E. Randol Schoenberg, an attorney renowned for recovering artworks stolen by Nazis during the Holocaust, filed a lawsuit against the FBI this week to get answers about why Director James Comey falsely suggested that Hillary Clinton committed a crime just days before the 2016 election.
"I filed a lawsuit today against the US Department of Justice seeking immediate disclosure of the FBI search warrant for the e-mails of Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin on Anthony Weiner's laptop," Schoenberg wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday. "I think we need to see what 'probable cause' was shown for obtaining the search warrant, because whoever thought there was going to be evidence of a crime was obviously mistaken. And that mistake probably changed the outcome of the election."
In a blog post late last month, Schoenberg explained that it would be very unusual for a judge to grant the FBI a search warrant "[s]imply because someone has the ability to commit the crime of intentionally violating laws governing the handling of classified information."
"To obtain a warrant it had to establish probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime would be found. Since we now know that no such evidence was found on the laptop, it is time to investigate why the FBI believed it had probable cause."
One possible theory, Schoenberg said, is that "the new allegations came from people associated with the Trump campaign."
He continued on his blog:
What if the allegations were intentionally false? During the nine days when the investigation was underway, Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani made public statements suggesting he was in communication with the FBI about the ongoing investigation. It does not seem too far-fetched to believe that politically-motivated individuals might have tried to get the FBI to re-open the investigation of Clinton by making false allegations. Finding Huma Abedin’s e-mails on Weiner’s laptop might have been just an opportunity to carry out their wishes.
Schoenberg's lawsuit calls on the court to force the FBI to honor a Freedom of Information Act request to turn over the warrant to search Anthony Weiner's laptop. Weiner was the husband of Hillary Clinton's top aide, Huma Abedin.
"Many members of the public have doubts about the propriety and legality of re-opening of the investigation," the lawsuit notes. "Access to the search warrant is critical for the public to learn the basis for there-opening of the investigation to ensure that the FBI acted in a manner consistent with its constitutional obligations under the Fourth Amendment."
"This is potentially very serious, something that if traced back to Donald Trump might even lead to impeachment," Schoenberg wrote on his blog. "It deserves to be investigated fully and openly, and quickly, because if a crime was committed in the course of the FBI investigation, it is the crime of the century."
The attorney told the Jewish Journal this week that it was reasonable to believe a Trump ally -- including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- might have provided the false information to the FBI.
“It’s more likely something criminal happened in the obtaining of the search warrant than… Hillary Clinton did something wrong,” Schoenberg pointed out.