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  • 'October Surprise': New details emerge about FBI delay on Weiner laptop in 2016

    'October Surprise': New details emerge about FBI delay on Weiner laptop in 2016

    New details have emerged about 2016’s "October Surprise," during which the FBI found emails belonging to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on disgraced New York Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop, with the FBI official who found the emails speaking out for the first time.

    FBI agent John Robertson, who worked in its New York office’s child sex crimes unit and was later cited (though not named) in Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s 2018 report on the handling of the investigation of Clinton's unauthorized private email server, spoke with the Washington Post’s Devlin Barrett for his upcoming book, October Surprise: How the FBI Tried to Save Itself and Crashed an Election.

    “The crickets I was hearing was really making me uncomfortable because something was going to come down,” Robertson said he later told Justice Department investigators. “Why isn’t anybody here? Like, if I’m the supervisor of any [counterintelligence] squad … and I hear about this, I’m getting on with headquarters and saying, 'Hey, some agent working child porn here may have [Hillary Clinton] emails. Get your ass on the phone, call [the case agent], and get a copy of that drive,’ because that’s how it should be. And that nobody reached out to me within, like, that night, I still to this day don’t understand what the hell went wrong.”

    “I have very deep misgivings about the institutional response of the FBI to the congressional investigation into the Hillary Clinton email matter. … Put simply: I don’t believe the handling of the material I have by the FBI is ethically or morally right. But my lawyer’s advice — that I simply put my SSA on notice should cover me — is that I have completed CYA [Cover Your Ass], and I have done so,” Robertson wrote in a “Letter to Self” in late October 2016. “Further, I was told by [Kramer] that should I ‘whistleblow,’ I will be prosecuted."

    Robertson continued: “I possess — the FBI possesses — 20 times more emails than Comey testified to. ... While Comey did not know at the time about what I have, people in the FBI do now, and as far as I know, we are being silent. … If I say or do nothing more, I am falling short ethically and morally. And later, I may be accused of being a Hillary Clinton hack because of the timing of all this. ... But if I say something (i.e., whistleblow), I will lose my reputation, my career, and risk prosecution. I will also be accused of being a Donald Trump hack."

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