IT Specialist Who Wiped Clinton Email Server After Conference with Top Aides — Granted Immunity

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Washington, D.C. – Last week, it was revealed that an “Undisclosed PRN Staff Member” managing Hillary Clinton’s private email servers for Platte River Networks (PRN) had deleted emails from PRN servers despite a court order requiring the preservation of those records.

A scathing report by the New York Times exposes the fact that the “Undisclosed PRN Staff Member,” identified by as Paul Combetta, was granted immunity by the Justice Department. The immunity came before admitting to the FBI during questioning that he “was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton’s e-mail data on the PRN server” but wiped the emails from the servers anyway using a program called Bleachbit, which is designed to “shred files to prevent recovery.”

The Clinton campaign would have you believe that Combetta unilaterally decided – without any guidance from Hillary’s staff – to commit numerous federal felonies by wiping subpoenaed email data from the PRN servers, although logic would indicate that seems extremely unlikely.

According to the NY Times:

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said that the deletions by the specialist, who worked for a Colorado company called Platte River Networks, had already been “thoroughly examined by the F.B.I. prior to its decision to close out this case.”

“As the F.B.I.’s report notes,” Mr. Fallon said, “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.”

But to give a more clear insight into the sequence of events leading up to Combetta’s decision to delete the subpoenaed emails – and any potential criminal conspiracy involving the Clinton camp – a timeline based on unclassified FBI notes, put together by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, details the exactly how the events in question transpired in chronological order. This timeline of events seriously calls into question the Clinton camp’s assertions that the PRN engineer deleted the email data organically and without direction.

  • December 2014 / January 2015 – “Undisclosed Clinton staff member” instructs Combetta to remove archives of Clinton emails from PRN server but he forgets.
  • March 4, 2015 – Hillary receives subpoena from House Select Committee on Benghazi instructing her to preserve and deliver all emails from her personal servers.
  • March 25, 2015 – Combetta has a conference call with “President Clinton’s Staff.”
  • March 25 – 31, 2015 – Combetta has “oh shit” moment and realizes he forgot to wipe Hillary’s email archive from the PRN server back in December…which he promptly does, using BleachBit.
  • February 18, 2016 – Combetta meets with FBI and denies knowing about the existence of the subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi at the time he wiped Hillary’s server.
  • May 3, 2016 – Combetta has follow-up meeting with the FBI and admits that he “was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton’s e-mail data on the PRN server.”

The notes from the FBI investigation seen below provided the information used to create an official timeline of events. Notice that immediately after PRN staff had a conference call with “President Clinton’s Staff” on March 25, 2015, Combetta began deleting Hillary’s email archives using Bleachbit.


Combetta then lies to the FBI on February 18, 2016, claiming that he didn’t know about the existence of a subpoena to preserve the email data when he wiped the servers. He would later admit in an interview with the FBI on May 3, 2016, that he actually “was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton’s e-mail data on the PRN server.”

Given the timeline of events and established facts, it seems clear that Combetta was granted immunity by the U.S. Department of Justice sometime between February 8, 2016, and May 3, 2016.

Below is a letter by the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent to PRN, requesting company officials testify before Congress in regards to the setup of the email server and how the messages were deleted.

The granting of immunity to Combetta effectively usurps the ability of Congress to carry out any meaningful investigation, while providing cover for Clinton and the likely criminal conspiracy to destroy subpoenaed emails.

Although members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform have made a written request to the Department of Justice to investigate whether Mrs. Clinton lied to Congress about her email account in testimony in October before the special committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya — as numerous answers given by Hillary during that hearing directly contradict statements made by Clinton during her FBI questioning — unsurprisingly, the requests have been met with deafening silence from the Justice Department.

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About Jay Syrmopoulos

Jay Syrmopoulos is a geopolitical analyst, freethinker, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs and holds a BA in International Relations. Jay's writing has been featured on both mainstream and independent media - and has been viewed tens of millions of times. You can follow him on Twitter @SirMetropolis and on Facebook at SirMetropolis.