House Oversight Committee: Did Hillary Clinton or Staff Destroy Email Evidence Under Subpoena?

Posted: Sep 06, 2016 1:35 PM

Last week's 58-page, bombshell FBI report partially detailing the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of multiple private email servers while Secretary of State, didn't make the scandal go away but instead has prompted more questions for the Democrat presidential nominee. 

“In reviewing those files, the Committee identified a sequence of events that may amount to obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence by Secretary Clinton and her employees and contractors, including her attorneys, employees of Platte River Networks, and employees of Clinton Executive Services Corporation," a letter sent Tuesday to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia by House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz states.
“In light of this information, the Department should investigate and determine whether Secretary Clinton or her employees and contractors violated statutes that prohibit destruction of records, obstruction of congressional inquiries, and concealment or cover up of evidence material to a congressional investigation.” 

Essentially, Chaffetz is asking if evidence was deleted under subpoena.

The letter includes a timeline of document requests and subpoenas from the Oversight Committee, the Benghazi Select Committee and the response from Clinton and her staff. 

A letter was also sent to Platte River Networks, the company responsible for hosting Clinton's private email servers.

“In brief, the summaries of the FBI’s interviews with a PRN engineer show that within days of a conference call with Secretary Clinton’s lawyers, the engineer deleted archives of Secretary Clinton’s emails, despite knowing those records were covered by preservation orders and a subpoena from Congress," a separate letter from the Committee states. "The sequence of events leading up to the destruction of Secretary Clinton’s emails… raises questions about whether Secretary Clinton, acting through her attorneys, instructed PRN to destroy records relevant to the then-ongoing congressional investigations.”  

Byron York points out that based on the evidence presented in the FBI report and the timeline of events with Clinton's email deletion, it is likely staffer deleted emails while under subpoena from Congress. The letter from Chaffetz officially makes that inquiry. 

The incomplete records of the Hillary Clinton email investigation released by the FBI raise questions about the conduct not only of Clinton but of her top aides and the staffers working under their direction. Perhaps the most serious is whether the Clinton team destroyed evidence which they were under legal order to save and produce to congressional investigators.

Even with the fragments now public — the Clinton 302, the overview report, but none of the many other witness interviews — it seems fair to conclude that staff on the Clinton team destroyed material that was under subpoena. Whether that was unwitting, or whether it was something else, is not known, at least publicly.

In recent weeks, the Committee also asked the USADC to look into why Clinton attorneys, who sorted through her emails, were handling classified information when they didn't have proper security clearance to do so.