James Comey To Congress: About Those Hillary Clinton Emails I Mentioned Last Week? Meh, Forget About It, Nothing To See

from the wtf,-comey? dept

James Comey continues to be playing by his own ridiculous rules. He was playing by his own rules when he publicly announced that no charges would be sought against Hillary Clinton over her emails back in July. He was playing by his own rules a week ago when he revealed in a letter to Congress that new information had come to light, man. And, he continued to play by his own rules in sending a new letter to Congress saying, "Ooops, turns out there was nothing."

Specifically, the letter -- sent to the same heads of various Congressional committees -- said:
I write to supplement my October 28, 2016 letter that notified you the FBI would be taking additional investigative steps with respect to former Secretary of State Clinton's use of a personal email server. Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.

Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.

I am very grateful to the professionals at the FBI for doing an extraordinary amount of high-quality work in a short period of time.
Of course, because we're a day out from the election, and everyone wants to see this whole thing through stupid partisan eyes, you have Trump supporters who freaked out over the July announcement, but were thrilled by the October announcement, suddenly pissed off at this latest announcement. A key claim repeated a bunch of times is: "it's not possible the FBI could have gone through 650,000 emails in a week." This ridiculous line of thinking was kicked off by former NYPD Police Commissioner (and convicted felon) Bernard Kerik in a now deleted tweet:
Which, of course, is laughably clueless. First of all, there are at least some questions as to whether or not there were actually 650,000 Clinton emails in the bunch, but to do a basic analysis of even that large a group of emails isn't that hard. As some dude named Ed Snowden explained:
The key thing here: the crux of the investigation is if any of the emails found via Anthony Weiner/Huma Abedin's devices were different from the ones that the FBI already had from Clinton's server. Doing a basic diff isn't that difficult, as Snowden noted. So, as for Kerik's ridiculous claim, Americans may not be stupid, but it certainly appears that the former NYPD police commissioner is kinda ignorant of how computers work.

That said, going back to the original point: James Comey is and has been ridiculous throughout this process. I know that supporters of both Clinton and Trump have done their flip-flops on whether or not Comey was good or bad based on the July and October announcements, but it should be pretty clear that he was ridiculous throughout this entire process and handled nearly every aspect of it poorly. Even some diehard Trump supporters found the latest move to be dumbfounding. Here's former Congressional Rep. Joe Walsh -- who just a few weeks ago talked about taking up arms if Trump lost -- admitting that Comey's actions are head scratching:
So, perhaps -- in the heat of this crazy election that has people screaming at each other -- this is finally an issue that everyone can come together and agree on: James Comey is a terrible FBI director.

Filed Under: anthony weiner, emails, fbi, hillary clinton, huma abedin, investigation, james comey


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  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 3:46am

    Can't wait to see who hires this clown for his next job.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 3:55am

    Drain the swamp...

    ...and this guy should go as soon as possible.

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  • identicon
    SKetch, 7 Nov 2016 @ 3:56am

    so - 6 months to "clear" 30k emails, a week to "clear" 650k?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 4:53am

      Re:

      The key thing here: the crux of the investigation is if any of the emails found via Anthony Weiner/Huma Abedin's devices were different from the ones that the FBI already had from Clinton's server. Doing a basic diff isn't that difficult, as Snowden noted. So, as for Kerik's ridiculous claim, Americans may not be stupid, but it certainly appears that the former NYPD police commissioner is kinda ignorant of how computers work.

      When all you're looking for is what is different between the two sets and checking any that don't match rather than going through them piecemeal, yeah that would drastically speed things up.

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      • icon
        timmaguire42 (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:01am

        Re: Re:

        Sure, that's a fine way to eliminate most of these emails, but it's not much help in going through the rest. There is a roughly 0.0% chance that there aren't a few thousand that require actual eyes on them.

        This is a species of the media excuse that "most were personal or from Weiner." Yeah, so? That tells you nothing about the ones that aren't. If I go two days without emptying my spam folder, then most of my emails are about erectile dysfunction or penis enlargement. It's like going through a thousand emails of someone suspected of planning a bank robbery and closing the case because 990 didn't discuss bank robbery.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:08am

      Re:

      First off, eliminate all emails not having Clinton on the recievnig end. I think they were mentioning about 5000-10000 mails with Clinton on the recieving end. It is trivial to hack something together for a programmer if they don't already have a program for it (which they do).

      Afterwards, compare the mails to the already known mails and exclude dupes. That is easily doable for most basic programmers to make up in hours, assuming they don't already have it.

