In one of the clearest cases of “the Internet, like a diamond, is forever” to surface yet, a citizen journalist, intrepid digger, Twitter handle @GOPPollAnalyst or Katica, made a STUNNING discovery in the case of Hillary Clinton, the deleted email issue, and the wiped server. It seems that when the Clintons contracted with Platte River Networks to actually do the server wiping, and email deleting along with the storing, Paul Combetta of “I plead the fifth fame” from last week’s Congressional hearings, took to Reddit to find out how to universally take out an email address from the emails, and substitute a placeholder.
Using the name “stonetear,” Combetta asked:
[July 24, 2014] Hello all- I may be facing a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email that I have both in a live Exchange mailbox, as well as a PST file. 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.
I am not sure if something like this is possible with PowerShell, or exporting all of the emails to MSG and doing find/replaces with a batch processing program of some sort.
Does anyone have experience with something like this, and/or suggestions on how this might be accomplished?
For a look at the actual Reddit question, head over to Conservative Treehouse. (Sundance lays it out well.)
The short answer to the question of “can this be done,” according to the people commenting was “no.” Eventually, to get the job done, Platte River used BleachBit, and scrubbed the heck out of the emails. However, what makes this discovery important, is that it can be considered “intent,” as in the intent that FBI Director James Comey claims could not be proven in the interview with Hillary herself. The Platte River guys just didn’t want to incriminate themselves. The Reddit thread, and this short passage of an email between Combetta and another staff member over a year later do a pretty good job of it.
“Wondering how we can sneak an email in now, after the fact, asking them [the Clinton camp] when they told us to cut the backups and have them confirm it for our records. Starting to think this whole thing is really covering up some shady [dung]. I just think if we have it in writing that they told us to cut the backups then we can go public with our statement saying we’ve had the backup since day one when we were told to trim to 30 days would make us look a whole lot better.”
Just in case anyone is confused about the timeline, Conservative Treehouse (Treeper) geoffb5 reminds us:
7-23-14, Benghazi committee reaches agreement with State Dept. on production of records.
7-24-14, Platte River Network’s Paul Combetta requesting tech help to strip “VIP’s emails”
Congrats to Katica, the internet sleuth who found what the FBI would not look for. The Twitter thread can be read here.