Tags: Hillary Clinton | trey gowdy | immunity | clinton | email | deletion

Trey Gowdy: Immunity Granted to 'Triggerman' in Clinton Email Deletion Scandal

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By    |   Friday, 09 September 2016 12:31 PM

The Justice Department's decision to grant immunity to a Colorado tech employee who destroyed thousands of Hillary Clinton's emails is "tantamount to giving the triggerman immunity in a robbery case," Rep. Trey Gowdy, a former prosecuting attorney, said Friday.

"It depends on what kinds of immunity he got," the South Carolina Republican, who chairs the House Select Committee on Benghazi, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" co-host Martha MacCallum of the Justice Department's decision not to prosecute computer specialist Paul Combetta.

If Combetta was given transactional immunity, Gowdy continued, that means the Justice Department "gave immunity to the very person you would want to prosecute, the person who destroyed emails after there was a subpoena and prosecution order."

Transactional immunity offers complete protection for anything mentioned in the immunized testimony, according to Nolo.com, and is often referred to as total or blanket immunity.

"Use" immunity, which is more commonly used, does not allow the prosecution to use the witness' statements to prosecute him or her, but doesn't prevent prosecutors from gathering other information against the witness.

The New York Times reported Friday that Combetta, an employee of Platte River Networks of Denver, which administered the private email server in Clinton's home, was given immunity for deleting Clinton's emails.

Earlier this week, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who heads the House Oversight Committee, made a written request that the Justice Department investigate if Clinton, her attorneys or Combetta obstructed justice by deleting the emails in March 2015.

Gowdy said the "devil is in the chronology" when it comes to granting Combetta immunity.

"The story broke about her email, then there was a preservation order, then there was a subpoena, then there was her press conference, which has been thoroughly and totally debunked."

After that, Clinton aide Cheryl Mills and Platte River had a conference call, and Combetta deleted emails that had been in existence for five years "all on his own."

"This defies logic why some techie in Colorado would, despite a subpoena and preservation order, but after a conference call with [Clinton attorney] David Kendall and Cheryl Mills decide on his own he's going to destroy public records," said Gowdy.

"Then you grant immunity. We need to ask the FBI, what kinds of immunity did you give? And why did you give it to the triggerman, the guy who actually destroyed the documents?"

Combetta was the second person given immunity. Former Clinton campaign staff member Bryan Pagliano also received immunity for answering questions about how he set up the server in Clinton's Chappaqua, New York Home in 2009, when she became secretary of state, rpeorts The Times.

FBI Director James Comey, meanwhile, said he couldn't make a case against Clinton because he "couldn't prove intent," said Gowdy, but he disagrees with that.

"Part of the way you prove intent is the destruction of evidence, the consciousness of guilt, the multiple false explanations of why you did something," he told MacCallum. "Even this witness can't get his story straight."

Gowdy, as head of the committee investigating the Benghazi, Libya terrorist attacks, said the investigators did not care about Clinton's personal "yoga emails, trust me when I tell you that."

However, he continued, the work-related emails were government records and government property, and Clinton kept it rather than returning it to the State Department.

"Only after Congress started asking about it did she decide to return some of it," said Gowdy.

"Now we know tens of thousands were deleted and even after Congress specifically said preserve it, after a conference call with her lawyers, somebody applied a product called Bleachbit to make sure nobody can ever read it."

GOP nominee Donald Trump's campaign also spoke out about the immunity report and called for a special prosecutor in the Clinton case.

"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 to be appointed," senior communications adviser Jason Miller said in a statement on Trump's website.

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The Justice Department's decision to grant immunity to a Colorado tech employee who destroyed thousands of Hillary Clinton's emails is "tantamount to giving the triggerman immunity in a robbery case"...
trey gowdy, immunity, clinton, email, deletion
Friday, 09 September 2016 12:31 PM
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