Clinton Contractor Who Reportedly Destroyed Emails After Preservation Order Was Given Immunity By FBI

Hillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziWe previously discussed the controversy over the FBI granting immunity to former State Department staffer, Bryan Pagliano, who set up a server in Mrs. Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y., and worked for her at the State Department. Pagliano had refused to cooperate after invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. He was an obvious target of potential criminal charges if he knew that the server was meant to circumvent federal laws, including the mishandling of classified information. The granting of immunity removed the threat for his cooperation, a leverage often used to implication others who may be higher up in the chain of command. Now, as the record appears to confirm that email records were knowingly destroyed after the issuing of a congressional subpoena to preserve such record, it also appears that the Justice Department gave immunity to the other person most at risk of a criminal charge — and the person some are likely to argue would have been the most likely to be able to implicate others. He is computer specialist, Paul Combetta.

The Clinton campaign is now putting all blame of Combetta, who of course is now beyond the reach of prosecutors and pressure. Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said that Combetta, who worked for a Colorado company called Platte River Networks, acted alone and “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.”

Many are likely to view this defense with suspicion as a constructed scapegoat. Having given immunity to both of the most likely targets for indictment, both specialists are the perfect fire walls for anyone who had knowledge or failed to move to preserve the material. In fairness to the Clinton camp, the account of the FBI could support a claim that the specialist realized on his own that the final record had not been scrubbed and took this action unilaterally in what is described as an “Oh Shit” moment.  Indeed, that conversation with unnamed Clinton aides could be exonerating rather than incriminating if they stressed that all records should be preserved. Most investigators however would be curious why a contractor, if expressly told by a client to preserve any emails, would unilaterally destroy them.

What is particularly interesting is that Combetta reportedly changed his testimony on critical elements but ultimately acknowledged knowing about the subpoena. Combetta reportedly told the bureau in February that he did not recall deleting the emails, but then changed that account in May. He added to speaking with unidentified Clinton aides in March 2015 and then decided on his own to use BleachBit to delete the messages. While he denied knowing about the preservation order in February, he reversed that critical fact in May and said that “he was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton’s email data” on the Platte River server.

Some might argue that the Justice Department would most likely move to charge him and then offer a plea bargain if he could implicated others and remember names like those on the telephone call. Instead he was given immunity.

The House appears to be moving to seek his testimony and he may not be out of the legal woods. Witnesses are generally given “use and derivative use” immunity rather than the broader form of transactional immunity. If so, Combetta would be protected from the use of his statements or any evidence derived from those statements against him. If testifying in Congress, he would face the risk of perjury as well as other collateral crimes. It would create a messy situation with a previously immunized witness. Generally, the prior grant of immunity does not roll over to separate investigations by another branch, though he would remain protected from the use of his statements in the prior proceedings. Thus, he could carefully repeat those answers and try to stay within the scope of his prior statements. If he does not want to risk the uncertainty, he could invoke his privilege against self-incrimination and refuse to testify absent a granting of immunity from Congress.

155 thoughts on “Clinton Contractor Who Reportedly Destroyed Emails After Preservation Order Was Given Immunity By FBI”

  1. 1. I’m wondering if Johnson just didn’t grasp “Aleppo” when he was asked the question. It may have sounded to him as A lepo, and his mind could have jumped to “WTH? A leopard? What?” Because then he says Oh Oh yes I get it.

    2. In the interest of not letting the Demoncrats control the language, I am no longer going to refer to Leftists and Liberals. From now on, they are Alt-Left.

      1. Johnson did not know Aleppo. He still has the most coherent Syria policy: non-intervention. If he wanted to send troops to Syria I would expect him to learn such details. No one knows every detail of the world and a little humility would do us all well. The current president said he visited 57 states during the 2008 campaign.

        The former first lady, senator and secretary of state did not know the rules about handling classified information. She continues to insist it must have a header indicating classification, which is not true. She escaped criminal prosecution because it was not clear if her law breaking was intentional or she was merely incompetent. She utterly failed in her health care overhaul, had no significant accomplishments as a senator and was a disaster as secretary of state.

        Trump once said his sister signed legislation as a judge. He could not pass a 6th grade civics quiz. He may have said more incredibly stupid things than anyone in politics other than Nancy (replace fossil fuels with natural gas) Pelosi.

        Johnson was a successful entrepreneur, and among the very best governors of his time. He won’t try to run our lives or involve us in idiotic wars that have no bearing on our defense. I’ll take it. So what if he’s not a polished speaker or geography bee winner.