      The remaining emails will be comed through systematically. Honestly, with enough manpower on the job, coming through 5000 mails in a week is fairly doable. This is likely far less...

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      • icon
        timmaguire42 (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:27am

        Re: Re:

        "First off, eliminate all emails not having Clinton on the recievnig end."

        Why? What possible reason could there be to focus on emails sent to Clinton? If Clinton had to be involved, it should be as sender. But there's no reason for that limiter either. It should be all emails from or to Huma where the other party is in any way associated with the Clinton campaign. Anyone who gave a number is making it up out of whole cloth.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because...they're investigating Hillary for her emails, not Clinton staffers for anything they can dig up on the DNC?

          This is about her server, not an extension of the DNC leaks.

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        • identicon
          Thad, 7 Nov 2016 @ 11:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why? What possible reason could there be to focus on emails sent to Clinton?

          Because the investigation is not of the Clinton Campaign in general, it's of Clinton's handling of e-mails sent to a private e-mail server.

          If the e-mails were not (1) sent to Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server and (2) handled by Hillary Clinton, then they are irrelevant to an investigation of Hillary Clinton's handling of e-mails sent to her private e-mail server.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 9:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Bollocks. If Huma says in an email that Hillary told her to set up a private server so she could avoid records laws, would that be irrelevant if sent to someone besides Hillary? OFC not!

            EVERY SINGLE EMAIL has to be checked for relevance.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:29am

      Re:

      so - 6 months to "clear" 30k emails, a week to "clear" 650k?

      Nope. First of all, no one's sure of the 650k. Second, the real issue was there any Hillary emails that the FBI didn't already have. So the run a diff -- and if there aren't any new Hillary emails they're done. If there are, they just have to "clear" what's left, which could be a very small number. So, no, they didn't have to "clear" them in the same way, since it's likely that most of the Hillary emails were dupes.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 4:33am

    "James Comey is a terrible FBI director."

    Has there ever been a good one?

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  • icon
    timmaguire42 (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 4:55am

    Two thigns ot come out of this

    1. Early voting is a dumb way to run an election.

    2. You know Comey's getting a lot of pressure from above to bury this and he's getting a lot of pressure from below to bring down the hammer. It's no easy task he's been assigned, but he has come up with an elegant solution that infuriates everyone equally.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:49am

      Re: Two thigns ot come out of this

      The alternative is?

      Disenfranchisement is a horrible way to run an election in a self proclaimed "democracy", "leader of the free world", blah, blah, blah.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 9:10am

      Re: Two thigns ot come out of this

      So it's ok to get screwed out of voting if you find out you won't be able to show up and vote in person, and it's too late to get an absentee ballot then?

      Plus some legislatures insist on suppressing the votes of the 'wrong' voters by cutting down on their polling locations and giving them far too few voting machines, resulting in people waiting in lines for hours. Early voting is a way to help combat that disgracefulness.

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    • identicon
      Thad, 7 Nov 2016 @ 11:19am

      Re: Two thigns ot come out of this

      1. Early voting is a dumb way to run an election.

      No, voting for a narrow period on a fucking Tuesday, with limited polling locations and long lines, is a dumb way to run an election.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 4:59am

    So the last sandbag is laid.

    "MMmmrph. There she goes. Investigate THAT my peasant lacky detectives! Muhahahhahah!"

    Divert, delay, wait for executive privilege to invalidate the law.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:08am

      Re: So the last sandbag is laid.

      It's just like how - in response to accusations from your crowd - Obama released his birth certificate in summer 2008. And it was authenticated by Vital Statistics at the same time.

      We heard the same cries of "Divert, delay, wait for executive privilege to invalidate the law" from the same people.

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    • identicon
      Thad, 7 Nov 2016 @ 11:20am

      Re: So the last sandbag is laid.

      What the hell are you talking about? Sandbags? Executive privilege invalidating laws? Peasant lacky [sic] detectives?

      Are you high?

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:03am

    'Loose cannons', generally only a good thing in buddy-cop movies

    For Comey's sake I certainly hope he already has another job lined up, because with these last-minute shenanigans I don't imagine either candidate will want him to keep his current job post-election, and will likely bring significant pressure for him to 'look for other employment opportunities' if they can't just fire him outright.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 8:14am

      Re: 'Loose cannons', generally only a good thing in buddy-cop movies

      People ignore that Congress asked him to keep them appraised of any new developments. He said "there's a new development." Then investigated it and concluded "nothing new has been learned."

