Federal investigators say Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s recently convicted cousin deleted emails from his Yahoo account between 2008 and 2012 – a period that covered Abedin’s tenure at the State Department and when he solicited her for government favors.
Huma also maintained a Yahoo account to which she forwarded classified and other sensitive State Department information, including passwords, even after Yahoo accounts had been hacked worldwide.
President Trump Tuesday called for a federal investigation into Abedin’s handling of classified information, charging that she disregarded “basic security protocols.”
Abedin’s first and “closest” cousin, Omar Amanat – who last week was convicted of federal fraud charges – sent messages to her Yahoo and State Department accounts asking for government favors related to his New York-area business ventures starting in 2009, shortly after then-Secretary of State Clinton tapped her as her deputy chief of staff. Amanat’s communications with Abedin while at State and his little-known family ties to Abedin were first reported last April by WND.
A Justice Department document, Page 1 and Page 5, filed last month in federal court reveals that New York investigators obtained a search warrant on Amanat’s Yahoo-hosted email account in July 2016 at the same time the FBI was closing the Clinton email case. Investigators subsequently discovered “all emails between 2008 and 2012 had been deleted from the account before the government obtained the warrant.”
The court document, which runs 16 pages, further reveals that Amanat asked his brother, Irfan Mohammed Amanat, for help deleting his emails from the Yahoo site and downloading them onto his laptop, out of “concern about them subp[o]en[a]ing yahoo.”
Prosecutors say he did this for “the purpose of thwarting investigations.”
Abedin transferred to her husband’s laptop State Department emails, including several classified messages. The laptop was seized last year by federal agents in an unrelated sex-crimes investigation. The State Department is in the process of releasing the cache of Abedin emails the FBI retrieved from the laptop to Judicial Watch, which sued the agency for the information.
Omar Amanat faces 10 years in prison for securities and wire fraud related to his failed New York-based business, Kit Digital. His sentencing is scheduled for April. Meanwhile, Irfan Amanat awaits a March trial on related fraud charges.
Last month, in a mysterious development, Irfan Amanat’s lawyer asked the federal judge hearing the case to release her from representing her client, citing “new information” she learned while Omar Amanat was on trial and after “conferring with ethics counsel.” In a Dec. 15 letter, the New York defense attorney, Jill Shellow, asked the judge to appoint another lawyer “in light of the highly confidential nature of the new information and so as not to prejudice any of the proceedings related to this matter pending before Your Honor.”
U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe has ordered a conference this Friday in his Manhattan chambers to discuss the unusual request for withdrawal. He told prosecutors not to attend, indicating the matter is highly sensitive and confidential.
During Omar Amanat’s trial, jurors were barred from hearing evidence referencing Amanat’s blood ties to Abedin when Amanat dropped her name to an informant.
“She’s my … uh … my mom’s sister’s daughter,” the 44-year-old Amanat said in a recorded call. “She’s my first cousin, my closest.”
Amanat and his lawyers requested the judge keep news of their kinship, which had not been reported even among New York media before WND first revealed it in April, out of the courtroom.
An attorney familiar with the case said Amanat is “really like a brother” to Abedin, and that the two have shared money from a family trust fund. It’s not immediately known if Abedin has helped pay her bankrupt cousin’s legal bills, but they share the same New York law firm – Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. Attempts to reach Abedin for comment were unsuccessful.
The legal source said prosecutors could work Amanat for information regarding the Clinton email and pay-for-play cases.
“Now is the time to approach Omar about what he knows about Huma and Hillary. His sentencing is coming up in a few months and he is looking at 10 years,” he said, adding that prosecutors might be willing to cut a deal with Amanat in exchange for information.
Amanat and his family are also close to the Clintons, and records show they have contributed large sums of money to the Clinton Foundation, as WND also first reported in May.
FBI agents interviewed Abedin as part of the investigation into Clinton’s mishandling of government secrets, and their notes say she claimed that she “did not learn Clinton was using a private server until after Clinton’s tenure” at State, even though she was issued an email address linked to the unauthorized server, other emails show she was notified whenever the server went down, and other witnesses stated that it was her idea to set up the server in Clinton’s New York basement.
Still, Abedin was never charged with making false statements to a federal agent, a felony. And her personal laptop and phones were not seized and analyzed by the FBI. Instead, she was granted immunity from prosecution, which according to attorneys familiar with her case, would make it difficult to pursue a criminal case against her now – though not impossible, they say, if it can be demonstrated to a judge that she lied to investigators.
Paul Sperry is a former Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration” and “Muslim Mafia.” Follow him on Twitter: @paulsperry_