Congressional Hearing on State Department Records, September 13, 2016

SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

https://www.c-span.org/video/?415141-1/house-oversight-hearing-focuses-state-department-record-keeping

Three former aides of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to testify at a House Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing on her staff’s preservation of her email records. Former State Department Information Resource Management Adviser Bryan Pagliano did not attend the hearing after being issued a subpoena. Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said there will be consequences for Mr. Pagliano failing to attend. In addition, two specialists from Platte River Networks, the company that maintained the server after it was moved to a data center in New Jersey, appeared at the hearing but asserted their Fifth Amendment privileges. Justin Cooper, who set up Hillary Clinton’s email on a private server, was questioned by the committee on the security issues surrounding Ms. Clinton’s private email account.

All Speakers

All Speakers Paul Combetta Justin Cooper Bill Thornton Earl “Buddy” L. Carter Jason Chaffetz Elijah Cummings John James Duncan Jr. Blake Randolph Farenthold Trey Gowdy Glenn Grothman Jody B. Hice Will Hurd James “Jim” D. Jordan Cynthia Lummis Stephen F. Lynch Carolyn Maloney Mark Meadows John Mica Eleanor Holmes Norton Gary Palmer Steve Russell Lamar S. Smith Mark Walker Peter Welch

00:05:35

Unidentified Speaker

Without objection the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. It’s a very important hearing we’re having examination State Department and federal records as we know. Now Hillary Clinton as secretary of state for four years, roughly four years, helped create what is reported to be one of the biggest security breaches in the history of the State Department, an absolute mess. We have witnesses vital to understanding the problem how we got into the mess and how we’re potentially going to clean it up.

Joining us will be Mr. Justin Cooper, a former employee of Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Mr. Clinton purchased the first server used by Secretary Clinton and had it installed in the basement of private residence in Chappaqua, New York. Also registered email name Clintonemail.com the same day. The same day the Secretary Clinton’s confirmation hearings began in the Senate Mr. Cooper described his role managing Secretary Clinton’s private server as the, quote, customer service face, end quote. Explained to the FBI he helped Secretary Clinton set up her mobile devices. When she finished with them, he would break them in half or destroy them with a hammer. Interesting Mr. Cooper was never employed by the State Department while he managed the server she used to conduct the business of the government.

There Cooper needed upgrading to the server for better service. He turned to Mr. Bryan Pagliano who worked for Secretary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and was in the process of closing out the campaign’s I.T. assets when Mr. Cooper called to discuss a new server for the Secretary. To put that new server together Mr. Pagliano used one from her campaign. Anything he needed was evidently bought off the shelf. In March 2009 they met and installed the new server reportedly in the basement. Unlike Mr. Cooper, Mr. Pagliano went on to become a State Department employee. Just a few months after installing the server, Mr. Pagliano was hired at the State Department as gs 15 schedule c. Public reports suggest Mr. Pagliano received a State Department check and was paid by Clintons, none of which he reported on public disclosure forms as required. A recent office of inspector general report plrks Pagliano’s supervisor at the State Department, quote, questioned whether he could support a private client during work hours given his capacity as a fulltime government employee, end quote. Mr. Pagliano left the State Department 2013 just as Hillary Clinton, Secretary Clinton, left.

When the responsibility for the servers turned over to our next two witnesses, things started to get a little bit more complicated. Mr. Bill Thornton and Paul both worked for Platte River Networks. Platte River was hired by Secretary Clinton in early 2013 to host the email server after Mr. Pagliano had been working on it. PRN, Platte River Networks managed on the managed server to its own server, which was located at a data center in Secaucus, New Jersey. Things with Platte River Networks get complicated in March 2015 according to FBI report. In early March 2015, the New York Times revealed Secretary Clinton used a private email account while at the State Department. The house select committee on Benghazi sends a request and subpoena following the news. According to the FBI report, that preservation request is forwarded to PRN, Platte River Networks by Secretary Mills, chief of staff and current attorney. In his first interview with the FBI, evidently, had no memory of the request. Later he said he understood the request but understood it not to include any of Secretary Clinton’s emails.

