Newly Released FBI Records Raise Questions of Intentional Destruction of Evidence By Clinton Contractor

Hillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziOne of the most troubling aspects of the recently released documents from the FBI is a timeline established for when Clinton staffers used BleachBit to try to eradicate emails and prevent them from ever being recovered. It appears that staff may have deleted the email archive after the staff received a subpoena to preserve all such evidence. The staffer working for Platte River Networks (PRN) in Denver, Colorado reportedly had what was described as an “Oh Shit” moment when they realized that the archive could be used to uncover what the Clinton staff deleted.

PRN was a contractor working directly with the Clinton staff in the handling of the email material and has been the subject of long controversy over its lack of security to handle the classified information that was found on the emails.

The date line is troubling. In February, 2013, Clinton resigned as Secretary of State after making the decision to use the personal server for all of her email communications. Throughout 2014, Clinton staff order PRN to make a series of transfers and to wipe clean computers with emails. At the same time, the Clinton staff deletes tens of thousands of emails. While Clinton would repeatedly say that none of these emails contains anything but personal information, it is later discovered that many contained official communications.

In December 2014, Clinton handed over the remaining 55,000 emails to the State Department. In December 2014, Heather Samuelson and Cheryl Mills requested that emails be deleted from their computer using BleachBit. In December 2014/January 2015, what is described as an “unknown Clinton staff member” orders PRN to remove archives of Clinton emails from PRN server.

Then on March 2, 2015, the New York Times blows open the scandal with an article on how Clinton used a personal server. Now here is the critical date: March 4, 2015. That is when Clinton received a subpoena from House Select Committee on Benghazi instructing her to preserve and deliver all emails from her personal servers.

Some 21 days later, a PRN staff member has a conference call with “President Clinton’s Staff” and in March 25-31, 2015, a PRN staff member has what is described as an “oh shit” moment when he realizes that Clinton’s email archive from the PRN server was not wiped clean and that it might be possible to see emails that were deleted. PRN reportedly knew “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.”

If this time line is correct, a Clinton contractor destroyed the evidence on the archive by using BleachBit in full knowledge of the congressional subpoena. In combination with the later confirmation that official communication were deleted, the destruction of the archive record would seem a serious matter for investigation.

2 U.S. Code § 192 states:

Every person who having been summoned as a witness by the authority of either House of Congress to give testimony or to produce papers upon any matter under inquiry before either House, or any joint committee established by a joint or concurrent resolution of the two Houses of Congress, or any committee of either House of Congress, willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 nor less than $100 and imprisonment in a common jail for not less than one month nor more than twelve months.

There are also possible violations under obstruction, perjury, and violations of 18 U.S.C. 1001 that can be raised by such alleged conduct. I cannot imagine a private company or most individuals destroying an archive while under subpoena and not facing a series investigation for criminal charges. I may be missing something in this timeline, but it is hard to justify the destruction of an archive after the receipt of such a subpoena or constructive notice. PRN could claim that they were not subject to the subpoena but the record indicates that they were aware that a congressional committee was demanding all email evidence on the private server.  Moreover, one would expect that one of the large number of lawyers working for Clinton would have immediately contacted their contractor to tell them to halt any further deletions or scrubbing and to preserve all records.  Even when files are deleted on regular schedules in corporations, the Justice Department has reacted with charges in some cases for the failure to halt such “house cleaning” measures.  This was not even a regular practice but an effort to scrub computer after the State Department demanded records and then a congressional committee sent a subpoena.

What do you think?

124 thoughts on “Newly Released FBI Records Raise Questions of Intentional Destruction of Evidence By Clinton Contractor”

  1. @indy Bob

    Yup, you’ve summed it up quite nicely. It’s a club protecting special interests and unresponsive to their constituents. This is exactly why Trump, Stein and Johnson are so popular. We are done done triple done with the Clintons and Bushes.

  2. The Democrats need the Republicans and the Republicans need the Democrats, but they don’t need anybody else.




  4. This is heartbreaking. This is a reflection of our country, and it appears that we are descending into a banana republic.

    No civilization lasted forever. The groundbreaking reasoning of the Greeks eventually lay in crumbling ruins. We may well be the architects of our own decline.

  5. From wikileaks: “Buried in FBI report is revelation that all Clinton’s emails were being iillicitly copied over the internet into her contractor’s cloud.”

  6. Hillary is a despicable person. She lies under oath. If a person cannot be trusted to tell the truth under oath, when can she be trusted?
    Hillary has a poor memory. (Although the evidence of that is her testimony, see above.) She cannot remember a lot according to her testimony. Can someone with that bad a memory qualify for president?
    Hillary has a multitude of illnesses. She blames her stroke on certain of her actions. Do we want someone whose brain has been damaged to be our president?
    Hillary is a misogynist. She dissed women who her husband raped. Do we want someone who would cover up her husband’s rapes?
    Hillary is a hypocrite. She attacks Trump for favoring “Wall Street” bankers while courting those same people for major donations. Do we want to judge her by her untrustworthy words or by her actions?
    Hillary was a poor Secretary of State. Benghazi. ‘Nuff said.
    Trump is a bad politician. He reacted to seeing the “good Muslims” that the DNC dug up with an attack on them instead of an attack on the DNC for parading the poor Khan’s around as pawns in a political game. He should have noted that not all Muslims are good Muslims like the Khan’s. Although rare, they do exist.
    Trump can come off looking like an arrogant clown. He appears to put no thought into some of his unscripted reactions.
    Trump merely needs to tell the truth. Even if people disagree with any particular point, they know where he stands.
    The election will be lost by the candidate with the most negatives.
    Why would a liberal professor vote for Trump? Because Obama’s policies regarding education has led to incoming freshmen who cannot read English, write English, nor do arithmetic. Students who fail to grasp at least these three basics must be failed and not allowed to matriculate. Failure must be an option otherwise “success” is not success. It doesn’t help to pretend that all students are, in fact, equal. Students should be judged individually and not advanced to the next grade merely by getting older.

