The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has turned its attention to an IT contractor that it believes may have aided former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in deleting her personal emails containing matters of official government business.
Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, raised concerns in a letter Tuesday to Treve Suazo, the CEO of Denver-based Platte River Networks, about his company’s role in the ever-evolving Clinton email scandal and the “possibility that PRN employee(s) violated federal statutes that prohibit destroying evidence and obstructing a congressional investigation.”
Clinton contracted Platte River — a managed IT services company that specialized in outsourced help desk support, cloud storage and telecom — to maintain her third-party server on which she conducted official State Department business via a personal email, Chaffetz explains.
The Democratic presidential candidate has come under fire for using her personal email for official government correspondence; the FBI investigated Clinton’s alleged misconduct but cleared her of any criminal wrongdoing and “found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them,” according to Director James Comey.
Chaffetz, however, says FBI transcripts of interviews in its investigation of Clinton released last week point to the illegal deletion of emails — particularly those mentioning the attacks in Benghazi — at the hands of a Platte River Networks engineer, allegedly at Clinton’s direction.
“In brief, the summaries of the FBI’s interviews with a PRN engineer show that within days of a conference call with Secretary Clinton’s lawyers, the engineer deleted archives of Secretary Clinton’s emails, despite knowing those records were covered by preservation orders and a subpoena from Congress,” Chaffetz writes. He also alleges that the engineer used a program called Bleachbit — “designed to ‘shred the files to prevent recovery’” — to delete the files.
Platte River Networks didn’t return FedScoop’s request for comment.
Clinton brushed off Chaffetz’s allegations in the letter to Platte River and another asking a federal prosecutor to further investigate the former secretary of State’s email practices.
“The FBI resolved all of this,” Clinton said Tuesday on flight to Tampa, Florida. “Their report answered all of the questions.”
Maryland’s Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the committee, chalked the letters from his committee counterpart up to “just the latest misguided attempt to use taxpayer funds to help the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, and to essentially redo what the FBI has already investigated because Republicans disagree with the outcome for political reasons,” the New York Times reported.