By Ben Barrack
UPDATED 9/9/16 at 7:23am EST: The individual who had an “oh, shit” moment according to the FBI’s notes appears to be Platte River Networks (PRN) employee Paul Combetta.  This is the person who deleted Hillary’s emails with Bleach Bit weeks after those emails were subpoenaed. More to come…
After reading through the FBI’s notes on the Hillary investigation, there is a lot of smoke. One unnamed individual had an “oh, shit” moment. That moment reared its head when he realized that he hadn’t deleted emails as instructed.
Pundits exhibit apoplexy when they talk about how Bleach Bit was used to delete the emails. What many seem to be missing is when the emails were deleted. In this case, they were deleted after a subpoena was issued for the very emails that were deleted. It’s one thing to delete potential evidence before a subpoena is issued. It’s something entirely different when you delete evidence afterward.
Check out the screen shots from the FBI’s notes below:
It’s clear that Hillary’s closest advisors Cheryl Mills and attorney David Kendall had ordered emails be deleted. They issued this order in December of 2014. On March 4, 2015 the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued a subpoena for those emails. Then, between March 25-31, the individual to whom Mills issued the order to delete emails, did it.
It’s not the issue of deleting emails that is the smoking gun, although that’s bad enough. It’s not the issue of using Bleach Bit to do it; that’s pretty bad too. The issue is that Bleach Bit was used to delete emails after those emails had been subpoenaed.
As for the name of the individual who had the “oh, shit” moment, there is a way to find out (I’m on it). Some have speculated that it’s Bryan Pagliano, Hillary’s IT specialist at the time. That’s a peculiar guess because Pagliano’s name is not redacted elsewhere in the FBI’s notes. Neither is Justin Cooper’s name. Cooper was another IT specialist who worked Hillary’s campaign server in 2008.
Who is the Unidentified Individual who Destroyed Subpoenaed Evidence?
The identity of this individual is key. First, this person was told to delete emails and did not. Then, after those emails had been subpoenaed, this unidentified individual had an “oh, shit” moment at about the same time that a conference call took place between Platte River Networks (PRN) and Hillary’s staff. PRN is the company that took over for Pagliano after Hillary left the State Department. The “Pagliano Server” was migrated to PRN.
Second, did this person know that the records had been subpoenaed? If not, what prompted him to remember to delete them? If so, who was the individual who informed said person that there was a subpoena? Of course, it’s also possible that the redacted name just reacted to an angry Hillary staffer who knew of the subpoena and was angered by the fact that the emails hadn’t been deleted prior to it being issued.
It’s possible though unlikely that the redacted name is neither “Pagliano” nor “Cooper”. It’s a certainty that team Hillary was OUTRAGED that the emails ordered to be deleted before the subpoena hadn’t been deleted after the subpoena.
The key is determining whose name is redacted. That individual would not make things difficult solely for Hillary. He would also make things extremely difficult for FBI Director James Comey.
Comey continues to stand by his decision not to recommend Hillary be indicted. There are several holes in his argument. However, destroying evidence after the issuance of a subpoena may just be the biggest hole in any of his arguments.
Stay tuned. The identity of the individual who deleted Hillary’s emails post-subpoena should have been granted immunity to go after bigger fish or risk going away for a long time.