Hat tip “Deb” at Conservative Treehouse. Click on the image to enlarge it.
An astute individual–a citizen researcher named Katica
at Reddit on Twitter appears to have cleverly deduced the online identity of Paul Combetta, one of the guys who got immunity from prosecution for his involvement in BleachBit-ing Hillary Clinton’s email.
In July 2014, when Clinton’s email records were being collected from her private server, presumably so they could be turned over to the Dept. of State as public records, a user named Stonetear (thought to be Combetta) asked people on a Reddit online forum for help in figuring out how to modify the content of email in a “live Exchange mailbox” as well as a PST file.
Specifically, Stonetear wanted to change the records to hide the email address of a “VERY VIP” who was involved in sending or receiving them. Stonetear had been asked by a client (presumed to be Clinton, her lawyer, or someone on her staff, on the theory that Combetta is Stonetear) to make this modification in order to hide a certain email address from discovery.
In other words, (if Stonetear is Combetta, which appears likely) someone who sent email on Clinton’s private server or received email through Clinton’s private server didn’t want that fact to be known to the public.
Ultimately, Reddit forum users advised Stonetear that the only solution was to delete the emails completely, because it’s impossible (and possibly illegal) to modify the senders/recipients on the headers. Did he delete them? Perhaps only from the set forwarded to the Dept. of State as public records, if Stonetear is Combetta and the emails were Clinton’s, that is.
We know that at a much later point, Combetta used BleachBit to scrub out of existence all of Clinton’s emails:
The FBI report says that Cheryl Mills, a longtime Clinton aide and attorney, requested in December 2014 that the email retention policy be shortened to 60 days. The FBI report says Mills “instructed [redacted] to modify the email retention policy on Clinton’s clintonemail.com e-mail account” but that “according to [redacted] he did not make these changes to Clinton’s clintonemail.com account until March 2015.”
The report says the person, essentially identified as Combetta by The New York Times, realized in late March 2015 that he had not made the retention change and “had an ‘oh sh–‘ moment and sometime between March 25-31, 2015, deleted the Clinton archive mailbox from the [Platte River Networks] server and used BleachBit to deleted [sic] the exported .PST files he had created on the server system containing Clinton’s emails.”
If Combetta had not included any emails containing a “VERY VIP’s” email address in what was turned over to the Dept. of State, then those emails probably still existed in the archive at Platte River Networks, at least until they were BleachBit-ted.
Can anyone think of a “VERY VIP” in these United States who might want his email address scrubbed from Clinton’s private email archives, so that a search would never reveal them? Someone who perhaps also wanted to evade presidential records laws? Or maybe it’s someone (or some two) who didn’t want their email addresses associated with classified information on the private server. Who knows? Unless Combetta saved the files somewhere (which might have been wise) we’ll probably never know.
One wonders whether or not FBI Director Comey–who declined to prosecute Clinton because, he said, there was no evidence that she intended to break records laws–knew about this attempt to protect a “VERY VIP.” Or maybe that’s exactly why he wouldn’t, couldn’t, prosecute her. Too messy. Too anti-historical, if you get my drift.
Despite having immunity, Combetta recently refused to answer questions from a congressional committee. One has to wonder about the exact wording of his immunity from prosecution. Is he still at risk for prosecution for some other charge related to the Clinton emails? Excellent work. Better, apparently, than the FBI.
What’s interesting is that Combetta seems to have been more afraid of Hillary Clinton and her people than he was of Congress and the legal system.
In the meantime, Stonetear has begun scrubbing all traces of his online identity from the Internet.