Reddit ordered to preserve alleged posts from Clinton’s server techie (PICTURES)
The committee issued the preservation order as part of their investigation into whether an employee of the tech firm hired by Clinton to manage her email server posted questions on the forum about how to digitally alter the address lines of emails, The Hill reports.
On July 24, 2014, user “stonetear” wrote that he “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.”
“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,” reads the post.
“Does anyone have experience with something like this, and/or suggestions on how this might be accomplished?”
Stonetear went on to elaborate that the “VIP” email address belongs to “someone you’d recognize.”
“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,” they wrote.
The tech advice was sought the day after the State Department agreed to provide some of Clinton’s emails to the Benghazi Committee.
7/23/14: State Dept agrees to turn over HRC emails— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) September 20, 2016
7/24/14: HRC tech asks Reddit how to alter emails of a "VERY VIP"https://t.co/SLFiCCGJJK
“[The order] has the weight of the law, you can’t destroy things and hope things magically get erased,” committee chairman Jason Chaffetz told The Hill on Wednesday.
“[The allegations] fit the pattern of what we think was happening,” added Chaffetz.
The two-year-old post, believed to have been written by Paul Combetta, an engineer with Platte River Networks, was first discovered by his fellow Reddit users. Although the comment was deleted, it can still be read on the pages of others who saved the post.
Chaffetz agreed that the Reddit evidence may be circumstantial and a full investigation is needed to verify the posts before going any further.
“We have to verify the authenticity but we are pursuing it with vigor,” Chaffetz said. “On the surface it may be accurate, but we've got to make sure [the Reddit posts] are preserved and we have to dive deeper into the authenticity.”
Reddit retains users IP logs which can be used to determine the location of the computer used to access the site. The site can also preserve a user’s deleted account for up to 90 days if it receives an official preservation order, according to their policy.
The committee is due to continue its hearing into the preservation of State Department federal records on Thursday.
Combetta was reportedly given immunity by the Justice Department during its investigation into Clinton’s personal email account. In July, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the department would not bring criminal charges against the former secretary of state.