While the firms have voluntarily produced some information for congressional Republicans in the past, now it seems they’re not willing to go beyond their legal obligations when it comes to responding to committee inquiries. Led by Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the Homeland panel is trying to ascertain whether classified information was exposed on the homemade server Clinton used while she was secretary of state, an inquiry that’s running in parallel with a similar FBI investigation.
So far, Platte River and Datto have cooperated with the FBI, handing over information, documents and computer equipment to federal investigators. Platte River employees also had interviews with the FBI in September.
Clinton on Sept. 5 said she “would very much urge anybody who is asked to cooperate to do so” after news broke that a top tech assistant, Bryan Pagliano, would take the Fifth and refuse questions from a House committee. And on Oct. 6, a McClatchy report quoted Datto’s attorney saying it had permission from representatives of Clinton and Platte River to cooperate with the FBI investigation.
The campaign had no comment on whether Clinton’s legal team has also encouraged these companies to cooperate with Johnson’s inquiry.
Platte River spokesman Andy Boian said the company has already given Johnson’s Homeland panel all the information it can — from invoices to internal employee emails about the server. He said the interview requests Platte River declined weren’t “formal” inquiries.
“We as a company have felt like we have done everything we can to comply with every request by both the FBI and the Homeland Security Committee, and we really have nothing left to give,” Boian said. “We have a company to run.”
The Homeland Committee would not comment for this story, but other Republicans said there seems to be a pattern of companies involved with the Clintons avoiding congressional inquiries.
“What do they have to hide?” asked Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who’s running his own investigation into what Republicans say is a potential conflict of interest for top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who was working for Clinton at State while also drawing a salary from Teneo, a private consulting firm. “I’m a little surprised because usually you get more cooperation from the private sector than you do from the public sector — at least on a lot of my investigations.”