E.W. “Bill” Priestap, the FBI’s former assistant director for counterintelligence, admitted that messages to and from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her private email system were found in the Obama White House, government watchdog Judicial Watch announced April 23.
Priestap also admitted that the FBI found nearly 49,000 emails from the private Clinton email system on the laptop computer owned by former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), the husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and a longtime close personal aide.
“This astonishing confirmation, made under oath by the FBI, shows that the Obama FBI had to go to President Obama’s White House office to find emails that Hillary Clinton tried to destroy or hide from the American people,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement announcing Priestap’s admission.
“No wonder Hillary Clinton has thus far skated—Barack Obama is implicated in her email scheme,” Fitton added.
Priestap included the “Executive Office of the President” on a list he provided in writing and under oath by Judicial Watch in a written interrogatory that a federal court ordered the former FBI executive to answer.
In the first of 10 questions in the interrogatory, Judicial Watch asked Priestap to identify all former Clinton aides and government agencies where the FBI found the messages to and from her private email system.
In addition to the Executive Office of the President in the Obama White House, Priestap said such emails were found from the State Department, the Secret Service, and the Williams & Connolly LLP law firm, as well as Clinton aides Bryan Pagliano, Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, Jacob Sullivan, and Justin Cooper.
Priestap said the list he provided was not comprehensive and that messages from other individuals and government agencies also may have been found but he didn’t recall them at the time of the interrogatory.
Priestap’s combative responses to the 10 questions from Judicial Watch required 17 pages and included multiple objections, some to minute points, such as whether a question had one or two parts.
The former FBI executive’s responses, as well as those from a number of other individuals, were ordered on Jan. 15, 2019, by U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit first filed by Judicial Watch in 2014.
Lamberth has previously blasted both the Department of Justice and the State Department for acting in “bad faith” regarding the Judicial Watch suit.
Lamberth then ordered the parties to confer and agree on a discovery schedule to determine “whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email while Secretary of State was an intentional attempt to evade FOIA; (b) whether the State Department’s attempts to settle this case in late 2014 and early 2015 amounted to bad faith; and (c) whether State has adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s requests.”
The discovery of thousands of Clinton emails on the Weiner laptop was first made public by then-FBI Director James Comey in October 2016, shortly before the nation chose between Democrat Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump to be president. Nothing of significance was found during a week-long examination of those emails, Comey said afterward.
Priestap told Judicial Watch in his interrogatory that 48,982 emails from the Clinton private email system were found on Weiner’s laptop.
Priestap was involved in both the FBI’s Clinton email investigation and the bureau’s probe of allegations that Trump campaign aides were involved with elements linked to Russian intelligence in an effort to swing the election to the eventual winner.