House panel asks prosecutor to probe deleted Clinton emails

Clinton and her longtime aide and lawyer, Cheryl Mills, told FBI investigators during questioning that they had no knowledge of the technology company's deletions.

By: AP | Washington | Published:September 6, 2016 10:01 pm
Hillary Clinton, Clinton emails, Clinton email scam, Clinton email controversy Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton. (File)

The Republican chairman of the House committee investigating Hillary Clinton’s email practices asked a federal prosecutor today to determine whether she and others working with her played a role in the deletion of thousands of her emails by a Colorado technology firm overseeing her private computer server in 2015.

The written request by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and obtained by The Associated Press, is based on recent
revelations from the FBI, which decided not to press for criminal charges after its own yearlong investigation.

Clinton and her longtime aide and lawyer, Cheryl Mills, told FBI investigators during questioning that they had no
knowledge of the technology company’s deletions. Those occurred separately from the email deletions overseen by the former secretary of state’s legal team last year before she turned over 33,000 work-related messages to the State Department.

The FBI’s recently released summaries of its investigation did not offer any evidence contradicting their statements. In a separate letter also obtained by the AP, Chaffetz the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman warned the Denver-based tech firm, Platte River Networks, that one of its engineers who deleted Clinton’s electronic files last year could face federal charges of obstructing evidence for erasing the material.

That’s because the congressional inquiry into the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were
killed, had issued a formal order to preserve such records. The moves by the GOP led-House committee amount to new
political complications for Clinton’s presidential campaign, which was spared a legal ordeal in July when FBI Director James Comey upbraided Clinton for careless email practices but declined to seek criminal charges after the bureau’s investigation.

But the sparse evidence laid out in Chaffetz’ letters highlighting a March 2015 phone discussion between the tech
firm and Clinton lawyers that FBI agents were unable to detail also shows the uphill climb the committee faces in turning up any significant new information beyond what the FBI already learned in its inquiry.

The new requests follow a similar attempt last month by Republican-led committees in the House and Senate to prod new information from the Denver firm as the presidential race between Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump enters its critical final months.