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 10:48am

      Re: 'Loose cannons', generally only a good thing in buddy-cop movies

      Bad analogy alert.

      Calling Comey a loose cannon would imply that, at some point, he was properly lashed to the deck.

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  • identicon
    AnonCow, 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:06am

    Wouldn't they only be looking for emails with classification headers? That seems to be a rather trivial search.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:20am

      Re:

      I'd assume that they'd be considering the fact that such headers could have been removed by anyone intentionally misusing classified information (definitely a guess on my part, not having first hand knowledge of how these systems work). If you're looking for illegal activity, you have to assume that people will be trying to cover their tracks.

      But as mentioned a few times above, the real investigation of the emails would only be looking at emails not duplicated elsewhere, so a manual investigation won't take as long as some are assuming.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:19am

    Wow - the desperation is thick on this guy... Comparing de-duplication with per-item examination? Mad? Again, if anyone is "mad" about anything, it's about your continual deliberate misinterpretation of anything out of Comey's mouth. You keep equating, falsely, that lack of evidence is evidence of lack. And this from someone who should absolutely know better - someone who would bitch non-stop about anyone else who did the same (Eric Holder's attempts at revisionist-history and rewording definitions of laws/statutes to encompass his legal chicanery for example).

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:34am

      Re:

      You're babbling.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 7 Nov 2016 @ 11:27am

      Re:

      You keep equating, falsely, that lack of evidence is evidence of lack.

      "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" -- maybe you wanna rethink whether it's a good idea to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld's justification for believing there were WMD's in Iraq?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:27am

    You're quick to state Comeys playing by his "own rules". When you say that you imply that he's violated some other rules, yet you never really mention what those rules are, or exactly how he violated them.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:35am

      Re:

      You're quick to state Comeys playing by his "own rules". When you say that you imply that he's violated some other rules, yet you never really mention what those rules are, or exactly how he violated them.

      Click the links for "playing by his own rules" in the story above. There was a story earlier this summer about how the FBI isn't supposed to announce these things -- the DOJ is, so he broke that rule in doing the announcement. In the second one, there's a rule in the FBI that they not do anything that can be seen as influencing an election close to the election and he broke that rule too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 8:16am

        Re: Re:

        To be fair Mike, his letter was sent to Congress and a staffer there let the press have access to it. He was asked by some members of Congress to keep them appraised of any new developments in the case. But then of course, the FBI was also leaky like wet swiss cheese over the past week.

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        • identicon
          Thad, 7 Nov 2016 @ 11:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "A staffer"? Try a rabid partisan who's been pushing frivolous investigations of Hillary Clinton for years.

          Chaffetz choosing to publicize the letter, and the specific manner in which he chose to do so, were a foregone conclusion. Suggesting they were an unintended consequence is a pretty big stretch.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 10:47am

        Re: Re:

        Plus he strongly broke tradition by publicly attacking Hillary Clinton for over 15 minutes when announcing no charges months ago.

        Imagine if the FBI investigated the Koch brothers, or other politically controversial people who try to influence elections but aren't office holders. Imagine if the FBI held a press conference where they discussed in detail all the shady sounding things they did to influence the election, while saying they can't press charges because the Koch brothers or whoever didn't actually break the law.

        That would be straight up slandering an innocent person's reputation in a high profile conference.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 9:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Lol, no. Comey didn't say Hillary did shady shit but didn't break the law, he said SHE BROKE THE LAW, repeatedly and flagrantly, but they were choosing not to prosecute because she didn't mean it. Despite the fact that intent or lack thereof is not a part of that law at all, and if you or I tried a "I didn't know it was illegal" defense, we'd be in jail licketysplit.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2016 @ 3:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "...Plus he strongly broke tradition by publicly attacking Hillary Clinton for over 15 minutes when announcing no charges months ago..."

          It only seems to be an "attack" when stating the truth hurts, but yeah, *months* ago - as in no where near the election (and in response to questioning I might add).

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2016 @ 3:41am

        Re: Re:

        "...here's a rule in the FBI that they not do anything that can be seen as influencing an election close to the election and he broke that rule too..."

        I don't think he did Mike, I think you simply see it that way because it made Hillary look bad. You're not considering the fact that to *sit* on the information would tend to make her look good - thus influencing the election (according to your logic).

        The only option left, in this case, when your damned if you do, and damned if you don't - is to do it regardless with the best intent.

        BTW, if it were any other time and any other matter, you would be crucifying (insert federal official here), for picking a time to reveal/release information that had the *least* influence upon the public... Friday at midnight, New Years Ever, etc..

