*Update* Several hours after posting this research, Paul Combetta began scrubbing all of his social media and comment sections. However, everything is archived. U.S News and World Report has picked up the story. – SEE HERE– Sources also indicate DC congressional leadership and staffers are now fully aware. This story is about to break wide open, thanks to the excellent work of the New Media, citizen journalists !…..
A rather stunning discovery has been made by a researcher named Katica who uncovered a July 24th 2014 Reddit thread started by Platte River Network executive Paul Combetta who -at the time- was requesting technical advice on how to strip a “VIP (VERY VIP)” email address from archives stored on a server he has “full access to“.
BACKSTORY – Last week Paul Combetta plead the fifth and refused to answer questions before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. According to Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz, the following email exchange occurred between Combetta and another undisclosed Platte River Network staff member back on 8/19/15:
“Wondering how we can sneak an email in now, after the fact, asking them [the Clinton camp] when they told us to cut the backups and have them confirm it for our records. Starting to think this whole thing is really covering up some shady shit. I just think if we have it in writing that they told us to cut the backups then we can go public with our statement saying we’ve had the backup since day one when we were told to trim to 30 days would make us look a whole lot better.”
Platte River Network used BleachBit to remove all traces of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails. As mentioned Paul Combetta refused to answer any questions from the committee.
However, today a rather remarkable discovery adds additional intrique to this historical series of events. A researcher named Katica, discovered the Reddit identity of Paul Combetta as “stonetear“.
The connection between Paul Combetta and his username “stonetear” was made from an earlier administrator who thanked Paul Combetta for some previous technical assistance hosting some zip files and providing his contact email address as “stonetear@gmail”:
[July 24, 2014] 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?
In a short series of replies to his inquiry and follow-up suggestions, Paul Combetta provided the following responses:
Reply – Is there no way to access and edb manually?
Combetta (“stonetear”): I have full access to the server – what are you suggesting with the EDB file?
Reply – There is no supported way to do what you’re asking. You can only delete emails after they’re stored in the database. You can’t change them. If there was a feature in Exchange that allowed this, it could result in major legal issues. There may be ways to hack a solution, but I am not aware of any.
Combetta (“stonetear”): As a PST file or exported MSG files, this could be done though, yes?
The issue is that these emails involve the private email address of someone you’d recognize, and we’re trying to replace it with a placeholder address as to not expose it.
Combetta (“stonetear”): I think maybe I wasn’t clear enough in the original post. I have these emails available in a PST file. Can I rewrite them in the PST? I could also export to MSG and do some sort of batch find/replace. Anyone know of tools that might help with this?
Again, the date on this archived request and exchange is July 24th 2014. We now know the VIP mentioned by Combetta was Secretary Hillary Clinton.
The request reflects an obvious “intent” to hide the Clinton email address; an intent that FBI Director James Comey stated he was unable to discover during their investigation, leading to his recommendation that no charges be filed against Secretary Clinton.
If James Comey needed intent. It looks like some web slueths have just located the smoking gun the FBI was unable to locate on their own.
To insure additional research is not hidden or deleted here’s a Pastebin accumulating all of the ongoing discoveries. – SEE HERE – Here’s an archive link of the thread in case of scrubbing and deletion – SEE HERE –
Full Credit for this initial Reddit research discovery belongs to:
— Katica (@GOPPollAnalyst) September 19, 2016
Additional archive research – AVAILABLE HERE – including pseudonym confirmation: