Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., on Friday stated his belief that the latest development in the Hillary Clinton email scandal is a clear “effort to obstruct justice.”
The New York Times reported Friday that the FBI, as part of its investigation into whether then-Secretary of State Clinton used her private email server to transmit and receive classified information, gave immunity to Paul Combetta, who worked for a Colorado company called Platte River Networks, a private firm that managed the server. Combetta is the individual who destroyed many of Clinton’s emails, although some have been recovered by the FBI and through multiple Freedom of Information lawsuits.
During an interview on America’s Newsroom, Gowdy said he was “stunned” by the report.
“If the FBI and the Department of Justice gave this witness transactional immunity, it is tantamount to giving the triggerman immunity in a robbery case,” said Gowdy.
Combetta “destroyed official public records,” Gowdy noted, despite governmental orders not to do so. The New York Times report said Combetta was fully aware of the order to preserve the emails when he destroyed them, which he allegedly did in March 2015.
“It looks like they gave immunity to the very person you would most want to prosecute,” Gowdy said.
Combetta would be the second person to whom the FBI granted immunity. The first was Bryan Pagliano, who set up Clinton’s private server in 2009.
That fact led to a call by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton.
“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,” said Trump’s senior communications adviser Jason Miller in a statement.