A new Senate report says a second, cryptic Gmail account was created by an aide named Paul Combetta, who worked for the company that managed Clinton’s unsecured server, and as a result all but four of her now-deleted emails likely wound up on Google’s servers after Combetta forwarded them to the Google-based account.
The report further states the FBI knew about the second email account and showed little concern.
Combetta, reports The Daily Caller, is the same aide who used BleachBit to erase Clinton’s emails and misled the FBI about his work, and who later refused to cooperate with the Department of Justice Inspector General’s office, as well as Senate staff, when confronted about the secret Gmail account.
The finding, which has not been previously reported, means that Clinton’s emails, including classified ones and ones which were later deleted, likely existed on Google’s U.S.-based servers. The FBI said in the report that it knew this — and of the suspicious explanation for it — but did not alert other intelligence agencies or the public, according to the report.
Charles McCullough, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, and his investigator Frank Rucker discovered that every one of Clinton’s emails except four were secretly copied to the cryptically named email address, [email protected], according to the report.
Rucker was interviewed by staffers within the offices of GOP Sens. Ron Johnson (WI) and Charles Grassley (IA) and a transcript of those interviews was release Wednesday.
Rucker said he took his concerns about the Gmail account to FBI Agent Peter Strzok who seemed “dismissive” and asked no further questions.
In trying to determine why Combetta would move Clinton’s files to a Gmail account — a move the aide said was in preparation for moving them from a laptop to her server — Rucker also researched the name “Carter Heavy Industries” and found a company with a similar name, Shandong Carter Heavy Industry Machinery Co., based in Shandong, China.
“Shandong is a province that houses multiple schools where Chinese hackers allegedly study and infiltrate Western systems,” The DC reports.
Rucker says he repeatedly asked FBI officials about the third-party email account, and its odd name, and received little to no response. FBI officials said they couldn’t remember much about Rucker’s inquiry.
In June 2018, the DOJ OIG interviewed FBI official Chappell who said he “did not remember receiving anything from him related to evidence of hostile intrusions or email routing data,” the Senate report says. That July, Strzok told [Rep. Louie] Gohmert [R-TX] he didn’t remember what Rucker told him.
The Senate report also says that both FBI officials denied remembering anything Rucker told them.
“The trouble is the version of the truth that’s come out now only raises more questions,” Gohmert told the Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday.
“When Peter Strzok said I remember Rucker coming over but I don’t remember anything we talked about, that’s when I knew he was lying,” Gohmert continued. “Whether they knew about it before or not, there’s no way that kind of blockbuster info would not have made an impression on Strzok as head of intelligence. You’re disinterested because you don’t want to know or you don’t want anyone else to know.”
Gohmert said he believes Combetta should be prosecuted despite having already been given immunity because immunity deals can be canceled if it’s discovered the person lied at any point.