Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) isn’t convinced by the conclusions of a Senate inquiry into reports that China gained access to virtually every email Hillary Clinton sent and received using an unauthorized email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
The inspector generals for the Justice Department and the Intelligence Community released documents on Aug. 14 from the Senate Finance Committee. The report said they found no evidence to prove that a Gmail address created by Paul Combetta, a private technician working on the Clinton server, was connected to a Chinese company with a similar name.
Combetta allegedly created “email@example.com” in 2012 and used it in early 2014 to transfer Clinton’s archived emails from a laptop to the Platte River Networks server. He was one of several people who were granted immunity during the FBI’s 2015–2016 Clinton email investigation.
Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) investigator Frank Rucker discovered that the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” received all but four of the 30,490 Clinton emails he reviewed. Rucker informed the FBI about the anomaly in early 2016. Rucker performed a search for Carter Heavy Industries on Google and found a Chinese company named Shandong Carter Heavy Industry Co. Ltd.
The inspector generals reported in the newly released documents that the FBI hadn’t discovered any evidence to show that Combetta had a link to Shandong Carter.
“Based on the new information from the Senate report, it is still unclear if Combetta is only an immunized scapegoat for former FBI leaders or other Clinton coverup artists, or if China or some other entity got all but four of Hillary Clinton’s 30,000+ emails,” Gohmert told The Epoch Times.
“It is sad that the FBI’s integrity has been so badly compromised in recent years, but the FBI needs to immediately release any documentation that would prove their claims that Combetta created the Gmail address and named it after a Chinese company located in the hacking training center of China.”
The Senate inquiry into the matter, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was triggered by media reports that claimed that an anomaly in the metadata of Clinton’s emails suggested that China had real-time access to her emails.
The newly released documents confirmed many of the details in these media reports, including the fact that Rucker, the ICIG investigator, had discovered the anomaly and handed the lead to the FBI.
Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Gohmert have previously suggested that the FBI ignored the information.
Staff investigators from the offices of Sens. Grassley and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) interviewed Rucker and ICIG attorney Jeanette McMillian in December last year. Rucker and McMillian told the investigators that “email@example.com” appeared as a recipient on all but four of the emails they reviewed, suggesting that the Gmail account was a “live drop box” for the messages Clinton sent and received.
The documents released by Grassley’s committee revealed for the first time that the Gmail address was the “dummy email” account that Combetta used to transfer an archive of Clinton’s emails to the Platte River Networks server in 2014. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz described Combetta’s use of the “dummy email” account in the final report on the FBI and DOJ’s handling of the Clinton email investigation published in June 2018.
Horowitz’s 568-page report didn’t disclose that the email was a Gmail account or reveal the Carter Heavy Industries name. Neither the report nor the newly-released documents detail any effort by the FBI to determine if anyone else had access to “firstname.lastname@example.org” or what else Combetta did with the account between 2012 and 2016.
According to a footnote in the newly released documents, “Business records show that the account was created by a subscriber whose phone number was registered to Combetta.”
It also says that “account logins in 2015 and 2016 were from an IP address linked to the location where Combetta lived and worked remotely.” It’s unclear why Combetta was accessing the dummy email account after he had used it to transfer the archive.
Notably, the FBI discovered hundreds of emails, some of which were classified, still sitting in the Gmail account in June 2016, weeks before the bureau closed the investigation and exonerated Clinton.
The bureau had obtained a search warrant for the Gmail account, but the inspector general has not clearly stated whether anyone besides Combetta had accessed the account. In addition, Monica Hanley, the Clinton aide who handed Combetta the email archive on a laptop, told the FBI that she didn’t remember where she put a thumb drive with a copy of the archive.
Former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough has said that some of the emails on Clinton’s server were classified at a level so high that even members of Congress couldn’t be briefed on the content.
“There remain too many unanswered questions, and far too many involved have been ‘less than candid’ or have flat out lied,” Gohmert said.
Epoch Times reporter Petr Svab contributed to this report.