A Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who has read the FBI’s investigative file on Hillary Clinton told Fox News on Thursday that Clinton’s team used a software program called “BleachBit” to prevent the FBI from accessing her deleted emails.
The disclosure sheds new light on Clinton’s odd phrasing last year when she was asked about wiping her email server clean. “Like with a cloth or something?” she had joked. “BleachBit” does sound remarkably like disinfecting wipes. South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said that Clinton’s use of the product had erased her emails so cleanly that “even God can’t read them.”
Clinton told reporters last year in a rare press conference that the more than 33,000 emails she ordered deleted concerned personal, non-work-related subjects like yoga sessions and the planning of her daughter Chelsea’s wedding.
Gowdy suspected that Clinton considered all her emails related to the controversial Clinton Foundation to be personal messages, and got rid of them instead of handing them over to the State Department.
‘You don’t use BleachBit for yoga emails or for bridemaids emails,’ Gowdy charged. ‘When you’re using BleachBit, it is something you really do not want the world to see.’
Clinton has avoided for months answering questions about classified material in emails that the State Department recovered from her.
FBI Director James Comey said during his press conference last month that it was likely there were other work-related e-mails that were not turned over, but those are gone forever “because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.” They sure did.
The FBI managed to recover 14,900 emails from Clinton’s server despite her team’s attempts to prevent their recovery, and now a federal judge has ruled that the State Department has until Sept. 13 to show which emails are government-related. Fox News reports:
The chief investigators for conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which is seeking the records in court, also told Fox News that records about Benghazi were among the deleted files.
Gowdy, meanwhile, has questioned FBI Director James Comey’s claim to Congress and the public that a reason Clinton was not charged in connection with her private email use as secretary of state was because there was no evidence of criminal intent.
Based on the FBI investigative file, including notes from Clinton’s July interview, Gowdy said it doesn’t appear agents pressed Clinton on why she set up the server.
“I didn’t see any questions on that,” Gowdy said. “She said she did it for convenience, but I didn’t see the follow-up questions.”
Application developer Andrew Ziem wrote in a BleachBit user forum that his website’s traffic spiked after Gowdy mentioned the product on Fox News.