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  • identicon
    PigPaws, 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:36am

    The logistics aren't right

    people - you've got to throw the bullshit flag on this. NOTHING happens in DC in A WEEK.
    1 day to get the subpoena.
    1 day to get the disk/media/data to the bureaucrats responsible - MAYBE even to the analysts. (i.e. physically from NYC to DC, as it was a 'forensic' investigation, right?)
    1 day to write the code to dedupe 650k emails.
    - all this ASSUMING the schmucks were working the weekend. another day to actually dedupe the data - and what they kill off 90% of the emails as BS or previously known?
    that still leaves 65,000 emails to proof read! in 3 or 4 days? GTFOH.
    That's also assuming you already have enough people on-staff that are CLEARED TO THE LEVEL that the emails are thought to be at (i.e. S/TS/SCI, etc...)
    The logistics behind this is incredibly stupid and DO NOT HAPPEN IN A WEEK!
    Seriously - think about the numbers involved. This is all political bread and circuses.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:34am

      Re: The logistics aren't right

      people - you've got to throw the bullshit flag on this. NOTHING happens in DC in A WEEK.

      This wasn't politicians, this was FBI. And, yes, in an investigation, lots happens in a week.

      1 day to get the subpoena.

      Yes?

      1 day to get the disk/media/data to the bureaucrats responsible - MAYBE even to the analysts. (i.e. physically from NYC to DC, as it was a 'forensic' investigation, right?)

      Why did anyone have to move anywhere? And if it was NY to DC that's an hour flight or a short Acela trip. Not long.

      1 day to write the code to dedupe 650k emails.

      It doesn't take that long. Such code already exists.

      - all this ASSUMING the schmucks were working the weekend. another day to actually dedupe the data - and what they kill off 90% of the emails as BS or previously known?

      Again, it doesn't take a day. You're adding up too much other stuff.

      that still leaves 65,000 emails to proof read! in 3 or 4 days? GTFOH.

      Why do you assume 65,000 emails. If all of the emails that were Hillary related were dupes, you're done. If there were just a few left over (way more likely than 65k), then it just takes a few days to look them over.

      That's also assuming you already have enough people on-staff that are CLEARED TO THE LEVEL that the emails are thought to be at (i.e. S/TS/SCI, etc...)

      Um. This is the FBI. They have plenty of those people.

      The logistics behind this is incredibly stupid and DO NOT HAPPEN IN A WEEK!

      Yes, they do.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:04am

        Re: Re: The logistics aren't right

        Ah, beat me to it, Mike!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2016 @ 3:53am

        Re: Re: The logistics aren't right

        "Yes, they do."

        No they don't and you know they fucking don't. You've assumed a sudden 101% efficiency status with regard to a *notoriously* inefficient agency in furtherance of electing a screeching Pterodactyl.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 8 Nov 2016 @ 5:45am

          Re: Re: Re: The logistics aren't right

          "No they don't and you know they fucking don't"

          Instead of whining like a petulant toddler, you could of course furnish us with some evidence. Because the post Mike responded to does no such thing, it invents a parallel dimension where things like rapid transport, pre-existing software tools and security cleared FBI agents don't exist.

          Do you have any evidence from the real world to entertain us with?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2016 @ 11:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The logistics aren't right

            I'm not putting common knowledge on a platter for you, no.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 14 Nov 2016 @ 12:41am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The logistics aren't right

              Ah, "common knowledge". Is that what you call it when you can't factually prove what you claim, but you think you're right even though it's provably false?

              Face it, you're wrong. Even if the FBI were as utterly useless as you claim they were, things like transporting a package in less than a day and using a pre-existing program to match data rather than programming one from scratch are things that people smart enough to breath would do. You had to build a fantasy version of events just to be able to keep some false claims alive, no matter how silly they are.

