Did the FBI fail to examine the Clinton E-mails found on Wiener's laptop

The above is the premise of an Aug. 24 Federalist on-line article, which basically says that despite FBI claims to the contrary, only about 3000 of the nearly 700,000 Clinton-related e-mails found on a laptop jointly used by Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner were “directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information”.

The story goes on to strongly suggest a) that James Comey and other FBI officials seriously misstated the amount of research done before pronouncing the e-mails to be mainly duplicates of ones already examined; b) this was done to avoid having further potential negative effects on the election, which I think all would agree had already occurred with the announcement of the e-mail trove to begin with. The main point seems to be that his information shows that at least some FBI officials were in the tank for Clinton.

The story seems properly researched, although it relies on unnamed sources for much of its content. So far, however, I can’t seem to find any corroboration for this story in the mainstream press. What few mentions I have found reference a Trump Tweet on the subject, without mentioning the original source. Can anyone shed any light on this? Is there any ‘there’ there?

7 emails or 700,000 emails all fits on one thumb drive. Or 1 server, whatever. But it takes people a long time to thoroughly analyze it when you are talking about the bigger number. Assuming any actual truth here, there could be dozens of reasons why full forensic analysis was not performed on every single 1 and 0.

I wouldn’t allow any speculation about that state of affairs to lead me to assume any political motivations for it.

Dick pic fatigue.

I could see that there could be a very substantive disagreement on whether the emails were vetted throughly enough.

However, I have a very hard time believing that the content of those emails would contain something that would fundamentally reverse the major conclusions of the investigation up until that point: that her email practices were a common-sense mistake and pretty huge failure; but those lapses did not add up to anything that anyone has been prosecuted for in the past.

Even if additional classified information were discovered in the new emails, that doesn’t really change anything with that conclusion.

And after all, the issue here isn’t that Clinton’s innocence has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Most people have a fairly decent clue of the issues involved, and it’s pretty much exclusively partisans on the right who want to see her in prison. Her mishandling of classified information is something that would very likely get her fired - but not prosecuted - from any other job, and guess what? She wasn’t elected President, mostly on that basis. So, justice served.

Are we still discussing Clinton’s emails??:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Well, looks like some people are; mostly on the right, as far as I can tell.

I generally agree with Ravenman’s assessment; even if true, this doesn’t seem to substantially change the factors governing the decision to not further pursue the issue of Clinton’s private server.

If there is any political intent to the article, it seems as though it’s more along the lines of trying to demonstrate there is something to Trump’s thesis that there is a malign deep state arrayed against him, with Comey a convenient whipping boy.

Or you use software that finds matches with emails from the original batch. Which is what was done.

That ship has sailed.

This was my understanding as well - the FBI was able to tell pretty much all (if not all) of the e-mails on Weiner’s device were duplicates of what they already had. There was absolutely no need to go over each and every one.

from memory, largely from Comey’s book

I thought it was quickly determined that these were-- for the most part --backed-up copies of e-mails that had already been reviewed.

The FBI did have some interest in some of the earlier ones, as they may have been copies of some of the e-mails that were deleted before the contents of the server was subpoenaed. The interest was not so much focused on the classification status as it was on internal communication. The were looking for evidence of briefings, warnings or discussion with State regarding e-mail protocol, especially regarding personal devices. Which, if found, could have possibly been used to contradict her testimony regarding what she had been told about the subject. If she had been caught lying about this there could have been serious consequences. But no incriminating e-mails were found so it was pretty much a dead end.

Feel free to find out for yourself:

Should you not feel like reading 500 pages of investigative results, then I’d suggest you take the fact that everyone who did read the thing said that the FBI did a faithful and reasonable job - not perfect, they’re human, but nothing that merited the question - and that everyone alleging anything nefarious about the matter slithered away for 3 months until everyone had forgotten that the question had been asked and answered in a dull, uninteresting 568 page review.

Well, it doesn’t appear necessary to read the whole thing – the executive summary, pages vii to ix, and Chapter Nine, seem to have most of the relevant info. These elements seem mainly to discuss a perceived delay in the FBI reaction to being informed of the Clinton-related e-mails on Weiner’s laptop. This, in turn, seems to be related mainly to inherent issues of getting information pushed through a complicated bureaucracy. The cited report, however, does not seem to address one of the central points of the Federalist article: that the FBI did not really make a systematic analysis of the e-mails before pronouncing them to be mostly duplicates. If the info is there in the cited report, I couldn’t find it in about 20 minutes of bouncing around the document.

That said, I have no particular dog in this fight; I was just curious about the relative accuracy of the referenced article. Thanks to everyone for the info provided so far.

The article in the OP says they were unable to figure out how to do this due to a lack of metadata. I’m not an expert on such things but I’m surprised to read that it’s that challenging.

Between the timestamp and the email title, you don’t really need any further metadata. If those two are a 1:1 match with something you’ve already seen, there’s no point reading the mail. While it would then end up technically true that X% of the emails were never examined, who gives a shit if it’s all duplicates that have already been read by a previous team?

And emails are a single file. There is no separate stream with more metadata. Your email reader splits it up into different sections and hides some of it, but as it’s stored in a database - unless Microsoft or Apple do something strange to it, when they store the file - it’s just one piece of text with everything in it. And even if MS/Apple do toss data for local storage, they’re not going to get rid of the title nor timestamp. So if you’re asking whether there’s enough data to be reliably compared to previous emails, the answer will always be yes. The FBI will keep track of the titles and dates of the previous emails, the email database will keep track of the titles and dates, etc. because minus those things, the whole purpose of an email or the ability to identify an email is lost.

Overall, it’s nigh impossible for there to be insufficient metadata to perform such a comparison, and you can get tools that would allow you to do the comparison right off the internet. It’s just a SQL query looking for intersections.

Michael Biasello, you’ll note, is not introduced as having any relevance to the case. If we look him up, he’s a retired agent. The article is written in such a way as to imply that he just got out of the FBI and saw strange stuff going on, but he was already retired in at least 2011.

While the particulars of the article are “true”, the end effect of the arrangement and what lies unsaid that should be made clear, is that you end up with what is effectively a lie. It’s a whole bunch of aspersions, based on scary sounding quotes that don’t actually mean anything or are by people who are just talking out of their asses.

Ah, yes, of course. The Federalist. They do sometimes appear to have taken as their journalistic model, that other great publication The National Enquirer. Such a similar standard of integrity can be observed at each!

Hey! The Federalist has a much more high-falutin vocabulary! And they ain’t afraid to use it!

Yes, unlike those who produce TNE, those at TF are writing for readers who like to think of themselves as ‘educated’.

Doesn’t mean those readers want the truth, though. As with the example discussed in this thread, they are happy to swallow false implications, special pleading, and motivated reasoning aplenty.

I certainly hope you are correct!

However, reading President Trump’s tweets, he clearly wants to turn the Justice Department into a vehicle that will jail his political opponents, starting with Hillary Clinton. I’m not saying that he’ll succeed, but I do think he is trying to do that and will eventually fire Sessions in order to gain control over the legal system.

I realize that I look at this totally different from those who think that an attempt to enforce all the laws – which is an absurd impossibility – has some connection to good government. Actual good government requires rotation in office, and that, in turn, requires respecting the results of elections, and those defeated who might win next time.

Woah. 700,000 emails. I am not using my time productively. I need to get a desk organizer or scheduling App or something.

Supposedly they didn’t even have Subject lines:

How that could be, I don’t know. My email is stored just the way you wrote.

But without it, even the baby’s-first-NLP I learned taught me how to split text into a table of grams. Pick a large size and you’ll only get repeats when you have a dupe.