        1. JR, thanks for playing along. Johnson’s certainly better than the Establishment Party candidates, but if he didn’t know what Aleppo is, he’s not paying attention to foreign policy. I do like and wholly agree with his position that the military should only be used for an actual national security issue rather than multinational-corporate security, but his support of the TPP, like Clinton (and no doubt in my mind, Trump), shows he’s really not interested in the Fred and Wilma Flintstones of this country, and we’re the majority.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s13X66BFd8

          Yabba dabba do!

        2. Johnson is a FAKE liberetarian as he is favor of the TPP which will undermines state sovereignty

        3. Steve, glad to oblige. It can be fun to play in this sandbox, time permitting. Enjoyed the Flintstones bit which i have not seen in quite some time. I have learned some things about law from your posts; and somehow you don’t seem to be in that “Fred and Wilma Flintstone” demographic.

          The things we import from Asia face little in terms of trade barriers or tariffs and the things we export to Asia face high tariffs (in some cases VERY high) and other barriers. I have not seen the entire agreement, but the summaries I’ve seen suggest TPP would generally level the playing field, however imperfectly. So I don’t really understand the antipathy to TPP, other than it was all negotiated in secrecy. What gives?

  2. @Steve

    re: “So, why was Clinton so bent on killing Gaddafi? Because he said he’d kill all Israelis?”

    No, she was intent on killing Gaddafi because he was going to go off the dollar – trade using the gold-backed dinar. Saddam also voiced such an idea and that’s why it was decided he was a threat. It’s all about the money.

    Also, destabilization globally helps the military industrial complex which backed Clinton I, W, Obama and is now supporting HRC. All those generals and admirals who are now backing HRC are profiting greatly from the MIC. The honorable Senator Jim Webb wrote an excellent book titled “A Time to Fight” which details all the shenanigans of the revolving door from the Pentagon to lobbyist groups and corporations.

    HRC = endless conflict – draining of monies domestically and environmental damage.

    1. Autumn, so what you’re saying is that Clinton is more concerned with the control of the trading currency than with human life. Sounds almost neo-fascist. I wonder if she’s evolved recently?

  3. Jill, thanks for pointing out that we have been practicing “containment” around Iran for quite some time. Also the Iranians are bitter about all the hideous chemical and biological weapons we supplied Saddam during the Iraqi-Iran war:

    “Reports by the US Senate’s committee on banking, housing and urban affairs — which oversees American exports policy — reveal that the US, under the successive administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr, sold materials including anthrax, VX nerve gas, West Nile fever germs and botulism to Iraq right up until March 1992, as well as germs similar to tuberculosis and pneumonia. Other bacteria sold included brucella melitensis, which damages major organs, and clostridium perfringens, which causes gas gangrene.”

    Source: “How Did Iraq Get Its Weapons? We Sold Them”

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0908-08.htm

    1. That is all very sad and very true, Autumn.

      And to think we’ve given the Iranians so many reasons to trust us and they just don’t. 🙂

  4. My view of the election:

    ” Buford: You know what’s going to happen here in the morning? The whole damn reb army is going to be here. They’ll move through this town, occupy these hills on the other side and when our people get here Lee will have the high ground. There will be the devil to pay! The high ground! Meade will come in slowly, cautiously. New to command. They’ll be on his back in Washington. Wire hot with messages ‘Attack! Attack!’. So he will set up a ring around these hills. And when Lee’s army is nicely entrenched behind fat rocks on the high ground, Meade will finally attack, if he can coordinate the army. Straight up the hillside, out in the open, in that gorgeous field of fire. We will charge valiantly… and be butchered valiantly! And afterwards men in tall hats and gold watch fobs will thump their chest and say what a brave charge it was. Devin, I’ve led a soldier’s life, and I’ve never seen anything as brutally clear as this.”

    The Elites have the high ground.

      1. I agree that the oligarchy has the high ground. We have got to stop playing their game and work together.

        The oligarchy wants the people split into groups at each other’s throats so we never bother seeing what they are doing, let alone band together to stop them from pillaging everything. I believe they especially love election years when people seem to fall right back into old patterns. We are most vulnerable to propaganda at times like this. They know it and they use it to whip up hatred.

        While there are real arguments to be made in an election season, it is teaching people to hate each other that is most helpful to the oligarchy. I think that is one reason why such a deplorable person as Clinton tries to deflect from her crimes by calling ordinary citizens deplorable. Yes, some are, but not all. They include members of every party and she most certainly is!

  5. Can you believe it, the Catholic Church is canonizing Mother Teresa when they could have made Hilary a saint. I don’t believe this is happening.

