Hillary Rodham Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, likely threatened to take “the 5th” if she didn’t get immunity to talk to a grand jury, according to a newly released batch of phone texts between two pro-Clinton, anti-Trump FBI officials.
The texts just released by Sen. Ron Johnson’s Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee revealed that the threat came in December 2016, after it was thought the Clinton email probe was dormant but one focusing on her husband’s sexting to a 15-year-old girl was ongoing.
The texts do not give much context, other than mentioning a grand jury. Just before the election, there was a renewed focus on Abedin because Clinton emails were found on the computer of her estranged husband, eventually sentenced to two years for sexting the teen.
But a month before the new text revealing the demand from Abedin’s lawyers, the FBI closed the link between the Weiner computer and the Clinton case.
In his text, agent Peter Strzok wrote colleague and lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, about Abedin.
Writing on Dec. 13, Strzok texted, “Talked to DoJ about HA interview. Told them we had to interview, no immunity. They said they thought that would get counsel to the point of saying she’s either taking the 5th in the Gj or you need to give her immunity. I said that’s fine, please have discussions to get the decision to that point and I would run up the chain.”
“HA” is said to refer to Abedin.
Abedin had immunity in the earlier Clinton investigation, raising questions about whether another had been convened or if it was related to Weiner. Strzok and Page, however, were working the Clinton case.
The Justice Department recently said it was reopening the Clinton email probe.
Abedin has been tied to Clinton for years and was with her always during the presidential campaign.
She was previously interviewed by the FBI and is said to have cooperated. Unclear is why she would then want immunity as the text suggested her lawyers were demanding.
The new batch of texts from Johnson’s committee shows the political bias of the FBI in Clinton’s favor. Others showed that former President Obama was keeping up with the probe.
They are in addition to a House GOP memo on the Russia election influence probe targeting the Trump campaign that show a similar anti-Trump bias.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org