Day #1 – Katica discovers Paul Combetta has on-line alias “stonetear” and full backstory.
Day #2 – Paul Combetta scrubs his user information, and deletes his July 24th 2014 posting history. The Stonetear Reddit inquiry and the Timeline for Hillary Clinton’s email cover up.
Day #3 – House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith demands answers from Platte River Network, and interview scheduled with Combetta by tomorrow.
Day #4 – House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz sends preservation notice to Reddit.
Summary Backstory – On Sunday September 18th, researcher Katica discovered Hillary Clinton’s email custodian, Paul Combetta, had an alias “stonetear” used on a 2014 Reddit forum asking for assistance in altering archived server records for Hillary Clinton. We published the archive and discovery at 4:30am Monday Sept 19th. Within hours Combetta scrubs his prior posting and attempts to delete his web-footprint. However, the information is viral as the internet shares the story. Tuesday night Sept 20th, Chairman Lamar Smith becomes aware of the issue and sends formal letter to Platte River Network legal team, demanding an interview with Combetta.
Yesterday, Wednesday Sept 21st, House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz sent a preservation notification to Reddit to ensure the archived posting of Combetta/stonetear is retained:
(Via The Hill) The House Oversight Committee has ordered Reddit to preserve deleted posts believed to be written by an IT technician the committee suspects may have deleted Hillary Clinton emails that were under subpoena.
Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) confirmed that the committee has issued a preservation order and that Reddit is “cooperating.”
The order “has the weight of law, you can’t destroy things and hope things magically get erased,” he told The Hill Wednesday.
At issue is whether an employee of the Denver, Colo.-based tech firm that managed Clinton’s server sought advice on how to digitally alter the address lines of emails thought to be from the former secretary of State — the day after the State Department had agreed to provide certain Clinton emails to the Benghazi Committee.
The allegations “fit the pattern of what we think was happening,” Chaffetz said. (more)
The larger issues are jaw-droppingly significant. Prior to the discovery of “stonetear” the claims from the Hillary Clinton campaign, Paul Combetta and Platte River Network were that Combetta was operating alone without any instructions from Secretary Clinton or her key aides and attorneys.
[…] “As the F.B.I.’s report notes,” Mr. Fallon said, “neither Hillary Clinton nor her attorneys had knowledge of the Platte River Network employee’s actions. It appears he acted on his own and against guidance given by both Clinton’s and Platte River’s attorneys to retain all data in compliance with a congressional preservation request.” (link)
The July 24th, 2014 postings by Combetta, under the username “stonetear“, not only show a goal of changing a federal record – they also prove an intent to fulfill a request made by agents or representatives of the Secretary’s office with whom he was under contract:
“Basically, they don’t want the VIP’s email address exposed to anyone”…
The stonetear discovery removes the “he acted on his own” aspect. In addition, the intent behind the action also provides the missing element FBI Director James Comey stated the FBI was unable to discover. “They” intended to hide Hillary Clinton’s email address prior to compliance with federal records retention laws.
Mr. Combetta attempting to delete the history of his activity, on the very day the stonetear discovery was made public, is also a reflection of “consciousness of guilt“.
Paul Combetta was/is under an immunity agreement (details unknown) with the FBI. If the FBI was aware of this 2014 actionable intent there would be no reason to delete it – unless the FBI is also part of the larger Clinton cover-up. As thethompsontimeline asks:
[…] Looking at Combetta’s Reddit post detailed above, there are only two possibilities. One is that Combetta failed to disclose crucial information to the FBI, despite his immunity deal. The second is that he did, but the FBI didn’t mention it in its final report. Either way, it’s already clear that the FBI has failed to present the full story of Combetta’s actions to the public. (link)
Several readers have made inquiry into why would Secretary Clinton and her team want to remove the email address in the first place. The answer to that is quite simple. In July of 2014 they were only just beginning to send the State Department records as part of their legal obligations. The Benghazi committee was requesting from State, not Clinton directly. Few people actually knew of the Clinton-owned email server set up. The New York Times didn’t report on the server until March 2nd 2015.
Combetta appears to have been looking for a way to remove the email address prior to sending the archive to Cheryl Mills and Clinton’s legal team. Those entities would then filter through the content and print out the ones they determined the State Dept., would receive. Congressional committees were waiting to receive from State Dept.
No-one, except Combetta and those involved in Clinton’s handling, knows if Combetta was successful in his goal to strip the address. However, a key point often overlooked is Clinton provided paper copies of the emails she did choose to turn over.
Anyone on the .gov side of the email exchange would have the same email, and Clinton email address. While it might be intensely time consuming, has anyone looked to see if the email address on any of the paper copies (turned over by Clinton) is different from the recipient copy of the same email?
Lastly, the media is going to attempt to distract or dilute the significance of the stonetear discovery by using the issue of ‘verification’ that Paul Combetta is actually “stonetear“. However, the evidence to prove/support that Combetta is Stonetear is simply overwhelming (HERE and HERE) and lots of internal links HERE.