              Again, deal with the real world, it's a lot less stressful.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:03am

      Re: The logistics aren't right

      Do you really expect you making shit up to be convincing to anyone?
      -They had the subpoena to begin with, before the letter to congress.
      -1 whole day for the FBI to transfer maybe 60gb of files? Bullshit. A couple hours, tops.
      -They already had their filters from the last batch of emails, and even if they didn't, a whole day to write the code? Are you the shittiest coder ever, or do you just know nothing about coding at all? I would be fired if it took me more than a half hour to write something like that.
      -A day to actually dedupe the data? On FBI computers? Try 10 minutes. So now we're at about noon on day one, if we started at 9:00.
      -Probably 95%+ percent were completely unrelated personal emails (it's Weiner's computer, remember), and of the ones that had to do with Hillary, probably most were duplicates. 5,000 new emails is probably a crazy generous guess.
      -You think the FBI has no agents cleared to even check this stuff? You are an idiot. I'm sure they could put 20 agents on it, minimum.
      -How long does it take to check an email on average, if it turns out there's nothing there? Probably a minute. So even if they work no overtime, 8 hours with a half-hour lunch break, that's 9000 emails checked in a single day. They could even manage your stupid 65,000 number in a week, or in your even stupider 3-4 days if they work double shifts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:03am

      Re: The logistics aren't right

      "1 day to get the disk/media/data to the bureaucrats responsible"

      Why would bureaucrats be involved in the investigation rather than investigators? Why would the investigation have to happen in DC rather than a local NY office? Even if it does, why would it take a day to send a standard small parcel that distance, especially one of such importance? If the FBI can't trust a civilian courier service, it would take a lot less time than a day for an agent to drive it there.

      "1 day to write the code to dedupe 650k emails."

      Why are you writing a program from scratch to perform standard searches that software that's been around for decades can handle quite perfectly? Proprietary, off the shelf or open source, people have done that work many times before you.

      "another day to actually dedupe the data"

      Why would that take a day? Is the FBI running their shop from some old 386s someone found in a cupboard?

      It's covered already to some extent, but it has to be stressed - if your timescale has to pad out 2 days for ridiculous activities prior to searching then a day for the slowest text comparison in history, maybe your premise is faulty.

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  • icon
    john Katos (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:50am

    Comey's job

    from wikipedia: 'Comey was confirmed by the Senate on July 29, 2013, for a full ten-year term running the Federal Bureau of Investigation.'

    So much for having to look for a job.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:41am

      Re: Comey's job

      Bill Clinton dismissed the FBI director he inherited, after accusations that director had acted improperly before the election.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re: Comey's job

        Bill Clinton asked the FBI director to resign. The FBI director cannot be dismissed by the president at will. They are semi-autonomous just like the US Attorneys. While they usually resign when a new president comes into office, they don't have to. And the president can't just dismiss them.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 8:26am

          Re: Re: Re: Comey's job

          Incorrect.

          Wikipedia: William S. Sessions: FBI career

          Although Sessions denied that he had acted improperly, he was pressured to resign in early July, with some suggesting that President Clinton was giving Sessions the chance to step down in a dignified manner. Sessions refused, saying that he had done nothing wrong, and insisted on staying in office until his successor was confirmed. As a result, President Clinton dismissed Sessions on July 19, 1993. Sessions was five and a half years into a ten-year term as FBI director; however, the holder of this post serves at the pleasure of the President.

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  • identicon
    ana cow, 7 Nov 2016 @ 5:50am

    The technical side, and the policy side.

    As an old computer guy, coding since 1972, grepping and diffing the emails is not that hard or time consuming. Since the tools had already been crafted for the July assay, tossing another batch of email thru that ruleset would be much quicker than the original composition of the filters, so the time frame seems entirely sane to me.

    What happens next is likely to be as or more painful than the election has been. Living in rural Eastern Kentucky, I am sure that many of my neighbors will drink the kool-aid, and believe that they have been unfairly disenfranchised. They will hear this from the elected, the pulpit and the mutual assurance of their friends. As a poster child for a region that reliably votes against their own interests, I can only hope that my elected officials see the light and works to find common ground. I very much doubt the the McConnels of the world will do that. I, instead, expect years of faith based factless trouble. That problem will be manifest across this country. It won't be easy to repair the nation, but the price of failure is too great to not gird loins and work to bridge the chasms wedged open by this divisive campaign.

    Talk to your neighbors, regardless of their affiliation-you and they will find things you have in common and can work on together.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:24am

      Re: The technical side, and the policy side.

      I guess the Democratic kool-aid must be very powerful for you to see problems only on 1 side of the aisle. A quick look through Wikipedia will open your eyes to the corruption of the Clinton machine. From rigging the primary, which all Dems should be furious about, to selling influence while head of the State Dept, to enriching themselves with an illegal foundation.

      The Dems remind me of the movie "The Matrix". They are like the traitor on the first movie who just wants to be plugged back in because as he said, "ignorance is bliss".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 8:09am

        Re: Re: The technical side, and the policy side.

