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According to documents obtained by CompleteColorado.com, Platte River Networks (PRN) has sought reimbursement from Hillary Clinton for legal and public relations expenses totaling at least $44,000 dollars, and possibly tens of thousands more. The expenses span a period of about eight weeks, from late July of this year to mid-September.
Platte River Networks is the Denver-based IT and networking company that provided hosting services to the independent email server set up by then-Secretary of State Clinton. Platte River’s services to Clinton were only provided after she left office, however.
An invoice dated September 16 is addressed to “Marcum LLP” in New York City, the accountant for the Clintons. Line items appear to show a minimum of $25,000 in reimbursements from the Clintons for legal expenses and $19,000 in public relations help.
Reverse side of invoiceHowever, handwritten notes on the invoice suggest the bill was incomplete or incorrect, and other line items would be added (one note reads, “Brenda – What was accounted for +2 time entries”).
Whether the bill has been paid is not known at this time. But if the Clintons have paid the invoice, it could mean they are effectively underwriting – and therefore possibly controlling to some extent – the legal assistance and public relations message.
As the scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton’s private server has expanded, Platte River Networks has used Andy Boian of dovetail solutions (uncapitalized, per the usage of the company) to manage the swelling tide of media inquiries. Boian’s company bio lists a long resume of Democratic Party work both locally and nationally, including serving on the 1992 transition team for President Clinton.
The invoice also shows that Platte River Networks flew in one of their top IT experts from the east coast, Paul Combetta, specifically to deal with issues related to the Clinton Server flap. According to a previous company bio, Combetta is PRN’s only employee not based in Colorado.
Responding to an email inquiry, Boian appeared to deny that his loyalties could be split, or could be owed to Mrs. Clinton. “I, as spokesman for Platte River Networks, and therefore my firm I own, dovetail solutions, has been contracted by Platte River Networks to represent them in such a capacity. My responsibility is to answer media inquiries to the best of my ability in an honest, open, and transparent manner,” Boian said.
In another document exclusively obtained by CompleteColorado.com, a separate invoice billed to CESC (Clinton Executive Services Corp) includes a service line item that states “Datto Month of Private Cloud Service (auto-recurring).” The invoice is dated August 1, 2015.
Datto is a Connecticut IT company whose home webpage boasts, “No matter where your data lives, it’s safe with Datto.” Federal authorities investigating the Clinton server learned sometime in September or early October that some of Clinton’s emails hosted on her private server may have been duplicated on Datto servers because of cloud services provided by Platte River Networks. The exact nature of the cloud services provided to the Clinton server — and how those services even got started — has been a point of contention. According to an October 6 report from McClatchy DC:
Datto and Platte River seemed at odds, however, over how Clinton’s emails wound up on Datto’s cloud storage, which may have resulted from a misunderstanding.
Platte River spokesman Andy Boian said the firm bought a device from Datto that constantly snaps images of a server’s contents and connected it to the Clinton server at a New Jersey data storage facility. Platte River never asked Datto to beam the images to an off-site cloud storage node and never was billed for that service, he said. Company officials were bewildered when they learned of the cloud storage, he said.
“We said, ‘You have a cloud? You were told not to have a cloud.’ We never received an invoice for any cloud for the Clintons.’”
The source familiar with Datto’s account, however, said Platte River was billed for “private cloud” storage, which requires a cloud storage node. Because Platte River lacks one, the source said, the data bounced to Datto’s off-site cloud storage. The source said that senior Platte River officials may not have realized it, but company technicians “were managing the off-site storage throughout.”
The final document presented in this report shows an employee with Platte River (name redacted) changing the data retention service length with Datto’s cloud services for a single device that is only identified by serial number. Whether that serial number identifies the Clinton server is unknown at this time. The work ticket was dated August 4, 2015.
Of significant note on the Datto document that shows a setting transition for data retention for a particular device is the language that informs the customer (and which the customer must check):
“I acknowledge that, upon Datto’s receipt of this form, any and all cloud data that is associated with the device serial provided above, older than the retention period selected above, will be permanently and irrevocably deleted.”
The serial number is OCC47A14C332, and the retention period selected was one year.
CompleteColoarado.com reported in August that the Western Governors’ Association is a customer of Platte River Networks.
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