Submitted by: Veronica Coffin
Of course he did.
From Daily Mail: The computer technician who deleted Hillary Clinton’s emails after she was ordered by Congress to preserve the records was reportedly offered immunity by federal officials.
The New York Times has identified the whiz as Paul Combetta, an employee of Platte River Networks, the firm Clinton hired to maintain her server. It was also the first outlet to report the immunity deal.
He is the second, known IT specialist who handled Clinton’s emails to have been granted legal protection by the Justice Department in exchange for his testimony. The former campaign staffer and State Department employee who set up Clinton’s server, Bryan Pagliano, was the first.
House Republicans want the Obama administration to launch an obstruction of justice investigation over the matter, but the legal agreement protecting the computer guru presents an obstacle. The Justice Department did not respond to the Times’ request for comment on its report naming Combetta.
Combetta was not named in the FBI report detailing the incident with Clinton’s emails last Friday, described as an ‘oh s***’ moment in the redacted text. The Times says that multiple sources confirmed that Combetta was the employee who made the error, however.
After the news outlet reported in 2012 that Clinton had a secret server in the basement of her New York home that contained work-related emails from the time she served as secretary of state, the House’s Benghazi committee subpoenaed the pertinent messages.
Around the same time, a redacted individual realized that he had not, as he was instructed several months before, deleted an archive of Clinton’s emails.
A summary of the FBI’s findings says he the individual, whom the Times says is Combetta, ‘indicated he believed he had an “oh s***’ moment and sometime between March 25-31, 2015 deleted the Clinton archive mailbox from the PRN server and used BleachBit to delete the exported .PST files he had created on the server system containing Clinton’s e-mails.’ PRN stands for Platte River Networks, Comebetta’s employer.
Combetta first told the Justice Department that he didn’t remember deleting the emails but changed his story several months later. He also said, ‘he was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton’s email data.’
The Republican-run House Oversight and Government reform committee is moving forward with its own investigation into the ‘circumstances leading to the failure to preserve federal records during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State,’ it said said Friday.
It has requested the presence of Pagliano, Combetta, longtime Clinton hand Justin Cooper, Platte River’s Bill Thornton, and Datto, Inc. founder and CEO Austin McChord at a hearing next Tuesday. Cooper monitored the server. Datto provided back-ups to Clinton’s emails.
Clinton’s presidential campaign says additional investigations into the way Clinton’s records were preserved are unnecessary. The matter was ‘thoroughly examined by the FBI prior to its decision to close out this case.’
‘As the FBI report notes, neither Hillary Clinton nor her attorneys had knowledge of the Platte River Network employee’s actions. It appears he acted on his own and against guidance given by both Clinton’s and Platte River’s attorneys to retain all data in compliance with a congressional preservation request,’ Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told the Times.
The Oversight committee will also hold a hearing next week on the FBI report. An advisory said the committee is seeking answers on classified sections and redactions within the material, as well as pages it says were omitted entirely.
Benghazi committee chairman Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor, told Fox News it was ‘stunning’ that DOJ would have given Combetta a get-out-of-jail free card.
‘This is prosecutor 101. You don’t give immunity to the person who actually robbed the bank,’ he exclaimed. ‘You may want to give it to the getaway driver. You may want to give it to the person who helped count the money afterwards, but you don’t give immunity to the person who walked in and robbed the bank.’
Gowdy said the FBI ‘blew it.’
‘They gave immunity to the very person you would most want to prosecute, which is the person who destroyed official public records after there was a subpoena and after there was a prosecution order,’ the Republican congressman stated.