FBI Director James Comey reportedly misstated the severity of the agency’s findings on its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, sources close to the matter told ProPublica.
Last October, just days before the presidential election, Comey alerted Congress that Clinton aide Huma Abedin had forwarded Clinton’s emails to the laptop of her husband, disgraced former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner.
In his recent testimony to Congress, Comey said that “hundreds and thousands” of emails that contained classified information had been forwarded to Weiner via Abedin’s phone backup system.
Though the FBI investigation found that some of the emails recovered from Weiner’s laptop did contain classified information, the emails were not marked as such. Comey said it did not appear that Abedin “had a sense that what she was doing was in violation of the law,” and the investigation found nothing indicating criminal intent.
Authorities found Clinton’s emails on Weiner’s laptop when the computer was seized during a sex crimes criminal investigation after he was accused of having an online relationship with an underage teen.
But instead of “hundreds and thousands” of Clinton’s emails on the laptop as Comey originally said, two anonymous sources told ProPublica that Abedin forwarded just a handful, and it was not “a regular practice.”
While many, including the former Democratic presidential candidate herself, believe that Comey’s allegations about Abedin’s email forwarding played a large part in the outcome of the election in which Clinton lost to Republican candidate Donald Trump, Comey recently defended his handling of the investigation. While he said he would be “mildly nauseous” to think he had a role in the outcome on Election Day, he said he did not have regrets and would have handled the investigation the same.
In the past, Comey also misstated the amount the FBI paid to break into the iPhone of one of the suspects in the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack in late 2015. A statement he made indicated the number was at least $1.3 million, The Washington Post reported, but sources said the cost was around $900,000.