Here we go again.CSPAN
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Yesterday, Ars reported on the Reddit thread purported to have been started by Paul Combetta, a systems administrator at Platte River Networks involved in the operation of Hillary Clinton’s private mail server. In the thread, a user named “stonetear” asked others on the /r/Exchangeserver subreddit how to strip a “very VIP” person’s e-mail address from messages in an existing Exchange .PST e-mail archive.
Now, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been at the center of much of the ongoing congressional probe into Clinton’s e-mails, has subpoenaed those posts. The feds are asking Reddit to preserve them for further investigation. The Hill reports that the committee’s Republican majority has issued an order to Reddit to provide the posts and metadata related to them to committee investigators, and Reddit is reportedly cooperating with the order.
The Justice Department previously granted Combetta immunity from prosecution for cooperating with the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton e-mails. Combetta admitted to accidentally deleting Clinton’s e-mail archives in an “oh shit moment” when he realized he had not put new retention policies in place for her mail.
That took place in March of 2015. The Reddit thread in question corresponds with the period when Combetta and others at Platte River Networks would have been assisting in the collection of Clinton’s e-mails to be turned over to the House Select Committee on Benghazi in July of 2014. Combetta has not confirmed that he made the post, though it is tied closely to his other social media and e-mail accounts. “I’m very confident that the amount of circumstantial evidence certainly points in one direction,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chair of Oversight’s Government Operations subcommittee, told The Hill. “We’re just trying to make doubly sure that we can authenticate that in a real way, because if not it will be challenged on a number of fronts.”
Even if the post is legitimately from Combetta, its content doesn’t indicate he was trying to destroy evidence—it only shows he attempted to conceal e-mail account addresses in the headers of the messages in the archive (as we explained yesterday). The posts (again, if they were Combetta’s) were unrelated to his later deletion of Clinton’s e-mail archives following their delivery to her lawyers and the State Department.
Here we go again.CSPAN