Rankin & Taylor Represented E. Randol Schoenberg In His Successful Battle To Unseal The Hillary Clinton Email Search Warrant


A federal judge in Manhattan has ordered the partial unsealing of a government search warrant and supporting documents stemming from a federal inquiry into emails belonging to Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton.

The judge, P. Kevin Castel of United States District Court, ordered on Monday that the documents be posted on the court’s docket at noon on Tuesday unless his decision is appealed and stayed or modified by a federal appeals court.

The emails were discovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an unrelated investigation of Anthony D. Weiner, the former congressman and estranged husband of Ms. Abedin. Mr. Weiner has been under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan over allegations that he exchanged illicit text messages with a 15-year-old girl.

The emails, which the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, revealed to Congress on Oct. 28, jolted Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign and led to broad criticism of his handling of the investigation. On Nov. 6, Mr. Comey told Congress that the bureau’s review of the emails had not changed its conclusion: Mrs. Clinton should face no charges over her handling of classified information.

The requested unsealing of the warrant and related materials was made by E. Randol Schoenberg, a lawyer who has criticized Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation and who has written that Mr. Comey’s actions cost Mrs. Clinton the presidency.

Mr. Schoenberg argued in a court filing that access to the materials “that provided the basis for the investigation are of the utmost public importance.”

Last week, a Justice Department lawyer, Jennie L. Kneedler, said the government objected to the unsealing request, but Judge Castel made it clear that he was leaning toward releasing the materials, with some redactions. He asked the government to provide the documents and proposed redactions to him under seal.

In his ruling, the judge noted that the government, in its filing, “effectively” withdrew its opposition to Mr. Schoenberg’s request and asked that the documents be unsealed with redactions.

In ordering the unsealing, the judge said Mrs. Clinton had little “privacy interest in the release of documents identifying her as the subject of this investigation.”

“The strong presumption of access attached to the search warrant and related materials is not overcome by any remaining privacy interest of Secretary Clinton,” the judge said.

Although Ms. Abedin and Mr. Weiner are not mentioned in the ruling, their names appear to be among the redacted information, along with portions related to the investigation of Mr. Weiner.

Mrs. Clinton had taken no position on the request, Mr. Schoenberg’s lawyer, David B. Rankin, said in a court filing last week.

Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer, David E. Kendall, declined to comment on the ruling, as did Arlo Devlin-Brown, a lawyer for Mr. Weiner, and lawyers for Ms. Abedin. The Justice Department also declined to comment.