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Wiping Evidence? US Lawmakers Probe Hillary Clinton’s IT Guy’s Reddit Posts

© AP Photo / Molly RileyPaul Combetta
Paul Combetta - Sputnik International
The House Oversight Committee is reviewing a Reddit post dug up by the site’s users, which appears to be from Hillary Clinton’s IT specialist, Paul Combetta, soliciting advice on how to delete evidence from a private email server.

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An investigation into Combetta, the man who used Bleachbit to scrub the candidate’s email account, by Reddit sleuths found that a user going by “Stonetear” sought advice on how to purge emails for a “VERY VIP” individual, with extremely eyebrow-raising timing. Combetta was using stonetear@gmail.com as his public email address in 2014.

“The Reddit post issue and its connection to Paul Combetta is currently being reviewed by OGR staff and evaluations are being made as to the authenticity of the post,” the chairman of the panel’s Government Operations subcommittee, Mark Meadows, told The Hill.

Two years ago, the day after the US State Department agreed to produce records to the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Stonetear posted to Reddit asking for help.

“If it is determined that the request to change email addresses was made by someone so closely aligned with the Secretary's IT operation as Mr. Combetta, then it will certainly prompt additional inquiry,” Meadows continued. “The date of the Reddit post in relationship to the establishment of the Select Committee on Benghazi is also troubling.”

The now-deleted post read:

“Hello all- I may be facing a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email that I have both in a live Exchange mailbox, as well as a PST file. Basically, they don’t want the VIP’s email address exposed to anyone, and want to be able to either strip out or replace the email address in the to/from fields in all of the emails we want to send out. I am not sure if something like this is possible with PowerShell, or exporting all of the emails to MSG and doing find/replaces with a batch processing program of some sort. Does anyone have experience with something like this, and/or suggestions on how this might be accomplished?”

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Combetta is currently one of the primary focuses of an investigation to determine whether Clinton ordered the destruction of emails that had already been subpoenaed by the Benghazi Select Committee.

In December 2014, Stonetear took to Reddit for help again, this time during the month that Clinton attorney Cheryl Mills requested that the policy for email retention be shortened to 60 days.

The December 10th post reads:

“Hello- I have a client who wants to push out a 60 day email retention policy for certain users. However, they also want these users to have a ‘Save Folder’ in their Exchange folder list where the users can drop items that they want to hang onto longer than the 60 day window. All email in any other folder in the mailbox should purge anything older than 60 days (should not apply to calendar or contact items of course). How would I go about this? Some combination of retention and managed folder policy?”

While it is not confirmed whether the posts were actually Combetta, it isn’t just the timing that has Redditors convinced. An account on Etsy for a Paul Combetta also has the username "stonetear" and an inactive website combetta.com is also registered to his stonetear@gmail.com email address.

Last week, Combetta appeared before a House committee investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server. He invoked the constitutional right to refuse to testify. He was previously granted immunity after making a deal with the Justice Department.

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