FBI director James Comey told the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday that newly discovered online posts made by an IT contractor for Hillary Clinton do not violate his immunity deal and are not evidence of a cover-up.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the committee, asked Comey about recently discovered Reddit posts by Paul Combetta, a contractor who was granted immunity by the Justice Dept. for his role in deleting data from Hillary Clinton's private email server.
In a 2014 Reddit post, a user confirmed to be Combetta described "a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived emails that I have... in a live Exchange mailbox... 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."
"This clearly demonstrates actions taken to destroy evidence by those operating Sec. Clinton's private server," said Goodlatte. "Certainly Combetta did not take it upon himself to destroy evidence, but had been instructed to do so by Sec. Clinton or her staff."
He asks Comey: "Was the FBI aware of this Reddit post prior offering Combetta immunity?"
Comey says the FBI was probably aware of the posts on Reddit before granting the IT contractor immunity, but he can not be sure. "I know that our team looked at it," Comey said. "But I don't know whether they looked at it before [granting immunity] or not."
Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte next asked Comey if the Reddit postings were "evidence of obstruction of justice" or "a violation of Mr. Combetta's immunity deal."
"Not necessarily, no," Comey replied. "It would depend on what his intention was. Our team concluded that what he was trying to do was, when he produced emails, not have the address, but some name or placeholder instead of the actual .com address in the 'from' line."