Clinton Tech Support Received Subpoenas For Hearing On BleachBit & More

WASHINGTON—The chairman of a House committee has subpoenaed three information-technology workers who helped maintain Hillary Clinton’s private email server, amid questions about why an email archive was deleted.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, has ordered Paul Combetta, Bill Thornton and Bryan Pagliano to appear at a congressional hearing tentatively scheduled for Tuesday.

Messrs. Combetta and Thornton are staffers of Platte River Networks, an information-technology firm contracted by Mrs. Clinton to help manage her server. Mr. Pagliano is a former State Department employee who also helped Mrs. Clinton manage her server.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed last week that a technology staffer working for Platte River deleted an archive of Mrs. Clinton’s email after it had been requested by Congress.

The New York Times reported Thursday evening that the staffer in question was Mr. Combetta and that he had been granted immunity by the Justice Department as part of its investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement. That investigation was closed with no charges being filed against Mrs. Clinton or her aides.

In the FBI report, the technician described an “oh, shit” moment, in which he realized he forgot to have the email system stop saving old emails to her server, a change that was requested by Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers in late 2014.

The technician, whose name was redacted in the report, said he then deleted Mrs. Clinton’s email archive from the server.

A spokesperson for Platte River didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did an attorney for Mr. Pagliano. The Clinton campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The existence of the subpoenas was first revealed by House Democrats in a Friday letter to their GOP counterparts on the committee, and confirmed by a Republican on the committee.

Mr. Chaffetz has also requested this week that the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia investigate why the email was purged despite being subpoenaed as part of a congressional investigation—saying that such behavior may amount to destruction of evidence or obstruction of congressional investigations.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.), the top Democrat on the committee, said that the continuing investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server was an abuse of the committee’s oversight function and was designed to damage Mrs. Clinton politically.

“This is the first time during my 20 years in Congress that I have witnessed the oversight power of this committee used in such a transparently political manner to directly influence a presidential election,” said Mr. Cummings in a sharply worded letter to Mr. Chaffetz sent Friday.

Mr. Cummings said that it was unfair to accuse witnesses of possible criminal conduct and then order them to testify in a public setting—actions that he says mean that “some will invoke the Fifth Amendment when their attorneys advise them to steer far clear of our Committee.”

Mr. Pagliano has already been subpoenaed by the Republican-led House Select Committee on Benghazi, where he invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination—declining to answer any questions about his work for Mrs. Clinton. That committees’s report broadly faulted the Obama administration for security and intelligence lapses but didn’t cast blame on Mrs. Clinton for the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound that killed four Americans—including the U.S. ambassador—in Benghazi, Libya.

Mr. Pagliano has since been deposed in a civil lawsuit against the State Department by a conservative group, where he also asserted his rights against giving testimony.

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Christopher Kemmett

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