Why was news just leaked that Huma Abedin was questioned by FBI a month ago?

The Clinton spin machine went into high gear yesterday.  A series of leaks to the media cascaded out a day after Catherine Herridge of Fox News broke the story that Romanian hacker Guccifer told her that he had easily been able to hack into her private email server, and browse through the emails that we now know contained material of the highest classification.  Notably, NBC News had access to this information earlier, but sat on it for weeks, leaving the scoop to Fox News, which is bizarre behavior for a purported news organization.  But then again, other mainstream media largely have ignored the Fox scoop. 

But they are not ignoring the leaks about Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s closest aide, being grilled by the FBI for two hours a month ago.  Other Clinton aides, reportedly, also have been interviewed.  Who is doing the leaking and why now are two important questions.  My gut tells me that we are being played, that it is the Clinton camp spinning the arrival of bad news via anonymous sources. 

Dan Quentin Wilbur of the LA Times:

Huma Abedin, a close aide to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, was questioned last month by FBI agents investigating whether classified material was mishandled on the private email server used by the former secretary of State and her aides, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Abedin was interviewed for about two hours at the FBI’s field office in Washington on April 5, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The spin began with the speed of light.

Most legal experts, including a number of former federal prosecutors, believe that Clinton faces little risk of being prosecuted for using the private email system to conduct official business when she served as secretary of State.

Using a private email system was not banned at the time, her supporters note, and other senior government officials also have used personal email to transact official business.

Hillary’s apologists in the DavidBrockosphere are mightily spinning.  The familiar and specious argument that there was no criminal intent prominently appears in many MSM accounts.  Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post makes it his lede:

Prosecutors and FBI agents investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server have so far found scant evidence that the leading Democratic presidential candidate intended to break classification rules, though they are still probing the case aggressively with an eye on interviewing Clinton herself, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

That is pure spin from the Clinton camp.  The relevant federal statute is based on gross negligence, a standard by which intent is irrelevant.  As Charles Cooke pointed out at NRO:

18 USC 793(f)(1)-(2) holds that:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,

1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or

 (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

As far as I can see, Clinton is guilty of violating at least two federal laws[.]

There is some reason to believe that the anonymous “officials” leaking the story are from the State Department, which has consistently spun in Hillary’s favor.  John Sexton at Hot Air connects the dots:

[T]here is no source named for this story but it does say the FBI and DOJ “declined to comment.” Speculating a bit here, the other agency that has been heavily involved in the process from the start is the State Department. The State Department has reliably taken Clinton’s side at every point, making their judgment somewhat suspect. Of course we can’t say for sure that’s where this is coming from but if it is then it’s little better than a press release from the Clinton camp. (snip)

[W]e’ve seen Clinton’s camp (and the State Department is firmly in her camp) try to get ahead of negative stories before with statements that turn out to be false or at least unverifiable. For instance, last August when the FBI seized Clinton’s private server she put out a statement which said, “She directed her team to give her email server that was used during her tenure as Secretary to the Department of Justice…” That made it sound as if she was the one taking the initiative when, in fact, it appears she had nothing to do with the decision and no choice in the matter. When asked if Clinton had given this direction to her staff before or after being contacted by the FBI, her spokesman would not say.

While I have little confidence in the Justice Department when it comes to acting on whatever information is developed by the FBI in its investigations, I take the timing and nature of the spin effort underway as a signal that the Clinton camp realizes that some bad news is coming the way of Hillary.  I am not alone in my suspicions.

The Clinton spin machine went into high gear yesterday.  A series of leaks to the media cascaded out a day after Catherine Herridge of Fox News broke the story that Romanian hacker Guccifer told her that he had easily been able to hack into her private email server, and browse through the emails that we now know contained material of the highest classification.  Notably, NBC News had access to this information earlier, but sat on it for weeks, leaving the scoop to Fox News, which is bizarre behavior for a purported news organization.  But then again, other mainstream media largely have ignored the Fox scoop. 

But they are not ignoring the leaks about Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s closest aide, being grilled by the FBI for two hours a month ago.  Other Clinton aides, reportedly, also have been interviewed.  Who is doing the leaking and why now are two important questions.  My gut tells me that we are being played, that it is the Clinton camp spinning the arrival of bad news via anonymous sources. 

Dan Quentin Wilbur of the LA Times:

Huma Abedin, a close aide to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, was questioned last month by FBI agents investigating whether classified material was mishandled on the private email server used by the former secretary of State and her aides, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Abedin was interviewed for about two hours at the FBI’s field office in Washington on April 5, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The spin began with the speed of light.

Most legal experts, including a number of former federal prosecutors, believe that Clinton faces little risk of being prosecuted for using the private email system to conduct official business when she served as secretary of State.

Using a private email system was not banned at the time, her supporters note, and other senior government officials also have used personal email to transact official business.

Hillary’s apologists in the DavidBrockosphere are mightily spinning.  The familiar and specious argument that there was no criminal intent prominently appears in many MSM accounts.  Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post makes it his lede:

Prosecutors and FBI agents investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server have so far found scant evidence that the leading Democratic presidential candidate intended to break classification rules, though they are still probing the case aggressively with an eye on interviewing Clinton herself, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

That is pure spin from the Clinton camp.  The relevant federal statute is based on gross negligence, a standard by which intent is irrelevant.  As Charles Cooke pointed out at NRO:

18 USC 793(f)(1)-(2) holds that:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,

1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or

 (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer— Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

As far as I can see, Clinton is guilty of violating at least two federal laws[.]

There is some reason to believe that the anonymous “officials” leaking the story are from the State Department, which has consistently spun in Hillary’s favor.  John Sexton at Hot Air connects the dots:

[T]here is no source named for this story but it does say the FBI and DOJ “declined to comment.” Speculating a bit here, the other agency that has been heavily involved in the process from the start is the State Department. The State Department has reliably taken Clinton’s side at every point, making their judgment somewhat suspect. Of course we can’t say for sure that’s where this is coming from but if it is then it’s little better than a press release from the Clinton camp. (snip)

[W]e’ve seen Clinton’s camp (and the State Department is firmly in her camp) try to get ahead of negative stories before with statements that turn out to be false or at least unverifiable. For instance, last August when the FBI seized Clinton’s private server she put out a statement which said, “She directed her team to give her email server that was used during her tenure as Secretary to the Department of Justice…” That made it sound as if she was the one taking the initiative when, in fact, it appears she had nothing to do with the decision and no choice in the matter. When asked if Clinton had given this direction to her staff before or after being contacted by the FBI, her spokesman would not say.

While I have little confidence in the Justice Department when it comes to acting on whatever information is developed by the FBI in its investigations, I take the timing and nature of the spin effort underway as a signal that the Clinton camp realizes that some bad news is coming the way of Hillary.  I am not alone in my suspicions.