Exclusives, National, Original Report, Politics

Paul Combetta may have stayed tethered to Clintons through legal reimbursements

File photo - Todd Shepherd
File photo – Todd Shepherd

A computer specialist who was given immunity by the U.S. Department of Justice in regards to the now-famous Clinton email server continued to work on issues and interviews related to the server as late as September of 2015, roughly six months after the story originally broke. And according to an invoice obtained exclusively by Complete Colorado, all of the costs for travel, time spent on interviews, and legal assistance needed by that individual were possibly being paid for by the Clintons.

If the Clintons were paying for Mr. Combetta’s time and travel, and especially if they were paying for any legal assistance he received through his employer, Denver-based Platte River Networks, it raises the question of how independent Mr. Combetta’s cooperation with the FBI was. Alternately, it could show he remained tethered, and therefore loyal to some degree, to Hillary Clinton and her team.

Late in the evening of September 8, 2016, the New York Times published a story revealing the identity of  Combetta, who performed numerous tasks and maintenance on the Clinton server over multiple years, some of which happened in the Clinton’s home in Chappaqua. Combetta’s name was redacted throughout the entirety of the FBI memos released on September 2 which detailed the bureau’s investigation. The Times piece also broke the news that Combetta had received some kind of immunity deal.

Icon_2016_Exclusive_aThe FBI memos also detailed the fact that Combetta deleted and digitally destroyed emails even though he had previously been ordered not to. The New York Times quoted a spokesperson from the Clinton campaign who said, “…neither Hillary Clinton nor her attorneys had knowledge of the Platte River Network employee’s (Combetta’s) actions. It appears he acted on his own and against guidance given by both Clinton’s and Platte River’s attorneys to retain all data in compliance with a congressional preservation request.”

Combetta’s name and initials are sprinkled throughout an invoice from Platte River Networks to the Clintons, and obtained exclusively last fall by Complete Colorado. The invoice shows him making trips to Denver and “travel back east” to interview with federal officials. According to the invoice, Platte River was seeking reimbursement from the Clintons for Combetta’s continued work and efforts related to the server.

The invoice details tens of thousands of dollars in reimbursement sought from the Clintons for legal fees incurred by Platte River Networks as a result of the FBI investigation, and for additional public relations expenses met by the company as well.

(Media note: The image below is the exclusive news product of Complete Colorado. Unauthorized reproduction, duplication and/or publishing of these documents without permission is strictly prohibited. Email us at CompleteColorado at gmail.com to request permission to use.)

 

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It is not known if the invoice was paid.

The revelations from the invoice prompted Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley to fire off a letter to Mrs. Clinton last November, writing, “It is important for the Committee to know whether Secretary Clinton and her attorneys are providing financial support, legal support, or other coordination to those associates of hers who are involved in congressional committee and federal law enforcement inquiries relating to her email server.”

In a November article from Politico, the Clinton campaign denied ever receiving the invoice, and said they were not paying Platte River’s legal or PR bills.

Locally, the Denver Post editorialized the story Combetta gave about suddenly remembering to delete emails seemed fishy:

The FBI said that in December 2014 a top Clinton aide told Denver-based Platte River Networks to destroy an archive of e-mails from her private server, but the company failed to do so. Then, after The New York Times reported in early March 2015 details of then-Secretary Clinton’s use of a private server, the House committee investigating the deadly attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, ordered that her e-mails be preserved, and subpoenaed those related to the attack. Three weeks later, the story goes, the engineer responsible for deleting Clinton’s archive suddenly remembered the failed duty, and acted on it by deleting the e-mails with a program (wonderfully named BleachBit) that apparently rendered most of them unreadable.

Around the time of the engineer’s sudden remembrance, the FBI said, Platte River officials joined a conference call with a longtime Clinton aide and personal lawyer. But when the FBI tried to look into this call, they met with frustration. Platte River’s attorney told the engineer who did the deed to claim attorney-client privilege.

That just looks awful….

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