  7. @Paul

    Good points IMO re W, Obama – same coin, different sides and HRC is a member of that club. That’s why I am for Jill. Johnson is pro-TPP. re the Donald – he’s a showman and unpredictable as you say. Thin-skinned prone to tweet stupid stuff. But I do not think he is dangerous having access to the red button. He says awful things – and a few smart ones – but he has not done anything terrible that I’m aware of unlike HRC. I also think he will surround himself with stable intelligent advisors like Ivanka who is very bright. Trump reminds me of an old boss I had – he and his wife owned and operated several local restaurants. He loved the acquisition part – negotiating the buying of the building, purchasing / designing the decor, etc. Then he’d get bored and move on to the next project. His wife managed the day to day more mundane operations – hiring staff, dealing with vendors, revamping the menus, etc. And they are very successful.

    I also think Trump would do just fine with Putin, Xi, Duterte, etc. All the bully boys get along with macho macho man. And unlike W, Obama and HRC Trump would not be into interfering with other states unless they directly threaten us. So I honestly believe we could survive 4 years of him.

  8. Autumn, I agree Hilly is completely unfit for President. I stand by my prediction that you can’t predict what a Presidents effect will be prior to that person becoming President. Obama was going to usher in this new way of doing business. I see very little difference between Obama and GWB. Some good, some bad, on balance, if you weren’t told GWB and Obama’s party affiliation you would be hard pressed to say they belonged to opposite sides of the aisle.

    I’ll even break my own prediction prediction and predict that a Hillary presidency will be very similar to a GWB and an Obama Presidency. More war, more drone strikes, more money for big bankers, “free” trade so corporations can pay minimal U.S. tax and hire as few U.S. citizens as legally allowed. What would a Trump presidency look like? That one I will not even try to predict. It could be really bad, but I doubt that him given an order to launch nuclear bombs after Putin or Duterte call him an ass would be honored by the military around him. A trump presidency could be a good thing if he were to really clean house and break the stranglehold bankers and big business have on our elected officials. But I’m not sure Trump is that smart. I think he is just playing a game that about half our population is willingly going along with. Should he become president I think the same rule of policy would come from him, don’t look at trump, look at his advisors.

  9. Another Zevon song might be appropriate. “Send lawyers guns and money, the sh!t has hit the fan.”

  10. @Paul

    re: “I have not a clue what a Hillary presidency will be like. It may turn out to be the best ever, it may be really bad. I don’t think it will have anything to do with Hillary. Look who is at her side and those who are funding her. These will be the people and policies put forward.”

    REALLY? It might be the best ever? We know she exercises what Bernie deemed as “Bad judgement” — look at her history as Sec of State! It will be f*&king hell. The TPP will be the final nail in our coffin. She is owned by the corporate elite. I am really really angry right now as I see Western European culture changing thanks to her policies (Iraq, Syria, Libya) which is flooding the continent with refugees many of whom (young males) are insane Sharia muslims.

    We MUST unite behind Trump or Stein and ensure she gets no where near the WH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. “There is, however, no requirement that the person be in office when articles of impeachment are filed.

    That is clear not only from the text of the Constitution but also from the British model on which the Framers based impeachment. As I recount in Faithless Execution, their exemplar was Parliament’s impeachment of Warren Hastings, an effort led by Edmund Burke at the very time our Constitution was being written. It is thus highly relevant for our purposes that Hastings was not in office when he was impeached. He had already retired as governor-general of India. Although the accusations lodged by Burke stemmed from Hastings’s service in India, that service was over. Though he was eventually acquitted, the dual purpose of impeaching Hastings was to condemn his performance of his prior duties and to disqualify him from future public office.

    That dual purpose, finally, is reflected in the sanctions for impeachment prescribed in the Constitution. As decreed in Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, a person convicted in an impeachment trial may not merely be removed from office; punishment also includes “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States[.]” To be sure, if the person is an officeholder at the time of impeachment, she must be removed: Article II, Section 4 so provides. But if the person is not an incumbent, the impeachment and conviction stand as a condemnation of her performance while in office, and the sanction of disqualification ensures that she will never again have an opportunity to abuse government power.”

  12. This apCray is such a Much Ado About Nothing that I find it difficult to read this topic and not puke.
    Those who write on shit house walls… and all that.

  13. I think that so called “secured” emails should be obliterated right after being sent. Make a paper copy but do not leave anything out there for thieves or Republicans to steal.

    1. These e mails are property of the US gov. Should be federal offense destroying one letter of any document. Republicans stealing what are gov property= wth. smh

  14. Has anyone discussed whether the liability of PRN would extend to the principal (i.e. Clinton)?

  15. Watching people in full-fledged denial, defend (lying for) Hillary Clinton, is like watching parents argue with a psychiatrist that even though their son collects the bones of animals he’s tortured and killed — “he’s just an excitable boy.”

  16. Actually, the timeline probably starts much earlier. In September 2012 Rep Chaffetz sent a document request to Secretary Clinton, and in August 2013 the House oversight committee issued two subpoenas. One can debate the scope of these requests, but they were broad.

    Can someone please clarify for me whether Comey looked at this issue at all, or was the investigation solely confined to handling of classified information?

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