Justice Department seeks quick warrant to review emails

New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department expects to obtain a search warrant very soon to review a large cache of emails belonging to a top aide to Hillary Clinton, federal law enforcement officials said Sunday, as investigators moved to review as much of the information as possible before Election Day.

It remains unclear, though, whether they can finish their work by then. Federal authorities said they would begin their search as soon as a judge signed the warrant. The precise timing is uncertain. Warrants are applied for and approved in secret, and officials would say only that they expected to begin their search soon.

Agents in an unrelated investigation of the disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner discovered tens of thousands of emails belonging to his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, a top adviser to Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.

Since the FBI director, James Comey, made that known to Congress on Friday, senior Justice Department and FBI officials have been under tremendous pressure to review the emails quickly. Both Clinton and her Republican rival, Donald Trump, have called for the FBI to say publicly what it knows before Election Day.

FILE — James Comey, the director of the FBI, testifies in front of the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 7, 2016. Just before Comey announced new evidence in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, he had been strongly discouraged by the Justice Department, for fear that he would be seen as meddling in the election. (Al Drago/The New York Times)

The Justice Department efforts were described by three federal law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.