Facilitators of Clinton’s Email Server Plead the Fifth, Leave House Oversight Hearing

• September 13, 2016 11:45 am


Two of the facilitators of Hillary Clinton’s private email server invoked their Fifth Amendment right on Tuesday before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

Paul Combetta and Bill Thornton of Platte River Networks, the technology firm that managed Clinton’s server, were called to testify before the committee. Both men refused to answer any questions, even though Combetta was given immunity by the Justice Department.

Combetta and Thornton were asked by committee chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) if they had an opening statement.

"On advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer and assert my Fifth Amendment privilege," Combetta said.

"On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer and assert my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege," Thornton said.

A third witness who helped set up Clinton’s server did not plead the Fifth, but stated that he did not have an opening statement.

Chaffetz attempted to question Combetta about Clinton’s email server, but Combetta again pled the Fifth. Chaffetz then permitted the ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.), to ask questions. Cummings said that he would not partake in the hearing, which he strongly criticized Chaffetz for even having. Chaffetz then excused Combetta from the hearing.

This process was then repeated with Thornton. After Thornton was excused, the committee went into a brief recess in order to reset the witness table for the last remaining witness who did answer questions.