onto the laptop off of her personal email accounts or were saved on an external storage device” (my emphasis).

    When that is coupled with her FBI testimony prior to July 2016 : ” A. I had a Yahoo e-mail, a Yahoo.com e-mail account that was purely a — a personal account where — that I rarely used. But there were occasions when I forwarded State Department press clips to that account to be printed.”

    So I take her at her word, she rarely used the account and occasionally used it to facilitate printing (as supposedly printing in office was problematic).

    So now we have FBI background reports of (take your pick) tens of thousands to over one-half million emails that were (supposedly) plucked from her yahoo account and preserved (“saved”) on Weiner’s computer.

    My point is that these two renditions do not appear to compute!

    What I suspect the FBI is combing thru is Abedin’s Yahoo account (maintained on the Yahoo server) , and to that end ….do they now have or ever had a warrant to do so.

    Here’s a (probably imperfect) analogy: Law enforcement has reason to suspect that I am in possession of one pound of illegal drugs. They file an affidavit to search my premises, my car etc. While they are searching they learn that I have access to a bank safe deposit box. Does law enforcement need a new or amended search warrant to force the bank to open that box?

    Your description is perfect…… a snipe hunt…. that appears to be politically motivated, and I am wondering it it was entirely legal.

    Thanks for your time and patience with me.

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  104. Gavrilo says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    The FBI got a warrant, Bob. It’s been all over the news.

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  105. Mikey says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: Honestly, I wouldn’t even spend a lot of time speculating on this. Unless/until the FBI releases more specific information–and I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that–we just won’t know. All we have is semi-educated guesswork.

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