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Smith Demands Interview With Clinton IT Professional Who Sought Help In Stripping Email Addresses

Sep 20, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) yesterday sent a letter reiterating his request for transcribed interviews with Platte River Networks employees in light of new information regarding the role of a key employee in managing Secretary Clinton’s private email server. Yesterday reports surfaced indicating a Platte River Networks employee, Paul Combetta, sought help from reddit.com users on how to strip a “VERY VIP’s” email address from archived emails he maintained at the time.

“If true, these details raise new questions as to whether Platte River Networks purposefully defied legal document retention requirements.  Further, it is unclear if the Federal Bureau of Investigation was aware of these facts at the time of their investigation.  By speaking with Platte River Networks employees, including Paul Combetta, the Committee will be able to provide clarity to these outstanding questions directly related to its investigation,” the letter states.

“Additionally, I am concerned that Mr. Combetta may have made an attempt to delete relevant posts, including the post mentioned above, from his reddit.com username just hours after reports initially surfaced on September 19, 2016, about his request for assistance on deleting email addresses from archived emails.  This raises significant concerns that materials directly related to the Committee’s investigation and responsive to its outstanding requests are being actively destroyed in an attempt to conceal relevant information from coming to light,” Smith continues.

The committee initially requested transcribed interviews with seven Platte River Networks Employees on July 12. Committee staff has attempted to schedule the interviews through email on four separate occasions, and by phone on at least three occasions.  Yesterday’s letter requests dates for the interviews be provided by Friday, September 23.

The letter can be found here.

114th Congress