A U.S. judge on Monday ordered the unsealing of the application used to obtain a search warrant that allowed the FBI to gain access to emails related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private server before the Nov. 8 election, Reuters reports.
U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan directed the release by Tuesday of redacted materials used to obtain a search warrant after Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey informed Congress of newly discovered emails on Oct. 28.
Comey’s letter drew new attention to a damaging issue for Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, and roiled the campaign 11 days before the Nov. 8 election, won by Republican Donald Trump.
The search warrant materials’ release sought by Randol Schoenberg, a Los Angeles-based lawyer, who in court papers said transparency was crucial given the potential influence the probe had on the election’s outcome.
Sources close to the investigation have said the emails were discovered during an unrelated probe into former Democratic U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
In his order, Castel said he would allow the redaction of the identities of two unnamed individuals, one of whom is subject to an “ongoing criminal investigation.”
But he said the “strong presumption of access attached to the search warrant and related materials is not overcome by any remaining privacy interest of Secretary Clinton.”
Lawyers for Clinton and Abedin did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did the U.S. Justice Department. A lawyer for Weiner had no immediate comment.
A federal judge has ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to unseal at least a portion of search warrant it obtained after finding emails pertinent to the Hillary Clinton investigation during the Bureau’s Anthony Weiner probe, Law News reports.
BREAKING: Judge Orders FBI to Unseal Warrant Used to Get Clinton Emails Found in Weiner Probe https://t.co/qmLLFxQv75
— LawNewz (@law_newz) December 19, 2016
The FBI’s planned disclosure is directly related to an effort by well-known attorney Los Angeles attorney E. Randol Schoenberg, who filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Justice that sought the “immediate disclosure of the FBI search warrant for the e-mails of Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin on Anthony Weiner’s laptop.”
One of the main points of contention in this case was the privacy right of Clinton — or any person who wasn’t ultimately charged with a crime. However, the judge determined that essentially all went out the window given the bizarre nature of the case including FBI Director James Comey’s very public press conference. After Comey’s remarks, Clinton then decided to publicly respond at campaign rallies. Thus, the judge determined Clinton essentially waived her privacy right arguments that the uncharged subject of an investigation typically can rely on.
In the words of the judge, Clinton has “little remaining privacy interest in the release of documents identifying her as the subject of the investigation.”
In Monday’s order, the judge ultimately concluded:
The search warrant, the application for the search warrant, the affidavit in support of the application for the search warrant, and the search warrant return will be unsealed and posted on the Court’s electronic case filing system under the docket number listed above, subject to the redactions discussed above, at noon on December 20, 2016, unless an order is issued before then by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit staying or modifying this Order.
LawNewz.com obtained a copy of the order and is in the process of reviewing it.
READ the Order: