McClatchy is reporting significant new news about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Per the report, an employee of Platte River Networks, the IT firm contracted to maintain Hillary Clinton’s secret email server, became concerned about being roped into a “cover up” when management was asked to reduce email data after the State Department requested all of Hillary’s correspondence. Also, her deleted emails may still be recoverable from a second company that was also involved in backing up the server.
A letter from the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) to the chief executive of the second company that backed up the Clinton server, Datto Inc. of Norwalk, Conn., recounts a series of events that led an employee of Colorado-based Platte River to air suspicions in an email as to whether “this whole thing really is covering up some shaddy [sic] sh*t.”
The letter also revealed that Platte River employees were directed to “reduce the amount of email data” being stored with each backup, which is a polite way of saying, “erase some emails.” According to the senator’s letter, a Platte River employee took note of this change and inquired whether the company could search its archives for an email from Clinton Executive Service Corporation directing such a reduction in October or November 2014 and then again around February, advising Platte River to save only emails sent during the most recent 30 days.
The request for “reductions” occurred after the State Department requested that Clinton turn over her emails.
It was here that the Platte River employee voiced suspicions about a cover-up and sought to protect the company. “If we have it in writing that they told us to cut the backups,” the employee wrote, “and that we can go public with our statement saying we have had backups since day one, then we were told to trim to 30 days, it would make us look a WHOLE LOT better,” according to the email cited by Johnson.
According to the senator, the existence of a second backup company raises the possibility that some of Clinton’s more than 31,000 personal emails may still be recovered. She said last March that she deleted them all upon turning her official emails over to the State Department in December 2014, after which the server was supposedly wiped.
On May 31, 2013, four months after Clinton left office, the Clinton Executive Service Corp., which oversaw her email server contracts, hired Platte River to maintain her account. Its New Jersey-based server replaced the server in the basement of her New York home that handled her emails as secretary of state.
At the same time, Platte River retained Datto to set up a virtual backup server that could provide immediate recovery if the primary server failed, Johnson said in his letter. Datto says it offers two kinds of backup storage: a private cloud virtual server that takes data from a server and converts it into “virtual machines that can be booted instantly,” and an off-site “secure cloud.”
The Clinton firm chose the private cloud virtual server for Platte River to manage, Johnson wrote.
However, documents obtained by the committee show “confusion” among Platte River employees when they realized that data from Clinton’s server “was potentially being sent to Datto’s off-site location,” Johnson wrote.
Several weeks ago, Platte River employees discovered that her private server was syncing with an off-site Datto server, he said.
When Datto acknowledged the issue via email, a Platte River employee replied: “this is a problem.”
Johnson said that means that “Datto apparently possessed a backup of the server’s contents since June 2013.”
Upon that discovery, Platte River “directed Datto to not delete the saved data and worked with Datto to find a way to move the saved information … back to Secretary Clinton’s private server.”
Datto and Platte River employees also discussed whether to save the data on a flash drive, send it to Platte River and “then wipe [the data] from the cloud.”
“Despite these communications, it is unclear whether or not this course of action was followed,” Johnson wrote. “Additionally, questions still remain as to whether Datto actually transferred the data from its off-site datacenter to the on-site server, what data was backed up, and whether Datto wiped the data after it was transferred.”
Obviously Johnson’s letter to Datto asked them to search for and turn over any Clinton emails they could find.
If this is some sort of political inquisition, as Clinton repeatedly claims, why did she ask for the emails to be destroyed after she was asked to turn them over? If the contents were benign (about yoga and her daughter’s wedding) why wouldn’t she turn them over? Despite what Team Clinton and her supporters claim, this scandal has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with Hillary Clinton’s self-inflicted wounds.
Note: After this story was posted we also learned Hillary’s #2 at State, Cheryl Mills, shared now-classified info with Clinton Foundation. The information wasn’t classified when she sent it, but it should have been.
Cross-posted at The Lid