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Internal Email From Company Hired to Maintain Clinton's Private Server Expressed Concern Over a Request That Seemed Like It Was 'Covering Up

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"If we have it in writing...it would make us look a WHOLE LOT better."

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP/Charlie Neibergall)

Emails between employees working for the Denver-based company that maintained Hillary Clinton's private email server in 2013 after she left office as secretary of state expressed fear of a cover-up, a letter from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) revealed.

This Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 photo shows the front entrance of Platte River Networks, a Colorado-based technology services company that began managing Hillary Rodham Clinton's private computer server in 2013, north of downtown Denver. A forensic examination of Hillary Rodham Clinton's private computer server could unearth more details than what she put in her emails. It could answer lingering questions about the security of her system, who had access to it and whether outsiders tried to crack its contents. (AP/Brennan Linsley)

According to McClatchy DC, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's chairman sent a letter this week that cited instructions to Platte River Networks employees to include less email data in backups (emphasis added):

The letter also noted that Platte River employees were directed to reduce the amount of email data being stored with each backup. Late this summer, Johnson wrote, a Platte River employee took note of this change and inquired whether the company could search its archives for an email from Clinton Executive Service Corp. directing such a reduction in October or November 2014 and then again around February, advising Platte River to save only emails sent during the most recent 30 days.

Those reductions would have occurred after the State Department requested that Clinton turn over her emails.

It was here that a Platte River employee voiced suspicions about a cover-up and sought to protect the company. “If we have it in writing that they told us to cut the backups,” the employee wrote, “and that we can go public with our statement saying we have had backups since day one, then we were told to trim to 30 days, it would make us look a WHOLE LOT better,” according to the email cited by Johnson.

“Wondering how we can sneak an email [to Clinton Enterprise Services] in now after the fact asking them when they told us to cut the backups and have them confirm it for our records,” the employee wrote, according to Johnson's letter, obtained by the Daily Caller. “Starting to think this whole thing really is covering up some shaddy [sic] sh**.” (redacted)

Johnson's letter was sent to Austin McChord, CEO the Connecticut-based Datto, Inc., which was hired by Platte River to backup Clinton's server. Johnson's letter included exchanges between Platte River and Datto regarding confusion of where backed-up data from Clinton's server was stored.

Here's more from McClatchy:

Several weeks ago, Platte River employees discovered that her private server was syncing with an offsite Datto server, he said.

When Datto acknowledged that was the case, a Platte River employee replied in an email: “This is a problem.”

Johnson said that “Datto apparently possessed a backup of the server’s contents since June 2013.”

Upon that discovery, Platte River “directed Datto to not delete the saved data and worked with Datto to find a way to move the saved information . . . back to Secretary Clinton’s private server.”

CNN reported that Johnson said in his letter that "questions still remain as to whether Datto actually transferred the data from its off-site datacenter to the on-site server, what data was backed up and whether Datto wiped the data after it was transferred."

In this Sept. 22, 2015 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. The State Department will publish Wednesday about 6,000 additional pages of Hillary Rodham Clinton�s emails, covering a timespan when U.S. diplomacy was rocked by the leaking of thousands of confidential cables by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks and the outbreak of the Arab Spring. (AP/Charlie Neibergall)

Datto said in a statement to McClatchy that “with the consent of our client and their end user, and consistent with our policies regarding data privacy, Datto is working with the FBI to provide data in conjunction with its investigation.”

The FBI this summer took possession of the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, after receiving a referral from the intelligence community about the possible exposure of classified information.

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon told the Washington Post in a statement that with the Justice Department conducting its own review of Clinton's server and the companies involved, "Ron Johnson has no business interfering with it for his own partisan ends."

Clinton has said she is sorry she used a private email server as her exclusive email account for government business when she was secretary of state.

This week the State Department pressed Clinton to hand over any additional work-related emails sent using private accounts.

In a letter made public in a court filing Tuesday, Under Secretary Patrick F. Kennedy asked Clinton's personal lawyer to once again affirm that all federal records in her possession have been provided to the agency.

The Associated Press reported Sept. 25 that the Obama administration recently discovered a chain of 2009 emails between Clinton and former Army Gen. David Petraeus that were not included among the 55,000 pages she had thus far handed over. Their existence challenges Clinton's claim that she has already provided all of her work emails from her tenure as secretary, which are the subject of numerous public records lawsuits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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