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Federal investigators obtain warrant to search for Clinton emails

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

The FBI obtained a warrant Sunday to begin searching newly discovered emails that may be relevant to the bureau's criminal probe of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server.

FBI investigators want to review emails of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin that were found on a device seized during an unrelated sexting investigation of Anthony Weiner, a former New York congressman and Abedin's estranged husband.

An official who spoke with the Associated Press, who has knowledge of the examination, would not say when investigators might complete the review of Abedin's emails but said Sunday that they would move expeditiously.

The FBI wants to review the emails to see if they contain classified information, and if they did, if that information was handled properly. That was the primary focus of the FBI's previous criminal investigation of Clinton.

FBI Director James Comey announced in a letter sent to members of Congress Friday that his agency was reopening their case against Clinton after they discovered the trove of emails during their investigation of Weiner.

It was revealed Sunday that FBI agents discovered the new emails in early October but waited several weeks before briefing Comey. The FBI director said he learned of the new emails Thursday and promptly felt “obligated” to inform Congress.

A person familiar with the investigation, who lacked authority to discuss the matter publicly and insisted on anonymity, said the device that appears to be at the center of the new review was a computer that belonged only to Weiner and was not one he shared with Abedin.

As a result, it was not a device searched for work-related emails at the time of the initial investigation. The person said it is "news to (Abedin)" that her emails would be on a computer belonging to her husband.

Abedin told lawyers in June in a deposition that, like millions of internet users who don't manage their inboxes, she never deleted old emails on her devices, either at work with Clinton or at home with Weiner.

In February 2013, upon leaving the State Department, Abedin signed a routine document under penalty of perjury acknowledging that she had a “legal obligation” to "turn over all classified or administratively controlled documents and materials” before she left her government position.

To note, when investigators go to a judge seeking a warrant, they have to specify what evidence they are looking for and where they’re going to look for it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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