  6. So, here is exactly what Hillary said:

    You know, just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable. But thankfully they are not America.

    This was a “dog whistle” statement to her supporters, who desperately need to believe that Trumpers are evil, incarnate so they can justify voting for Hillary. But the statement is also predictable. Well over a month ago, I did this for my BFF Penelope:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cpl-M7XUIAA1VTD.jpg

    Like I said before, the Democrats will say the same thing about Republicans in 2020, and 2024, and 2028, etc. Whoever the nominee is will be a racissst! Unless they are black, at which time they will be an Uncle Tom. Or if Hispanic, they will be called a LINO, like Cruz. A Latino In Name Only.

    Does anybody think I am wrong about that?

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. So far, the election polls are about evenly split. So, Hillary Clinton believes that half of her opponent’s supporters, or approximately 1/4 of the country, is irredeemable deplorables.

      Well, that’s just great. She really values Americans. Really understands the concerns on the other side of the aisle. She will be Everyone’s President.

      You know, I really get this optimistic feeling that, as a President, she would kindly reach across the aisle and heal the great rift that’s been widening. She’ll definitely put a stop to the trench warfare we call politics nowadays.

      After all, she is the brightest, most caring, honest, classy person in the universe, as her supporters claim.

      1. Yes, you are probably right. I am sure a Hillary Administration would also be the most transparent one that there ever was! And, I am sure she would be the best President that money could buy!

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

  7. No luck posting on this page. I’ve posted a couple of time over the past couple of days, and posts didn’t post. Something wrong with the filters?

    1. For a while there, things posted as “Reply” didn’t work right. But things posted outside of “Reply” did. I think it is probably a Word Press thingie.

      Sooo, I am playing safe and copying my stuff so I don’t have to rewrite it.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter.

  8. @Teaching Spastics to Dance

    hisplain’ ain’t gonna get you nowhere on this blog methinks. Did you know that Iran has the third largest Jewish population in the world? And that the Iranians leave them to live in peace? I have my own issues with the confluence of the mullahs and the Supreme leader + Revolutionary Guard but to paint them as Jew haters is absurd. They have a problem with the demented Zionists currently running Israel – which by the way a large portion of the moderate Jews living in Israel (and abroad) have as well.

    Jill Stein was raised as an Orthodox Jew so she understands the mentality quite well. And the Donald is a bully boy with negotiating skills so Nasty-yahoo ain’t gonna mess with him. Neither of them will drag the U.S. into conflict if Israel and Iran wind up at odds.

    We, though at home, must focus on matters at hand and thwart HRC from getting near the WH

    1. Sorry Autumn. First of all, Jill Stein was raised a Reformed Jew, not Orthodox.

      Secondly, Iran doesn’t even make the top fifteen Jewish population in the world. By anyone’s count. There was a mass exodus following the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and the estimated count today is fewer than 25,000. Wikipedia, citing the CIA’s World FactBook puts the number at 8-10,000.

      From the Jewish virtual library, the top 15 nations in order are:

      Israel
      United States
      France
      Canada
      U.K.
      Russia
      Argentina
      Germany
      Australia
      Brazil
      Ukraine
      South Africa
      Hungary
      Mexico
      Belgium

      The Iranian government DOES recognize its Jewish population as a legitimate minority population and thus a 1-seat representation in parliament. Really not sure what point you would be so eager to make that you would misrepresent this easily confirmed statistic, or the easily researched facts about Jill Stein’s background.

  9. No Tspaz:

    My position is that your candidate said she was ready to engage in genocide. I do not see Democrats condemning this.

    I would condemn the killing of 6 million Jews as I hope any person would. But genocide isn’t made right by might or by who is the one doing it of when it’s done to a supposedly “worthy” group. Genocide is always wrong.

    I conclude most Democrats have no real ethical basis to their attacks on Trump and his followers. Clinton supports genocide. This is the person you want as your candidate. Maybe it’s time to rethink and pick a different “leader”.

    1. My position is that your candidate said she was ready to engage in genocide. I do not see Democrats condemning this.

      Jill, that you’re ignorant of how diplomacy has been conducted and must be conducted in contexts where the use of nuclear weapons is on the table is neither an invitation nor an excuse to keep running your mouth.

      1. Spastics: For such a seemingly smart person, you sure know how to criticize the messenger as your emphasis rather than the substance. You’re not a former GS 18-20, are you?

      2. Tspaz,

        Here is a map of some of our bases surrounding Iran. It’s old, so there are more now. I would say threatening to obliterate Iran on behalf of Israel is the opposite of good diplomacy.

