The Clinton E-Mail Scandal Investigation Re-Opens
A congressional committee Thursday asked the US Justice Department to consider criminally prosecuting a technology services company that was involved in maintaining a private e-Mail server for Hillary Clinton.
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee accused Colorado-based Platte River Networks and its CEO, Treve Suazo, of withholding documents demanded under subpoena and obstructing the committee’s investigation “at every turn.”
The allegations were made in a referral to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
A lawyer for the company said he was confident the Justice Department had “moved on,” but he declined further comment
The FBI last July closed its investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private e-Mail server without recommending charges for the former Secretary of State or anyone else.
But since then, Republican-led congressional committees have made multiple referrals of their own to the Justice Department.
One sought an investigation into whether Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee in Y 2016, had lied to Congress. A 2nd referral was about whether Mr. Clinton or others who worked with her played a role in the deletion of thousands of her e-Mails.
The new letter from the committee chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith, (R-TX), holds the prospect of reviving the divisive, politically charged debate over the Clinton e-Mail investigations and shows the lingering anger from members of Congress about the outcomes of those investigations.
In the letter, Rep. Smith alleges that Mr. Suazo and his lawyer repeatedly turned aside demands for documents without making any “valid legal arguments.”
Mr. Smith said that in September, when Platte River Networks responded to a subpoena from a month earlier, “the company categorically misinterpreted the language” of the subpoena and contended it had no relevant documents to provide.
Platte River Networks began managing the Clinton server in Y 2013. The company in Y 2015 provided the server to the FBI, which investigated the potential mishandling of classified information.
FBI files released last year show that a Clinton aide Cheryl Mills had instructed a Platte River engineer in Y 2014 to delete all e-Mails from the server that were older than 60 days old. But the engineer apparently forgot to delete the files and did not realize that until March 2015, weeks after the public revelation of Clinton’s use of a personal e-Mail server.
According to the FBI files, the engineer told agents that “he believed he had an ‘oh, Sh-T’ moment,” and deleted the archived emails sometime during the last week of March 2015.
The FBI report said the engineer used a program BleachBit to delete the files in ways thought to make them unrecoverable.
FBI Director James Comey has said he had no basis to find that the deletions of Clinton’s e-Mails were aimed at concealing evidence.