Posted: 11:13 am Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
A week after an IT worker with a Colorado tech firm took the Fifth Amendment before a House committee that was investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails, Republicans demanded immediate answers over reports that Paul Combetta had basically asked the internet for help to seemingly get rid of information contained in emails from Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.
“If true, these details raise new questions as to whether Platte River Networks purposefully defied legal document retention requirements,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who said he wants answers from Combetta and others at Platte River Networks, which helped deal with Clinton’s email server.
— Sci,Space,&Tech Cmte (@HouseScience) September 20, 2016
The latest questions arose after a thread was discovered on the website Reddit, where someone with a profile who seems to match Combetta was asking for help in dealing with emails.
The revelations had GOP lawmakers seeing red, as some like Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) were basically accusing Combetta of destroying evidence that was being sought by the Congress at time.
7/23/14: State Dept agrees to turn over HRC emails
7/24/14: HRC tech asks Reddit how to alter emails of a "VERY VIP"https://t.co/SLFiCCGJJK
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) September 20, 2016
“The timing of the post (July 2014) coincides with when the Select Committee on Benghazi asked Secretary Clinton to turn over her emails,” Meadows said on Twitter.
While Republicans were again pressing Combetta and others to tell their story to Congress, GOP lawmakers were also preparing to find another Clinton IT aide in Contempt of Congress, after Bryan Pagliano ignored a subpoena last week to appear before the House Oversight Committee.
Pagliano was again invited to appear before lawmakers on Thursday – if he does not, then Republicans made clear they are ready to find him in Contempt of Congress.
Of course, even if someone is found in Contempt of Congress, they cannot be compelled to testify.
One recent example would be that of Lois Lerner, who was a key figure in the IRS Tea Party Targeting matter – Lerner was found in contempt by the full House of Representatives, but has never broken her silence.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.