CBS News has confirmed that the FBI has identified emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop which relate to Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department. From CBS News:
These emails, CBS News’ Andres Triay reports, are not duplicates of emails found on Secretary Clinton’s private server. At this point, however, it remains to be seen whether these emails are significant to the FBI’s investigation into Clinton. It is also not known how many relevant emails there are.
FBI Director Comey released a letter to Congress saying that investigators had identified a new source of emails which relate to Clinton’s private server last Friday. In it’s initial story on the topic the NY Times reported that the FBI was not yet aware if the documents on the server were duplicates:
Mr. Comey said in his letter to Congress that he did not know how long it would take to review the emails. Law enforcement officials said they did not know whether any were duplicates of emails discovered in the earlier investigation.
NBC’s Pete Williams, who was widely quoted last week after the letter’s release, suggested it was possible all of the emails could be duplicates. From Think Progress:
Indeed, as NBC’s Pete Williams reported Friday evening, “it’s very possible that many of these if not all of them are duplicates with the ones they have already seen from examining the e-mails that Hillary Clinton turned over to the State Department.” People at the FBI, Williams also noted, “don’t have any idea what’s in these e-mails yet.”
Pete Williams repeated that on Meet the Press last Sunday. However, Fox News reported over the weekend that FBI agents suspected there were at least 10,000 emails on the laptop which were “of interest” to investigators and that it was unlikely all of them were duplicates:
The source also told Fox News that law enforcement officials think it’s highly unlikely that all of the newfound emails are duplicates, as the Clinton campaign has suggested.
So the the CBS News confirmation is important because it confirms that the emails which were the basis of Comey’s letter to Congress are not just duplicates of material the FBI has seen before. That doesn’t mean the new emails turn out to be particularly significant or change the outcome of the investigation, but it does mean there is at least some new information being examined.
As for how that examination is proceeding, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported Wednesday that agents were working in shifts to sort through the material:
The sources say the multi-agency task force was re-engaged over the weekend, with analysts working overlapping shifts covering 16 hours a day to identify new classified material.
The objective is to gain more clarity on the records recovered from ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner’s computer — to assess if intelligence sources and methods were compromised and to inform FBI Director James Comey in case he faces more pressure for answers on the state of the investigation.
Even working 16-hour days it’s hard to imagine the FBI could reach any kind of determination about the contents of the emails before Tuesday.