        Forget "The Matrix." Let's go with "Babylon 5." I used to follow Usenet posts from J. Michael Straczynski (JMS). He was the creator, showrunner and main writer for the show. It was always interesting hearing about what was going on behind the scenes.

        One of the Babylon 5 actors was Jerry Doyle, who was later a conservative talk radio host and political commentator. Before acting he was a corporate jet pilot and spent a decade as a stockbroker. In the 2000 election he ran for the House of Representatives in California's 24th Congressional district as the Republican Nominee. As JMS noted...

        But most troubling...he was given what was essentially a loyalty oath, stipulating that he would support George W. Bush in the forthcoming primaries exclusively, and not McCain, and if he didn't agree, the Party would withhold its financing from his election bid.

        It seems you also missed where Republican officials were doing their best to prevent the nomination of Donald Trump.

        This is yet another case where the most damning accusations by Republicans are that Democrats are acting like Republicans.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          TripMN, 7 Nov 2016 @ 10:03am

          Re: Re: Re: The technical side, and the policy side.

          As an independent, this is why I'm sick of the two party system and the first-past-the-post election style we have that empowers it so greatly. It is not a race for being better as a nation, its a red team vs blue team race to the bottom.

          This takes me back a few stories to the Republicans saying they won't use the dirt from the leaked emails against Hillary or the Democrats since it could be them next. Some people kept quoting Mark Twain (I think in that story's comments), but this reminds me of a different quote about a cat and a hot stove and taking away the wrong lesson. The lesson the Republicans should gain from the emails is that their dirty laundry will be found out in this day and age and they should clean up their act, but instead they take away the lesson of not leveraging their enemies with skeletons in the closet because maybe their skeletons will not be called out when it is their turn.

          It just isn't going to get better, is it...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Alphonse Tomato (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 10:34am

        Re: Re: The technical side, and the policy side.

        A quick look through Wikipedia will open your eyes to the corruption of the Clinton machine. From rigging the primary, which all Dems should be furious about

        Yeah, and I am, but that's par for the course with both major parties. Ask Ron Paul supporters about what the Republican apparatchiks did to them. The only reason they didn't do it to Trump was nobody thought Trump had a chance, until it was too late.

        So we have two less-than-desirable candidates. One is a sociopath bigot bully with Mussolini tendencies. Corrupt? He's never had a govt job, but he cheats on his taxes and screws his workers out of their pay, and loves undocumented workers so long as he can pay them less, so that's a promising start. The other is a center-right apparatchik who is careful, plodding and methodical. Corruption level for her seems to be average, more the arrogance of power ("those rules don't apply to me") not much different from her compatriots of the other party. I know which one scares me more.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        anan cow, 7 Nov 2016 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re: The technical side, and the policy side.

        Gosh, I _really_ don't see this as a one sided problem. The Kentucky Democratic Machine is as broken as the Republican, with one Huge Difference: the Democratic Party of Kentucky isn't suggesting anyone take up arms when they lose an election.

        I'd also note that anyone who as ever taken the initiative to lobby their elected in their state or federal capitol will soon learn that no-one that has succeeded to gain elected office is very "nice", and to be effective, they need to be as mean and aggressive as their opposition. Why, knowing that, one would want anything but an experienced street-fighting politician with decades of learning the ropes escapes me.

        To manage on the world stage, I want an 800 pound gorilla, but one that will in fact represent the will of the majority that elected it.

        If it makes you feel any better, one of the highlights of my citizen lobbying life came when I, as I was leaving the office of Democrat Don Blanford after he pocket vetoed a bill we'd worked to provide for local oversight in waste incinerator permitting, passed two close cropped shiny shoe guys entering the office: the FBI was arresting the Speaker of the House for taking bribes (see wikipedia for Operation_Boptrot).

        Your notion that I am a partisan Democrat is simply a bad jump to conclusions. Making assertions that you haven't validated undercuts your own credibility.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 11:18am

        Re: Re: The technical side, and the policy side.

        False equivalency kool aid tastes so much better than reality kool aid.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 7 Nov 2016 @ 11:35am

        Re: Re: The technical side, and the policy side.

        I guess the Democratic kool-aid must be very powerful for you to see problems only on 1 side of the aisle. A quick look through Wikipedia will open your eyes to the corruption of the Clinton machine. From rigging the primary, which all Dems should be furious about, to selling influence while head of the State Dept, to enriching themselves with an illegal foundation.

