Dear Reddit: About That ‘VERY VIP’…
Hoo boy. Some Reddit users have done a bit of sleuthing. Via US News & World Report:
An army of reddit users believes it has found evidence that former Hillary Clinton computer specialist Paul Combetta solicited free advice regarding Clinton’s private email server from users of the popular web forum.
A collaborative investigation showed a reddit user with the username stonetear requested help in relation to retaining and purging email messages after 60 days, and requested advice on how to remove a “VERY VIP” individual’s email address from archived content.
The requests match neatly with publicly known dates related to Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.
Here’s the text of the initial reddit post by stonetear, dated 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?
As US News helpfully points out:
On July 23, 2014, the House Select Committee on Benghazi had reached an agreement with the State Department on the production of records, according to an FBI report released earlier this month on the bureau’s probe of her email use.
The identity of the “stonetear” user is not confirmed. Reddit users point to the fact that an account on the online marketplace Etsy for a Paul Combetta has the username “stonetear” and the inactive website combetta.com is registered to the email address email@example.com.
If stonetear is Combetta, well, gosh, it’s almost as if Secretary Clinton sent down an order to destroy evidence that the State Department had agreed to turn over to the House committee. Nixon in a pants suit.
If there’s one thing you can count on the Clintons for, it’s skeezy drama. Whoever wins this fall, America’s executive branch is going to be governed by a liar.
UPDATE: A number of readers in the comments section says there is a benign explanation for this. Read the details in the comments, but basically they say Stonetear was simply trying to strip the e-mail address not to protect Hillary Clinton, but rather to keep the address from being made public when the documents were, to protect it for future use.