Presidential races

Trump camp slams immunity deal for Clinton email specialist

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Donald Trump’s campaign on Friday hammered the Department of Justice (DOJ) for granting immunity to a computer specialist who deleted emails for presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

“The revelation that a second individual was given an immunity deal in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal only underscores the need for a special prosecutor,” Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller told Bloomberg Politics in a statement Friday.

{mosads}“Not only did the Clinton IT staffer who set up her illicit server take action to avoid prosecution, so did the IT worker who deleted her emails while they were under a preservation order from Congress,” he added.

“It’s hard not to look at this and see a concerted effort to keep Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails from seeing the light of day, and the mounting evidence of corruption involving the Clinton Foundation shows there was plenty to hide.”

Reports emerged late Thursday that the DOJ granted Paul Combetta immunity during its investigation into Clinton’s private email server. Combetta deleted Clinton’s emails despite orders from Congress to preserve them, according to a law enforcement officials and others briefed on the DOJ’s probe.

The New York Times on Thursday said Combetta’s name appears in the FBI’s summary of its own investigation into Clinton’s technology habits released one week ago.

Combetta’s name is redacted in the report, it said, but the newspaper’s sources identified him as a technology employee.

A spokesman for Clinton’s presidential bid on Thursday said Combetta’s work at a Colorado company called Platte River Networks had been “thoroughly examined by the FBI prior to its decision to close out this case.”

“As the FBI’s report notes, neither Hillary Clinton nor her attorneys had knowledge of the Platte River Network employee’s actions,” Brian Fallon said.

“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.”

The New York Times said Clinton’s lawyers initially asked Combetta to erase her messages in December 2014.

Combetta complied in March 2015 using a program called BleachBit after Clinton’s staff reminded him of the order.

Combetta told the FBI in February he did not recall seeing a preservation order from the House Select Committee on Benghazi provided by Clinton’s lawyer, Cheryl Mills.

Combetta said in his May interview with the agency, however, that “he was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that he should not disturb Clinton’s email data” on the Platte River server.

Combetta is at least one of two people who received immunity for participating in the DOJ’s probe into Clinton’s server.

The DOJ also granted immunity to Bryan Pagliano, a former staffer for Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid, after he detailed setting up the former secretary of State’s server at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., in 2009.

Critics say Clinton, now the Democratic presidential nominee, may have skirted accountability or risked sensitive national intelligence by using a private storage device while heading the State Department.

Tags Democrats Department of Justice DOJ Donald Trump Emails FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Hillary Clinton Immunity Server

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