        Clinton has been shown by wikilleaks releases to have wanted Assad gone from the beginning in Syria. She wanted that on behalf of Israel as well. I think she is quite serious about genocide in Iran. We have undermined their democratically elected leader and interfered in their civilian infrastructure via cyber warfare (which is only o.k. when the US does it, otherwise, it merits harsh military punishment!). So we have a very long record of interfering in the elections and in general in Iran. They have no reason to trust us and this statement is appalling.

        Please stop your personal attacks. You sound like Art Deco, a person who also seemed unable to make a factual argument but instead, simply made one personal attack after another. Jeezh. Make your argument and leave it at that.

        I think you also take this seriously as you justified genocide against “deserving others” in your first post. You were ready to go with it. Again, this is why I cannot take Clinton supporters criticism of Trump supporters as an actual ethical stance. If you’re ready for genocide, I don’t think you can credibly have an issue with Trump.

  10. Hillary Clinton has said she would “obliterate Iran” on behalf of the state of Israel. Basically, we are talking genocide here. It’s difficult for me to understand how people support a candidate who has openly said she will engage in genocide.

    This is why I think Democrats should look to their own ethics and quit worrying so much about people who vote for Trump. Fix your own party, then go fix Republicans.

    Really, isn’t it somewhat difficult to bottom genocide?

    1. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-politics-iran-idUSN2224332720080422

      Jill, you live in a world where there are political actors (in this case Ayatollah Ali Khameini) would like to murder a seven digit population because they are there and their prosperity is galling given his worldview. Hilligula, and anyone else who sits in that chair, has to face that reality, and has to play chicken with Ali Khameini, informing him that if he goes through with his plan to kill the Jews, he dies.

      Now, it it’s your position that we should just say fine and dandy when he kills 6 million Jews, you should not be striking moral poses.

  11. SO excited. I JUST figured out the whole “deplorables” thang and it makes perfect sense!

    Remember when Nigel Farage (father of Brexit for those who don’t know him) was stumping for Trump in MS? And he said that in the UK “ordinary, decent people” had stood up and voted against the EU (aka corporations)?

    To HRC being “decent” would definitely be considered as “deplorable” – the queen of corruption does not like decent folk. Despises them outright apparently!

    Though I am a Jill Steiner, I think I’m a decent person overall (shore nuff imperfect!) – therefore, I, as a Progressive proudly stand with the dissed Trumpsters. I embrace the “deplorable” label as I understand to mean it describes decent people.

  12. @squeek”

    for some reason the system went down. reposting…

    Enlightening analysis on Hilbots as usual my friend!

    re: “What I find utterly laughable, are people like a certain DemBot above in this thread, who try to pretend they would have seriously considered not voting for Hillary if the Republicans had nominated somebody besides Trump. Ha Ha Ha!!!”

    Hmm, you mean a certain Correct the Record commenters who pretends he voted for Bernie? =)

    1. I meant the one who said, among the other Kitchen Sink of Evil things, “Donald Trump is a sick SOB who lies, cheats. steals, bribes, rapes, and has even less of a moral compass than Hillary.” And that was just the start of it,

      Because that is such a psychological clue to the over compensation part of it, It’s like when somebody gets murdered, and there are 97 independently fatal-type stab wounds, the police figure it is some sort of personal thing. Because there are way more stab wounds than what it took to kill the victim.

      With Trump, he is somebody who has been a very public person for decades, and had his own TV show, and then all of a sudden he is the Serial Killer Monster That Ate New York! And a fascist, racist anti-Semitic slobbering maniac. No. There is a good psychological reason for all the excess venom.

      From my many conversations with people here, and other places, there are a whole bunch of DemBots who do not know they are DemBots. They think they are intelligent and open-minded and will vote for the best candidate, and that they are simply not the kind of people who can get stuck in these cult-like situations. One of them, who is here no longer, really didn’t believe me when I told her she was a partisan hack. But come to find out, she was in her 60’s and finally admitted that she had never ever voted for a Republican, for any office. I honestly believe that it had never occurred to her to question her own mindless devotion to the Democratic Party.

      I think it is just such of part of their identity, that they don’t question it. The closest terminological analogy I can come up with is that being a Democrat is a form of “religious faith and devotion.” It is pretty obvious that Democrats believe that they are intellectually and morally superior to Republicans, simply by virtue of being Democrats. There programs don’t have to work, or even be feasible. There is no judging by results. No, they are good programs because they are good people and they created them. So, I think being a Democrat has replaced being a Christian to them. This also explains the Democrat’s aversion to Christianity. It is a competing religion to them.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

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