Platte River Networks said they were asked to limit backups of her server.
By Rachael Bade 10/06/15
An employee at the tech company that maintained Hillary Clinton’s homemade email server was concerned that instructions from a Clinton-linked company would have the tech firm “covering up some shaddy [sic] shit,” according to emails obtained by Senate investigators.
Employees at Denver-based Platte River Networks in a mid-August email chain were trying to find records that showed that Clinton Executive Service Corp., the company paying the Platte River bill, had instructed them to reduce the length of time backups of Clinton’s emails were kept.
“Any chance you found an old email with their directive to cut the backup back in Oct-Feb,” one Platte River employee asked another, according to excerpts of the emails included in a Monday letter from Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). “I know they had you cut it once in Oct-Nov, then again to 30day in Feb-ish.”
Such a record, the employee said, would be “golden,” and would clear the company of outside criticism and point back to Clinton Executive Service Corp., which “appears to be a Clinton family company,” according to the Johnson letter.
“Starting to think this whole thing really is covering up some shaddy shit,” the employee continued. “I just think if we have it in writing that they told us to cut the backups, and we can go public saying we have had backups since day one, then we were told to trim to 30 days, it would make us look a WHOLE LOT better.”
McClatchy first reported on the Johnson letter.
In December 2014, Clinton turned over to the State Department about half of her 60,000-plus emails that spanned her time in office as secretary of state. The other 30,000, she said, were “personal” in nature. She said she deleted them.
Republicans and outside groups suing the State Department for documents, however, have questioned whether she turned over all her work-related documents as is required by law — or if her team withheld messages that would have potentially been embarrassing to the Democratic 2016 presidential front-runner.
Her team has said they were over-inclusive in what they turned over. But just days ago, the State Department confirmed that it did not receive copies of work-related emails from the first few weeks of Clinton’s tenure, an oversight first discovered by a government watchdog.
The previously undisclosed emails between Clinton and now-retired Gen. David Petraeus raised further questions about whether her public record was complete.
The State Department, according to Tuesday court documents, wrote to Clinton’s lawyer David Kendall and asked that he confirm that Clinton did not have additional emails from the beginning of her tenure. State asked that Clinton turn over any such emails.
According to the Platte River email chain, the employees searching for directives about backing up Clinton’s email considered creative ways to find the instructions.
“Wonder how we can sneak an email in now after the fact asking them when they told us to cut the backups and have them confirm it for our records,” the employee wrote.
Footnotes in the letter say the employees believe the directives were given over the phone.
The “shaddy shit” comment was mentioned at the bottom of the Johnson letter, which otherwise focused on allegations that another Connecticut-based tech company had an offsite, cloud backup of Clinton’s emails.
The Senate Homeland panel, which is investigating the server and Platte River’s work with it, revealed that Clinton hired Connecticut-company Datto Inc. to back up her emails in case the server crashed. Platte River employees helped set up the backup device, which was supposed to back up only emails on site.
But Platte River employees in August learned that the emails were being backed up in Datto’s cloud, too, which was not in the contract.
A Platte River spokesman said they weren’t supposed to be doing the cloud backup and the client, Clinton, had never asked for such a backup.
“Datto was never supposed to have a cloud. … We specifically instructed Datto to only keep 30 days of information onsite and what they did, against our explicate instructions was to build a cloud and put this information on a cloud,” said company spokesman Andy Boian. “So I don’t know what was on the cloud because they violated the exact instruction we gave them.”
Johnson is trying to find out what happened to the information stored on the Datto cloud, particularly because some of those emails are now considered classified.