The Denver-based company that maintained Hillary Clinton’s "home-brew" private email account during her tenure as secretary was a "mom and pop shop" that until earlier this year operated its business from a converted loft apartment that housed its servers in a bathroom closet, according to The Daily Mail
, which interviewed former employees of the company, Platte River Networks.
Platte River did not have security clearance to handle classified materials, the chief spokesman for the Defense Security Service, part of the Defense Department and "the only federal agency authorized to approve private sector company access to sensitive or confidential material," told Business Insider
The revelation — "which will raise the most significant questions over security and over what checks Clinton's aides made about how suitable it was for dealing with what new transpires to be classified material" — is deeply concerning to Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
It "raises serious questions," Johnson said.
After reviewing just 20 percent of the 30,000 emails Clinton and her advisers turned over to the State Department — she and her team single-handedly decided what correspondence was work-related and what was personal in nature — federal authorities have flagged more than 300 of the messages to receive further scrutiny, according to The Washington Times.
More are anticipated.
The presumed Democratic presidential nominee has admitted to deleting an additional 30,000 other emails she maintains were personal.
The Times has reported that investigators uncovered 60 emails containing suspected classified information.
Clinton’s email server is now in the custody of the FBI, though it was reportedly "wiped clean of any emails she sent or received."
Tera Dadiotis, a former Platte River customer relations consultant who worked at the company between 2007 and 2010, told the Daily Mail she’s perplexed as to how the tiny tech firm ended up with the job.
"I think it's really bizarre, I don't know how that relationship evolved," Dadiotis said.
"At the time I worked for them, they wouldn't have been equipped to work for Hillary Clinton because I don't think they had the resources, they were based out of a loft, so [it was] not very high security, we didn't even have an alarm.
"I don't know how they run their operation now, but we literally had our server racks in the bathroom. I mean, knowing how small Platte River Networks ... I don't see how that would be secure [enough for Clinton]."
Platte River Networks this year moved from an 1,858-square-foot apartment in downtown Denver — the same building where Dadiotis said she lived and where the company had operated since opening its doors in 2002 — to a 12,000-square-foot office.
Ex-employees offered the Daily Mail various theories as to why tiny Platte River, which had only a local and statewide presence, was chosen to handle Clinton’s server.
One premise was that David DeCamillis, Platte River’s vice president of sales and marketing who has been sued for fraud in an unrelated case, is reportedly a "big Democrat" supporter, while another postulated that the tech company may have benefited from a recommendation by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who used Platte River during his campaign for Denver mayor in 2003, the Mail reported.
Tom Welch, one of Platte River’s three co-founders who has since sold his share, told the newspaper he has "no idea" if the Hickenlooper association might have played a role, adding "it's the only connection I can possibly imagine."
Another former employee, Jim Zimmerman, recalled that news of Platte River’s acquisition of the Clinton account to its employees was "secretive," and given with a warning to workers that "we've got this contract we're going to do it, we don't want a lot of talk about it, we just want to get in and get out."
Any blame for wrongdoing ought to lie with Clinton, not Platte River, he said.
"I'm sure they didn't do anything wrong. They didn't write the emails, they didn't make the choice to tell her she was going to use that email server. They were just turning the wrenches ... you make it as secure as possible.
"If she did stupid stuff on the email and sent out classified information, that's all on her; Platte River can't control what she does with it. In the end they can only build something to her requirements. They were just doing what they were contracted to do to the best of their abilities."
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