With serious health concerns, those deleted e-mails don’t seem to be that much of a big deal for Hillary Clinton right now. But a law enforcement official just revealed the latest progress on the investigation into the Democratic nominee’s personal e-mail account.
On Thursday, September 8, The New York Times reported that the Justice Department has given immunity to a computer specialist who deleted Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. (Source: “Justice Dept. Granted Immunity to Specialist Who Deleted Hillary Clinton’s Emails,” The New York Times, September 8, 2016.)
According to sources who have been briefed on the investigation, the computer specialist is believed to be Paul Combetta, who deleted Hillary Clinton’s e-mails despite orders from the Congress to preserve them. Combetta was an employee at Denver, Colorado-based Platte River Networks.
In February, Combetta told the FBI that he did not recall deleting those e-mails. He also said that he did not recall seeing the preservation order from the Benghazi committee.
But then, in May, Combetta said he did recall making those deletions and, “was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton’s email data,” on the Platte River server.
According to Combetta, Hillary Clinton’s staffers called his employer in March 2015. He then realized that he did not follow a order given from Hillary Clinton’s lawyers in December 2014 to delete the e-mails. Combetta then deleted those e-mails using a program called BleachBit.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon, told a different story: “As the FBI’s report notes, neither Hillary Clinton nor her attorneys had knowledge of the Platte River Network employee’s actions,” he said.
“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,” Fallon added.(Source: Ibid.)
Combetta is not the only person given immunity by the Justice Department in this investigation. Bryan Pagliano, a former campaign staff member for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, was granted immunity in exchange for answering questions about how he set up a server in Hillary Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y.