Clinton Emails: FBI obtains warrant to search Huma Abedin's emails

Clinton Emails: FBI obtains warrant to search Huma Abedin's emails

Federal investigators have obtained a warrant to dig into newly uncovered emails found on a device linked to top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, the New York Times reported on Sunday, with "prosecutors and FBI agents [scrambling] to review as much of the information as possible before Election Day."

Both Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump have called for the FBI to release what it knows before Nov. 8, when voters will choose between the two for the presidency.

It's currently not known what is in the emails; they may comprise duplicates of emails the FBI has already read, or they may be ones that escaped the agency's purview via methods unknown.

The warrant comes amid high tensions over how FBI Director James Comey has handled the federal investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Comey informed Congress on Friday that investigators intended to review new messages after authorities discovered the cache of Abedin emails during an unrelated inquiry into Abedin's estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, who allegedly carried on a sexting relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

On Sunday evening, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid accused Comey of a "double standard" and explicitly aiming to help Trump win office by releasing vague news of the investigation less than two weeks before the election.

Reid wrote that while his communications with Comey had led him to believe the FBI is in possession of "explosive information" regarding Trump's ties to the Russian government, "as soon as you came into possession of the slightest innuendo related to Secretary Clinton, you rushed to publicize it in the most negative light possible ... [overruling] longstanding tradition and the explicit guidance of your own department."

The senator accused Comey of a potential violation of the Hatch Act, which prevents federal officials from using the power of their offices to intervene in elections.

Reid is a Clinton supporter, and the letter likely reflects more tension over the imminent federal elections on Nov. 8 than any theoretical future attempt to bring the FBI director up on charges.

But according to the Wall Street Journal, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican, said in an interview, "Clinton can only blame herself for this mess. She created this problem, not Director Comey."

Whether or not the FBI investigation poses an electoral threat to Clinton is up for debate. Poll-aggregating site FiveThirtyEight's polls-plus model, which incorporates recent polls with historic and economic data, currently places Trump's chances of victory at just 23.3%.

Oct. 31, 2016, 6:36 p.m. Eastern: This story has been updated.

Correction: Oct. 31, 2016
A previous version of this story incorrectly characterized the content of James Comey's Friday letter to members of Congress and misreported information from the New York Times. Comey was informing the members that investigators intended to review new emails to determine whether they were important in the Clinton investigation, and the New York Times reported the computer belonged to Anthony Weiner.