The FBI is expanding its probe into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, and is demanding information from a second data company, Datto, Inc, which has promised to cooperate fully with the investigation.
Even more damning for the Clinton campaign is the letter revealed yesterday by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
This letter raised the possibility that many of Clinton’s emails, including some of those she withheld as private, may have been inadvertently kept by Datto, a Connecticut-based provider of email back-up devices and cloud storage.
Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, wrote that Clinton purchased a Datto system in 2013 to provide on-site backup of her emails in case her home server failed.
Though Clinton specifically instructed that copies of her emails not leave the devices under her control, Johnson’s letter says his committee’s investigation has determined that Datto’s system may have automatically sent copies of Clinton’s emails to cloud storage controlled by the company as recently as August 2015.
The Clinton camp also reportedly requested the Datto reduce the number of e-mails it was keeping on its servers — something that may not have sat well with Datto employees.
In the letter released by Johnson, it was revealed that one employee wrote to a coworker that he was, “Starting to think this whole thing really is covering up some shaddy (sic) s**t.”
The employee went on to say, “I just think if we have it in writing that they told us to cut the backups, and that we can go public with our statement saying we have backups since day one, then we were told to trim to 30days (sic), it would make us look a WHOLE LOT better.”
The State Department is now demanding Clinton hand over any additional work-related emails sent or received using private accounts that she may have refused to give up so far.
In a separate letter made public in a court filing Tuesday, Undersecretary 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 handed over. Their existence challenges the Democratic presidential front-runner’s claim that she has already provided all of her work emails from her tenure as secretary, which are the subject of several public records lawsuits.
Republicans have raised questions about thousands of emails that Clinton says she deleted on grounds that they were private in nature, as well as other undisclosed messages that have recently surfaced from the home-based server she used while at the State Department.
The Petraeus emails, first discovered by the Defense Department and then passed to the State Department’s inspector general, start on Jan. 10, 2009, with Clinton using the older email account. But by Jan. 28 — a week after her swearing in — they show she had switched to the private email address on her homebrew server.
Kennedy urged Kendall to contact “any Internet service and email providers” who might have copies of additional emails not yet provided by Clinton.
Republicans contend that Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary put sensitive government information at risk of being accessed by hackers or foreign intelligence services.
FBI Director James Comey confirmed last week that his agency is also looking into the security of Clinton’s email setup.
The Associated Press contributed to this report