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Who's who in the FBI email investigation?

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The rapidly-evolving story concerning the FBI’s renewed interest in Hillary Clinton’s email sever has a number of players. Some are famous, others are not. Here are some people involved in the latest political drama. 


Once a rising star in the Democratic Party, Weiner was an outspoken and telegenic congressman from the outer boroughs of New York City. He married senior Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin in 2010 in a ceremony officiated by Bill Clinton, and was mentored by Sen. Chuck Schumer. Then, in 2011, he accidentally tweeted an explicit photo from himself, which eventually led to his resignation from Congress. 

FILE - In this July 24, 2013 file photo, New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner leaves his apartment building in New York.  AP/Richard Drew, File

He  launched a comeback bid for Mayor of New York City in 2013, and was briefly the frontrunner until it was revealed that he was still sending explicit photos to people other than his wife, sometimes under the pseudonym Carlos Danger. 

Over this past summer, authorities opened an investigation into Weiner’s alleged sexting with an underage girl, which at one point included a picture of his young son. Abedin announced that she was separating from Weiner in August, but the investigation eventually led to the discovery of a laptop containing thousands of emails potentially relating to the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server. 


Appointed FBI director in September 2013 by President Obama, Comey has a long and distinguished record in law enforcement, including a stint as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2002 to 2003. He then became a deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush until 2005 before leaving to accept a series of lucrative private sector jobs. 

FBI Director James Comey makes a statement at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Cliff Owen, AP

A Republican for most of his life, Comey contributed to the presidential campaigns of both Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney, but said in 2016 he was no longer registered with the GOP. In July, he attracted criticism from Republicans for declining to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over the use of her private email server, a decision he announced in a press conference.

Last week, he sent a letter to Congress notifying the chairs of relevant committees that the investigation had resumed due to information obtained during a separate investigation. It was later revealed that FBI investigators looking into Anthony Weiner had found a laptop used by him and his wife, Huma Abedin, containing thousands of emails potentially going to-and-from Clinton’s private server. 


McCabe joined the FBI in 1996, serving out of the New York field office and focusing on organized crime. According to his official FBI biography, he has held senior positions in the counterterrorism and national security divisions, eventually becoming deputy director, the bureau’s second-in-command position, in February. 

His wife, Jill McCabe, was an unsuccessful Democratic Virginia state senate candidate in 2015, and received nearly $500,000 in campaign funds from Gov. Terry McAuliffe political action committee. McAuliffe is a close Clinton ally, but Andrew McCabe still reportedly oversaw the wide-ranging investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. McCabe did, however, recuse himself from a separate investigation into McAuliffe due to his wife’s ties to the governor. 

In early October, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal’s Devlin Barrett, agents investigating Anthony Weiner notified McCabe that a laptop had been discovered that could contain emails pertinent to the separate investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server. FBI investigators originally looked through the laptop looking for child pornography, and required another court order to look for emails relating to the server to-and-from Weiner’s wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin. 


The GOP chairman of the House Oversight Committee has been closely tracking the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers as secretary of state.

On Friday, Chaffetz tweeted that FBI Director James Comey had learned about new emails pertinent to its investigation into Clinton. Comey had sent him and other Republican committee chairmen on Capitol Hill a vague letter about the discovery. Chaffetz said that the case had been reopened.

The chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform committee, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), questions Planned Parenthood Federation president Cecile Richards (not pictured) on Capitol Hill in Washington September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron - RTS29RH REUTERS

Before the development, Chaffetz told The Washington Post last week that he planned to spend “years” investigating Clinton.


Despite never running for office before, McCabe launched a campaign last year to run for a state Senate seat in Virginia. She is the wife of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe who, has been overseeing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers when she led the State Department.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a former top aide to the Clintons, reportedly recruited McCabe for the seat in an effort to tip the balance of the state Senate. While she was recruited around the time that The New York Times broke the Clinton emails story, the FBI didn’t launch its investigation into it until July 2015 and Andrew McCabe wasn’t promoted to his current role until earlier this year.

McAuliffe’s political action committee donated nearly $500,000 to Jill McCabe’s campaign, which was unsuccessful. Chaffetz asked Andrew McCabe last week to provide documents about his wife’s Senate campaign amid questions about a possible conflict of interest.

Huma Abedin

The emails being reviewed by the FBI were found on laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner in the course of a separate investigation into Huma Abedin’s now-estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. He was allegedly sexting with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.

Abedin was said to be “surprised” by the emails on the computer, and during her interview with the FBI, she said she had given up all relevant electronic devices used for emails relating to her work for Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. After an earlier sexting scandal over the summer, Abedin announced she was separating from Weiner

Abedin was deputy chief of staff for Clinton but served in the capacity of a consultant, rather than as State Department staff. During this time, she also consulted for Teneo, a strategic consulting firm founded by a former Bill Clinton aide, Doug Band, and for the Clinton Foundation. Her overlapping jobs have been at the center of questions about whether Clinton’s State Department was too close to the Clinton Foundation and to Teneo.

Abedin has been called the Clintons’ “second daughter” -- Bill Clinton even officiated at her 2010 wedding to Weiner. She was born in Michigan to Saudi intellectuals and was subsequently raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She returned to the U.S. for college and became an intern for Clinton in 1996, who was first lady at the time. She has served as traveling chief of staff and senior adviser to Clinton, as well.


A close Clinton ally and former chair of the Democratic National Committee, McAulifee was elected Virginia governor in 2013. 

McAuliffe’s PAC donated nearly $500,000 to the Virginia state senate election campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, the wife of FBI official Andrew McCabe. According to The Wall Street Journal, McCabe oversaw the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. At the same time, the Virginia Democratic Party contributed another $207,778 in the form of mailers to McCabe.

The Virginia governor responded to insinuations by Republicans that his PAC’s donation to McCabe was an attempt to influence the FBI. “I think we’re in silly season,” he told WTVR last week. The only time he met her husband, Andrew McCabe, was on Mar. 7, he said: “It was about Jill, highly qualified, she’s a medical doctor, and she’s a community leader. That’s why we were supporting her.” McCabe ultimately lost the election to incumbent GOP State Sen. Dick Black.

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2016 file photo, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe gestures as he delivers his State of the Commonwealth Address before a joint session of the 2016 Virginia Assembly at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

The FBI is also investigating the propriety of some donations to McAuliffe’s own 2013 gubernatorial campaign, including one by Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang, CNN reported. Wang was born in China but is a permanent U.S. resident, which could make him eligible to make campaign contributions.  

McAuliffe’s friendship with both Clintons goes back to Bill Clinton’s presidency -- he was one of Clinton’s top fundraisers and later went on to chair the DNC. When the Clintons were short of money after they left the White House burdened by legal debt, it was McAuliffe who secured the loan with $1.35 million of his own money, the New York Times’ Adam Nagourney reported at the time (they paid him back soon after). And the Clintons were big supporters of both his gubernatorial bids. 

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