        Perhaps the reason the poster chose not to bring up any of these things is that the article we are currently commenting on is about Comey's investigation of Hillary Clinton's e-mail server.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:06am

    This was all a non-started anyway. A grand jury was never empaneled...The DOJ was not going to allow that to happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:17am

    A technical note on email software tools

    I frequently have occasion to deal with large numbers of email messages -- much larger than this -- and I'd like to point out that there are some enormously powerful software tools -- free, open-source tools that run on any Unix or Linux system -- that make this task considerably easier than it may appear to non-specialists in the field.

    Three examples:

    1) Mutt, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutt_(email_client) is a powerful, fast email client with built-in message sorting and filtering and searching. I use it constantly, particularly because I handle lots of messages known to contain spam, spyware, malware, etc., and it's nearly impervious to those. It's a trivial task with mutt to open up an mbox with 10,000+ messages (takes a few seconds on this 8-year-old laptop) and search them to find all the ones from a particular sender (nearly instantaneous).

    2) grepmail, https://sourceforge.net/projects/grepmail/ is a command-line tool that can search mboxes for messages matching criteria. For example, I could search for "all messages from Joe between May 1 2014 and June 15 2014" or "all messages from Joe to Fred" or "all messages containing the phrase 'left shark'" or combinations of these.

    3) formail, http://www.linuxcommand.org/man_pages/formail1.html is a mail reformatter that's useful for combining messages, splitting messages, etc. It's like a Swiss army knife for doing structural things to mboxes.

    There are MANY more. Everyone/anyone who works in this area should be aware of these tools, should have them, and should be reasonably fluent in their use.

    Also note that all email messages carry a putatively unique header called "Message-ID". The Message-ID is put there by the first email server to get its hands on a message and is intended to uniquely identify it across ALL messages. It's usually of the form timestamp + unique key @ domain, e.g., something like 201611040320.AA1893367@example.com. All three tools above and many others can be used to search for it and manipulate it...which means that if you gave me two email archives in mbox format, one from Joe and one from Fred, and asked me to identify the messages in the second that don't appear in the first, I could produce that list for you in about a minute. No custom software needed, just basic literacy with ordinary Unix/Linux tools that every email system admin should possess. (And if the archive wasn't in mbox format? I'd use formail or another tool to make it so, since mbox format is the lingua franca of email storage.)

    Therefore: fundamental questions such as "how many of these 650,000 messages were not already known?" or "how many of these messages are from Joe?" or "how many of these messages are to Fred?" or "which of these messages were copied to Joe and/or Fred?" should have been easily answered in minutes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    slarabee (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:36am

    It's Obama's Fault

    And I mean that, I am not just being a dick. It is customary when a new President takes office to clean house at the DOJ and put in new attorney generals etc... Never would that have made more sense to do than after we finally were rid of Bush/Cheney but for whatever reason, Obama kept the majority of Bush lawyers around and then in a sparkling bit of convoluted bullshit logic appointed Comey as head of the FBI. Boggles the fuckin mind. What did he expect to happen, that Comey would suddenly become of reasonable democratic human being? After working so closely with Cheney I am surprised Comey is not a reptile himself. Hell, who knows, he may be, might just have a better disguise... reptile 2.0 if you will.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    slarabee (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 6:57am

    Also...

    As to the amount of emails...

    Even if there were 650,000 emails on Wiener's laptop (which I doubt very highly), the FBI would need to narrow the scope of their search for Hillary emails to the years during which she was Secretary of State. A warrant for Wiener's emails due to a sex crime investigation, does not then automatically extrapolate to a infinitely deep and wide search for Clinton's emails. They would need to find something in Wiener's data (related to the sex search) that laid the foundation for a deeper search of emails related to Clinton as she is not implicated in any way in the sex crime(s) wiener is being investigated for. Think of it like a plain sight search of your home, once they are in your home (for whatever reason), if they see something illegal or suspicious in plain sight (not in a drawer or in a closet) that would justify further search, but barring that plain sight evidence, they are done.

    But even if we narrow the scope to the full four years of Clinton's term as SOC they are asking me to believe that Wiener received 445 emails per day (650,000/1460) that directly related to Clinton. Bullshit.

    But even if the numbers were accurate, I could sift through those emails with full text search and subject line and 30 other ways in a work week, without breaking a sweat.

    End of the day, until someone shows me an email, even 1, that shows clear violation of the law on Clinton's part they can all suck my dick because I have been listening to their bullshit for 30 years, as they throw anything and everything at her just praying something will stick.

