Last week, after the FBI dropped their Friday before Labor Day weekend bomb on Hillary, we wrote about the various events leading up to the deletion of Hillary's emails (full details here: "The "Oh Shit" Moment: Hillary Wiped Her Server With BleachBit Despite Subpoena"). At the end of that post we concluded that the "Undisclosed PRN Staff Member" managing Hillary's servers on behalf of Platte River Networks had seemingly thrown himself under the bus by admitting to the FBI 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 then went ahead and deleted the emails anyway.
According to new info from the New York Times, that "Undisclosed PRN Staff Member" is Paul Combetta and apparently his brazen honesty during FBI interviews came only after receiving an immunity deal from the Justice Department.
For those who "do not recall" the specific timeline leading up to Combetta wiping Hillary's server, here is a breif recap:
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 existense 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."
And here are the details from the FBI Notes:
Given this fact pattern, we would be very curious to know exactly when Paul Combetta was granted immunity by the Justice Department. Perhaps that immunity was granted sometime after February 18, 2016, when Combetta had troubles recalling the issuance of a subpoena, but before May 3, 2016, when he seemed to recover from his unfortunate bout of amnesia. Just a guess.
Earlier this week, the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent the following letter to Platte River Networks asking officials to appear before Congress to testify on how Hillary's email account was set up and how the messages were deleted. That said, it's now unclear whether this request for testimony will go anywhere given the new information that Combetta has been granted immunity.
But just in case, Hillary spokesman, Brian Fallon, wants you to know that Paul Combetta went totally rogue and made a unilateral decision to wipe Hillary's emails without any input from anyone connected to the Hillary campaign. His decisions to committ several federal crimes were all his own.
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.”
What more is there to say?