01:30 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Anthony Weiner during his Mayoral bid in 2013 alongside his wife, Huma Abedin.

    Classified US State Department Info Found on Anthony Weiner’s Laptop

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    The US State Department on Friday afternoon released 2,800 documents found on the laptop of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, ex-husband of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

    At least five of the files in question contained classified information from the period when Clinton served as secretary of state and Abedin as her deputy chief of staff, from 2009 to 2013. The emails all date from 2010 to 2012 and consist of Abedin's communications in her capacity as deputy chief of staff for the secretary of state. Most of the files relate to diplomacy with Middle Eastern bodies such as Hamas, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

    Documents included "call sheets" meant to guide Clinton through phone conversations with figures such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

    One notable document told Clinton to warn Al-Saud of an impending leak of "'details of private conversations with your government on Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan" that would be released by WikiLeaks.

    Weiner, formerly a Democratic representative from New York, resigned in 2011 after the first of what would be a series of sex scandals. Weiner married Abedin in 2010, but she divorced him in May 2017 — on the same day that he pleaded guilty to sending obscene materials to a 15-year-old girl with whom he was sexting.

    The State Department seized the laptop as part of their child pornography investigation into Weiner. Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request to have the contents of the laptop revealed, and the State Department complied after partially redacting five classified and eight confidential files.

    As husband and wife, Weiner and Abedin would sometimes share the laptop. However, as a congressman and a civilian, Weiner wouldn't automatically have the security clearance to possess or read classified documents. As a congressman, Weiner was best known for his work on health legislation — he wasn't a member of any committees that would require a security clearance.

    Clinton's handling of classified information became a subject of tremendous controversy in 2015 when it was found that she was using her family's private email server for official communications, rather than a secure State Department server. The revelation sparked a probe into the State Department to uncover the scope of the data revealed.

    In July 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey testified that Clinton had been "extremely careless" in her handling of classified and sensitive information, but he did not believe her to be criminally liable.

    Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a Friday statement that the confidential materials on Weiner's laptop were forbidden for him to possess or see and that the laptop was the newest instance of Clinton's State Department mishandling secret communications.

    "As we expected, there is classified information on Anthony Weiner's laptop — thanks to Hillary Clinton's illicit email games," Fitton said, adding that it was "outrageous" that Abedin and Clinton were able to walk "out of the State Department with classified documents and the Obama FBI and DOJ didn't do a thing about it."

    "We expect that we will be told that some of these classified materials were on Weiner's laptop, which is highly disturbing. Let's hope it spurs a long-needed Clinton special counsel or, at least, a serious criminal investigation."

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    Tags:
    sex scandal, email, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), State Department, Judicial Watch, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner
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