Then something happened. At conference call between Platte River Networks, Mills, and one of the attorneys, his story changes. In his first FBI interview he said he deleted no emails of Secretary Clinton at the time. Later on he stated he not only deleted archives of email on the server but used BleachBit to delete her files on the server. At the same time a number of manual deletions were made on the back-ups of Platte River server.

We appreciate the witnesses today and hope they can illuminate and help us understand. As I said before, this is one of the biggest breaches in the history of the State Department. We have a duty and obligation to investigate it. Now recognize the ranking member Mr. Cummings for his opening statement.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Today is our third — third emergency hearing about Secretary Clinton’s emails in four business days. Third in four days. Emergency. I believe this committee is abusing taxpayer dollars and authority of Congress in an astonishing onslaught of political attacks to damage Secretary Clinton’s campaign for president of the United States of America. This is the first time in my 20 years of Congress I personally witness the oversight power of this committee used in such a transparently political manner to directly influence a presidential campaign.

The point of today’s hearing is to investigate baseless Republican accusations that Secretary Clinton or her aides ordered destruction of emails to conceal them from investigators. The most important fact for the day’s hearing is that the FBI already investigated these accusations and thoroughly debunked them. They interviewed witnesses, examined forensic evidence and concluded that these accusations have no merit. FBI Director Comey stated, and I quote, we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them, end of quote. He went on to say, and I quote, we did not find any evidence of evil intent, intent to obstruct justice. That’s the FBI director, a man who had been a lifelong Republican, a man who was applauded by Republicans as one of the most honorable public servants that ever existed. So he went on and emphasized in a memo to staff just last week, and I quote, the case it’s self was not a cliffhanger, end of quote. Of course Republicans did not like the answers that the FBI director gave, so they simply manufactured today’s hearing out of thin air. This entire hearing is a contrived campaign photo-op.

Here is a playbook the Republicans are using. Step one, publicly accuse the witnesses of criminal activity no matter how ludicrous, then refer them to attorney’s office for investigation. Step one. Step two, the next day invite the same witnesses to an emergency hearing on those criminal accusations and rush to issue a flurry of unilateral subpoenas demanding they testify. No vote. Step three. Express false outrage when these witnesses — this is a playbook. Express false outrage when these witnesses, who you just accused of criminal activity take advice from their counsel to assert their Fifth Amendment right to not testify. There you have it. Presto instant photo ops.

That’s what happened to them despite the team of career law enforcement agents at the FBI just unanimously recommended against bringing any criminal charges in this case. Keep in mind Director Comey said this was an all-star group of FBI agents, an all-star group of FBI agents said unanimously that these gentlemen should not be charged. Then there’s Bryan Pagliano, the I.T. specialist who worked on Secretary Clinton’s email system. Mr. Pagliano has already been interviewed by the FBI. The FBI provided us the results of his interview. But the Republicans disagree with the FBI’s conclusions, so here we are. Mr. Pagliano has already asserted his Fifth Amendment right before Congress. He did this when Chairman Gowdy issued his own unilateral subpoena to force him to appear before the Benghazi committee on the same issue. Of course I sat as a ranking member on that committee. Obviously Mr. Pagliano was concerned about the criminal accusations Republicans were making, so his attorney advised him to assert the Fifth Amendment. There’s no legitimate reason for Republicans to force Mr. Pagliano to appear yet again before Congress just to assert his Fifth Amendment rights one more time. How many times will Republicans do this? Will they force them to take the Fifth in front of the science committee next? How about the homeland security intelligence committee? Should we have them go to those committees, too? This is an absolute abuse of authority.

