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FBI did not seize devices of Clinton's inner circle. IG report reveals the stunning reason why.
The DOJ's IG report revealed that FBI agents assigned to the Hillary Clinton email case never even seized the communication devices of Clinton's inner circle, which the report said was a major mistake. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

FBI did not seize devices of Clinton's inner circle. IG report reveals the stunning reason why.

During the course of the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, agents did not seize the Blackberry phones or other communication devices used by Clinton's inner circle at the State Department.

The revelation was made public last week in the Department of Justice's much-anticipated inspector general's report.

What are the details?

DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz noted in his final report that his investigators asked FBI agents assigned to the Clinton case — known as "MidYear" — why they did not seize the devices given they may have been used to store classified emails.

According to the report, the agents' main excuse was because "the culture of mishandling classified information at the State Department which made the quantity of potential sources of evidence particularly vast."

This revelation puzzled Horowitz's team, which believed a "middle ground" approach could have been used, instead of altogether failing to seize potential evidence.

"A middle ground existed where those devices belonging to Clinton’s three top aides—which the team determined accounted for approximately 68 percent of Clinton’s email exchanges—would have been reviewed, but devices belonging to other State Department employees would not," the report said.

Among the devices not collected were those that belonged to Huma Abedin, which also puzzled Horowitz's team because of the number of Clinton server emails found on a laptop computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, Abedin's then-estranged husband.

"Regarding Abedin’s devices, witnesses told us that Abedin played largely an administrative role on Clinton’s staff and, as such, they did not believe her emails were likely to be significant to the investigation," the IG report said. "Yet, as referenced above, this view was in tension with Comey’s approach in late October 2016."

(H/T: The Washington Examiner)

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