Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has claimed for several months that she wiped her private server that contained about 31,000 emails, sent and received during her tenure as Secretary of State, which she’d deemed “personal.” The technology company that managed the server has now indicated that it may have never been “wiped,” and that the emails may still be accessible.
Andy Boian, the spokesperson for Platte River Networks, a Denver-based firm that has managed Clinton’s server since 2013, told The Washington Post that if the entire server had been wiped, then the data would be permanently gone; if the emails were simply deleted, they might still be retrievable.
[quote_center]“Platte River has no knowledge of the server being wiped,” Boian said. “All the information we have is that the server wasn’t wiped.”[/quote_center]
Clinton has continually refused to clearly answer whether or not her server was wiped clean. When asked by a Fox News reporter in August if she had her server wiped, she answered with her own question: “Like what, with a cloth?”
“I don’t know how it works digitally at all,” Clinton added.
When asked about the server by CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Sept. 3, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton’s campaign, claimed that he didn’t know what the term “wiped” meant.
“There’s been no — I don’t know what ‘wiped’ means,” Fallon said. “Literally the emails were deleted off of the server, that’s true.”
Clinton’s use of a private email server for government business, during her tenure as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, came under scrutiny after her practices were revealed on March 2.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, released a statement on March 27, claiming that Clinton “unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server.”
Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the Washington Post that the difference between a server that has had its emails deleted and a server that has been wiped clean is “night and day.”
“Wiping is designed to make the material that was underneath not recoverable. That’s the whole point,” Hall said. “The probability of recovering material is very, very much higher if you haven’t wiped it.”
After previously stating that she did not need to apologize for her use of personal email for government business during her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton changed her tone on Sept. 8, and said she was sorry that the controversy surrounding her email use “raised all of these questions.”
In addition to other inconsistencies within her story regarding why she used her personal email for government business, Clinton has claimed that she did not send or receive any classified information on her private email.
In contrast, out of the 30,000 emails Clinton released to the State Department that are currently being examined by the FBI, over 300 have been marked as containing classified information.
As the Democratic frontrunner, the controversy surrounding Clinton’s private email use has affected her presidential campaign. According to a poll from Rasmussen Reports, 46 percent of likely voters think Clinton should suspend her campaign until the legal issues surrounding her private email use are resolved.
In a recent Reality Check segment, investigative journalist Ben Swann looked at whether the Democratic debates are “rigged” for Hillary Clinton:
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