Paul Combetta, Platte River Networks (Photo: Screenshot/C-SPAN)
A House committee is referring the head of a company that managed Hillary Clinton’s private email server to the Justice Department for obstruction of justice and making false statements.
Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, issued the referral for Treve Suazo, the CEO of Platte River Networks.
“With a new administration in place, I am hopeful that the Department of Justice will appropriately respond to the referral. We cannot allow companies with valuable information to stonewall us in our oversight efforts,” Smith said in a statement.
Platte River, which is based in Denver, took over management of Clinton’s server in June 2013, several months after Clinton left the State Department. Prior to that, the email system, which housed thousands of classified documents, was managed by State Department IT worker Bryan Pagliano.
House aides participating in a conference call with reporters on Thursday said that Platte River “flatly refused” to honor two subpoenas for documents related to its work on Clinton’s server.
The aides said that two other companies who managed parts of the system, Datto and SECNAP, complied with documents requests. And information provided by Datto, a cloud computing company, “raised serious concerns about the vulnerability” of the information stored on Clinton’s server, the aides said.
According to the aides, Datto asked Platte River to take steps to encrypt the information on the server, which was stored at a data center in New Jersey.
“We didn’t see any evidence that those encryption measures were taken,” the aides said.
The aides also said that a Platte River technician, Paul Combetta, received at least 50 alerts about hacking attempts on Clinton’s server originating from Korea, Germany, France and the U.S.
The aides said that Combetta responded to those email alerts by asking to be removed from the alert system.
Combetta was one of two Platte River Networks employees who pleaded the Fifth during a House hearing last September. Bill Thornton, another technician, refused to testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing about their work on Clinton’s server.
Combetta also lied to the FBI during one of his interviews about his work on Clinton’s server. Despite that, he was granted immunity from the Justice Department in order to cooperate with the investigation.
It is not known whether the hacking attempts were targeted at Clinton’s server. The aides said they hoped Platte River’s records could shed light on the matter.
“Failure to comply with duly issued subpoenas and obstruction of a congressional investigation will not be tolerated,” Smith said in a statement.
“As a result, the Committee is referring Mr. Treve Suazo, CEO of Platte River Networks, to the Department of Justice for prosecution under federal laws pertaining to failing to produce subpoenaed documents, making false statements to Congress regarding possession of documents, and obstructing Congress.”