FBI Director Reports To House Republicans That Hillary Clinton Aide May Have Walked In Shoes Potentially Relevant To Clinton’s Emails
Days after he disclosed to the Republican leadership in Congress that he had seized emails that are potentially related, but also potentially unrelated, to an FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton that was wrapped up months ago with no finding of reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior, FBI Director James Comey announced today that he had finally obtained the search warrant required by law to make that seizure legal.
In related news, the FBI Director revealed in a second letter to Republican leadership in Congress that he has seized a pair of shoes belonging to Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton. The FBI believes, though it has not yet received a search warrant authorizing the search or seizure of the shoes, that the shoes are potentially related to an earlier investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account during her time as Secretary of State.
It is believed that the shoes may have been borrowed by Abedin, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, though the FBI has not confirmed that it has any evidence for this belief. It is possible that if Abedin borrowed the shoes, she wore them while walking with Hillary Clinton as the pair journeyed on foot to pour a giant cauldron of acid on the grave of Vincent Foster in order to destroy the final evidence of Foster’s murder, which was ruled a suicide but potentially was not.
James Comey didn’t call it a “perp walk”, but it was implied.
People familiar with the case said they had known about the shoes since soon after New York FBI agents seized a pair of socks related to their investigation into Weiner, who is alleged to have taken a separate stroll with a 15-year-old girl.
Abedin has told people that she is unsure of how her husband’s shoes ended up in her closet, according to a person familiar with the investigation and civil litigation over the matter.
Comey wrote in his letter to Congress, “We don’t know the significance of this newly discovered pair of shoes,” and federal law enforcement officials have said that FBI investigators still had yet to thoroughly review the footwear. “Of course,” Comey wrote in a separate letter explaining the matter to the agents of the FBI, “we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about shoes that are potentially related to ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed. I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.”
Comey has said that the shoes were not placed neatly on Abedin’s shoe rack, but appeared to have been tossed into the corner of the closet in a manner that was “extremely careless”.
Provided they get the legal authority to do so, FBI investigators will be looking at whether the newly uncovered shoes contain classified information or other evidence that could help advance the Clinton email probe. It is possible, though, that the shoes could simply be shoes, or could hide a collection of benign, personal notes.
The process, former FBI officials have said, could be cumbersome and drag on after the election — particularly if lint were found.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called the discovery of the shoes “the biggest scandal since Watergate”. Trump told a crowd at a rally in Florida that Abedin’s storage of her husband’s shoes in her closet proved “willful and deliberate criminal conduct” on the part of Hillary Clinton.
Reacting to the discovery of Weiner’s shoes, which may or may not have been worn by Abedin, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told reporters that Hillary Clinton “has nobody but herself to blame”, and reiterated his call for Clinton to no longer receive classified intelligence briefings.
Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told ABC’s This Week that “for the FBI to make this remarkable move 11 days before the election means there must be something there, if not in the shoes, then perhaps underneath Abedin’s toenails.”