Perhaps Comey’s most surprising revelation was that Huma Abedin — Weiner’s wife and a top Clinton deputy — had made “a regular practice” of forwarding “hundreds and thousands” of Clinton messages to her husband, “some of which contain classified information.” Comey testified that Abedin had done this so that the disgraced former congressman could print them out for her boss. (Weiner’s laptop was seized after he came under criminal investigation for sex crimes, following a media report about his online relationship with a teenager.)
The New York Post plastered its story on the front page with a photo of an underwear-clad Weiner and the headline: “HARD COPY: Huma sent Weiner classified Hillary emails to print out.” The Daily News went with a similar front-page screamer: “HUMA ERROR: Sent classified emails to sext maniac Weiner.”
The problem: Much of what Comey said about this was inaccurate. Now the FBI is trying to figure out what to do about it.
FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found. On Monday, the FBI was said to be preparing to correct the record by sending a letter to Congress later this week. But that plan now appears on hold, with the bureau undecided about what to do.
According to two sources familiar with the matter — including one in law enforcement — Abedin forwarded only a handful of Clinton emails to her husband for printing — not the “hundreds and thousands” cited by Comey. It does not appear Abedin made “a regular practice” of doing so. Other officials said it was likely that most of the emails got onto the computer as a result of backups of her Blackberry.
It was not clear how many, if any, of the forwarded emails were among the 12 “classified” emails Comey said had been found on Weiner’s laptop. None of the messages carried classified markings at the time they were sent.
This isn’t an innocent mistake. This misstatement is clearly material to his decision to ignore the department’s norms and procedures and tamper with the election. I don’t know if Comey was consciously trying to hurt Clinton’s electoral chances. But it’s now pretty much undeniable that his belief that Crooked Hillary was getting away with serious misconduct was part of what motivated both the Oct. 28 letter and his equally prejudicial and inappropriate editorializing in July.
I mean, really. Comey is an affluent Republican white guy in his mid-fifties who works in law enforcement, so right off the bat the chances he preferred Trump to Clinton are roughly 99% even if he didn’t like either of them. And he’s not just any Republican, but one who’s been part of the Clinton Wars since Whitewater. The idea that this is irrelevant to his highly unusual conduct is about as credible as the belief that Supreme Court justices are apolitical technicians just calling balls and strikes. Whether he was conscious of his partsianship is beside the point — I’m sure Antonin Scalia really convinced himself that the 14th Amendment required him to stop the recounts too. Whether his actions changed the result of the election or not, he engaged in much more serious misconduct than Hillary Clinton ever has.