‘Investigative Limitations’ Over Hillary Clinton Emails: Laptop, Mobile Devices, And Thumb Drive Gone, FBI Says

A laptop and thumb drive used by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state are missing, according to the FBI. The laptop that is missing reportedly contained an archive of Hillary Clinton’s emails. The archive was created by former Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper and former aide Monica Hanley.

Cooper had given Hanley the Apple MacBook laptop from the Clinton Foundation. Cooper talked Hanley through the process of transferring emails from Clinton’s private server to the laptop and thumb drive, according to The Guardian. The FBI noted that Hanley conducted the transfer from her own home. The laptop and thumbdrive were to be stored at Hillary’s homes in New York and Washington. Reportedly, Hanley said she forgot to provide the laptop and thumb drive to Clinton’s staff at the time.

Then, in 2014, Hanley found the laptop in her home and tried to transfer the email archive to an IT company. She was unsuccessful and, according to the FBI, it seems as though the emails were actually transferred to someone’s personal Gmail account. That person’s name has been redacted from the FBI report. Problems arose, reportedly, because Apple software is not always compatible with Microsoft software. The unnamed person informed the FBI that after the transfer was complete, he deleted the email archive, but did not wipe the laptop’s hard drive. After that, the laptop was put in the mail.

That laptop was last seen being dropped in the mail. It has not been seen since.

“Neither Hanley nor [redacted] could identify the current whereabouts of the archive laptop or thumb drive containing the archive, and the FBI does not have either item in its possession.”

Bloomberg reported that a computer technician would have probably been able to recover the deleted e-mail archive from the harddrive, which could be a national security issue if the laptop and thumbdrive fell into the wrong hands.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that the FBI documents released on Friday “demonstrate Hillary Clinton’s reckless and downright dangerous handling of classified information during her tenure as secretary of state.” He also said that this revelation casts “further doubt on the justice department’s decision to avoid prosecuting what is a clear violation of the law.”

The notes that included the information about the missing laptop and thumb drive were released on Friday by the FBI, heavily redacted. The FBI report noted that a total of 13 mobile devices were potentially used to send emails using the clintonemail.com addresses. Cooper was usually responsible for setting up Clinton’s mobile devices each time she got a new one.

The FBI requested that all devices were to be turned over to them, but the law firm representing Clinton told the FBI that it could not produce any of them, according to The Washington Post.

Huma Abedin, Clinton’s closest aide, and Hanley told the FBI that once Hillary Clinton got a new device, the old device’s whereabouts would become unknown. Cooper recalled to the FBI two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile phones by breaking them or smashing them with a hammer.

The FBI indicated that the inability to obtain mobile devices, the thumb drive, and the laptop resulted in “investigative limitations” for the Bureau.

FBI Director James B. Comey announced in July, weeks before the Democratic National Convention which resulted in Clinton securing her party’s nomination, that Hillary Clinton and her staffers were “extremely careless” with classified information, but the public was not given all the details of the carelessness at that time.

The new report from the FBI has conservative and progressive voters, as well as some pundits, all riled up on social media.

[Image via Pixabay]