    I remember when they investigated her for her investments in Cattle Futures. Their evidence for believing she engaged in nefarious trading? She made money. That was it. They never showed a single shred of evidence she did anything illegal, but to this day those assholes contend she did something illegal, because god forbid someone invest in cattle futures and make some money.

    This scorched earth bullshit that started with Gingrich et al has to stop. Sooner or later we need to demand they stop wasting tax payer dollars on their politically driven witch hunt bullshit.

    IMHO

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2016 @ 12:12am

      Re: Also...

      You keep using would, where the evidence of FBI behavior points to should, as they cannot retrain themselves from looking at everything that they can get their hands on..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:57am

    I'm starting to see why Whatever regularly looks up to Comey as his role model... or crush.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TRX (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:58am

    > James Comey is a terrible FBI director.

    ...aaand... can you name one that *wasn't?*

    That office seems to alternate between the malicious and the incompetent.

    The FBI withdrew from most bank robbery and kidnapping investigations years ago. It doesn't even do much in the way of the fraud and stocks work any more. And now its vaunted "forensic science" has turned out to be partially faked.

    De-fund them and save the money. They're doing nothing useful any more.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Russ Gilbert (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 8:20am

    Emails

    I think I see the misunderstanding in the Trump camp.

    All the FBI would have to do is reallocate some of the assumedly tens of thousands of agents they have personally listening to everyone's phone calls and manually sifting through everyone's emails.

    Clearly they have the resources.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 9:10am

    I don't think anyone will stand up for Comey if Obama fires him now

    Comey has made sure to piss everyone off now the last 2 weeks. I don't think anyone will be sad to see his ass fired by Obama after election day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 9:14am

      Re: I don't think anyone will stand up for Comey if Obama fires him now

      Cue the claims that "the President can't dismiss an FBI director in his last year in office."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 10:38am

    Comey just didn't want to end up dead when Hillary steals the election.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 10:42am

    I can not vote. And if I could I wouldn't, as it might give this election an air of credibility that it does not possess.
    Pee Wee Herman 2016.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 7 Nov 2016 @ 11:42am

      Re:

      Well, if you can't vote, then this doesn't apply to you, but it bears repeating for everyone who can:

      If you can vote, go out and do so. Even if you don't like your choices for President, there are a lot of important down-ballot races and initiatives. Your vote may very well matter on some important issues.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Oblate (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 10:44am

    an issue that everyone can come together and agree on: James Comey is a terrible FBI director.

    I didn't check- were any of Comey's e-mails sent around 3:00 AM? Maybe his staff should take away his e-mail access.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 11:46am

    No doubt we will start hearing stories about how much and who the clinton foundation donated money to that are related to top officials in the FBI again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Oninoshiko (profile), 7 Nov 2016 @ 1:06pm

    I've heard a explanation of Comey that makes sense

    *adjusts tin-foil hat*

    It goes that investigators at the FBI have shown a propensity for revealing these types of things. Comey revealed the emails to give HRC a chance to rebuke them, and his own office enough time to plausibly say "they're nothing" before the election, preventing those in his office from getting the opportunity to use them to do real damage.

    Is that what really happened? I don't know, but it's the only theory I've heard that makes any sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 7 Nov 2016 @ 4:53pm

      Re: I've heard a explanation of Comey that makes sense

      Except that it's now clear that the worst-case scenario if he'd done absolutely nothing would be the same thing that actually happened.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Crazy Canuck, 7 Nov 2016 @ 1:59pm

    Sure, that may be almost an email per second working 24/7 by 1 person but I'm sure the FBI could spare more than one person to work on this.

    Assuming the FBI works 8 hour days, that they also worked the weekend, and it took half a minute on average to review each email. That would only take 85 people to scan through them all.

    Make it 10 hour days and you could reduce it to 68 people.
    If they worked 24/7 we could get it down to 29 people.

    In reality it'd probably be even less, as I'm sure you could filter out a large chunk of the emails as duplicate, spam, etc.

    But this is the FBI, maybe they can't grasp the concept of parallel processing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2016 @ 2:27pm

      Re:

      Podesta emails contain cryptic dominos on pizza lines. No software will flag it as pedophile keywords. This can be analyzed by hand and eye only together with investigating people involved in chain and their activity. Impossible to do by 100 independent agents reading at the same time different batches. Apparently , mr masnick never did research in his life. Kerik is convicted felon, but that makes no difference to assess apparent impossibility of analyzing that number of email in such a short time. They could have only glanced. Remember, comey closed the case again, implying they did full research second time around.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gabriel, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:46pm

    Think you misspelled his name

    Should be James Comedy no?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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