The FBI didn’t do an early morning raid.
Disgraced politician Anthony Weiner hired a private investigative firm run by a former New York prosecutor to help deal with the fallout from his underage sexting scandal just two days after his relationship with a 15-year-old girl went public, according to newly unsealed FBI court records.
Weiner’s sexting relationship with a high school sophomore was first reported by DailyMail.com on September 21, 2016.
Two days later, he turned over his cell phone, iPad and laptop to Granite Intelligence, a Manhattan-based firm that specializes in ‘intelligence, investigation, and risk management services’.
In a federal warrant unsealed last week, federal investigators noted that Weiner’s electronic devices were being held by the private firm when the FBI tried to obtain them on September 26, 2016.
The warrant requested an iPhone ‘that as transferred from the Target Subject [Weiner] to Granite Intelligence LLC (the ‘Security Firm’) on September 23, 2016′ and is ‘currently housed at the Security Firm’s office’.
The warrant also requested an iPad and a Dell laptop that Weiner gave to Granite Intelligence and that ‘currently is housed at the Security Firm’s office’.
The document does not say whether Granite Intelligence performed any other services for Weiner, 53, besides housing his electronics.
The use of private intelligence firms has come under scrutiny recently, after it was reported Harvey Weinstein hired an Israeli intelligence firm to gather information of his sexual assault accusers.
Granite Intelligence is run by Jeffrey J. Mueller, a former New York City prosecutor.
Co-founder R. David McDonough is a former investigator at Kroll, another private security firm that reportedly worked with Weinstein.
According to the website, the firm specializes in investigations, business intelligence and litigation support.[…]
According to the unsealed court warrant, the FBI was searching for the name and identity of Weiner’s victim, including ‘photographs, contact lists, address books, instant messages, chats, text messages, emails, and photographs or videos sent to and received by minors’.
They were also searching for evidence of child pornography or images of the victim.
In addition, they wanted to pinpoint the times the messages were sent and whether Weiner as personally using the devices.
Apparently a report from the Justice Department inspector general will slam senior FBI leaders, including James Comey, claiming they did not move quickly enough when agents realized Weiner had a trove of her emails on his laptop.
Some FBI officials knew in September 2016 of Hillary’s emails on Weiner’s laptop but the bureau did not obtain a warrant to review them until the following month.