Now, chairman Gowdy and I disagree without many things, but I give him full credit for one thing that he did. At least when he subpoenaed Mr. Pagliano, he did it in a private session. He did not force Mr. Pagliano to assert the Fifth in public just to humiliate him and I respect Mr. Gowdy for that. Let me say this as plainly as I can. If this committee’s goal were just to get Mr. Pagliano and other witnesses on the record asserting their Fifth Amendment rights, we could do that easily in a private session just like Mr. Gowdy did with Mr. Pagliano a year ago. There’s no legitimate reason to force Mr. Pagliano or the other witnesses who were subpoenaed for this hearing to assert the Fifth in open session. There’s only an illegitimate reason to get a public hearing that Republicans think could harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Secondly, they should testify before us because they received limited use of immunity for their statements to the FBI.

00:13:39

Unidentified speaker

But no lawyers worth their salt are going to are going to let their clients testify before Congressional committee whose chairman just set another referral for criminal prosecution, no matter how frivolous the accusations are. They just aren’t going to do it. Pursuing these kinds of blatantly political attacks undermines the integrity of our committee, the Congressional process and constitutional rights that are supposed to protect our citizens against unsubstantiated accusations just like these. So with that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back and thank you.

All the records are open for five legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement. I’d also ask unanimous consent to allow Lamar Smith, science space and technology committee to join our committee and would be happy to also entertain a request for uc from the Democratic side if they would like to join us as well. Without objection, so ordered to allow Mr. Smith to join us today. We now like to recognize our witnesses.

I do note the absence of Mr. Pagliano. Let me address that. Let the record reflect Mr. Pagliano is not present at the witness table. The committee invited him in a letter. Mr. Pagliano informed the committee through his attorneys he might assert his Fifth Amendment privilege. I authorized the subpoena for Mr. Pagliano’s testimony. On September 8th, 2016, the committee transmitted a subpoena to Mr. Pagliano’s attorney and the subpoena required his presence here today. Mr. Pagliano is uniquely qualified to provide testimony that will help the committee better understand Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary — at the State Department among other things. The committee invited him to appear with the expectation his testimony will advance the committee’s investigation which seeks further investigation about the setup and management of Secretary Clinton’s account and other technical aspects of the account. I take my responsibility as a committee chairman seriously, especially the decision to issue a subpoena. It’s a serious matter. Mr. Pagliano chose to invade dually issued. I will consult with colleagues to consider full range of options available to address Mr. Pagliano’s failure to appear.

It is vital to hear from us because it’s our understanding while Mr. Pagliano worked in the I.T. department at the State Department nearly four years yet virtually every single email Mr. Pagliano had has suddenly disappeared. There’s something like less than 20 emails — this is a guy who worked at the I.T. department at the State Department. Things that make you go hmm. Really? All his emails suddenly disappeared. Mr. Pagliano is important because he was receiving a paycheck from the Clintons but failed to disclose that on his financial forms. We’d like to give him an opportunity to answer that question. We also believe he entered into an immunity agreement. You’d think somebody would sing like a songbird if you got immunity from the FBI. What are you afraid of?

We wanted to hear from him. That’s why we issued a subpoena. There are a number of things we would like to ask him and he should be here. When you are served a subpoena by the United States Congress that is not optional. That is not an optional activity. He’s not here today. Mr. Chairman, let’s make sure we have a complete picture here. Last night the chairman sent another letter to Mr. Pagliano saying our committee might go into executive session to accept his Fifth Amendment — no, I did not say that? What did you say? I want this committee to be open and transparent. We do everything we can possibly do out in the open. That is the American way. That’s the way this committee is going to be run?

00:18:04

Unidentified speaker

Chairman?

00:18:06

Unidentified speaker

It’s my understanding Mr. Pagliano’s lawyers sent a letter saying they felt this was abuse of process and nothing but to embarrass him. He said if he wanted to go into executive session and be given immunity. I just want the committee to have full breadth of what happened here. He said he’d be happy to appear. So is there — I take it the consultation you’re going to do is going to go into whether or not we’re going to give immunity, executive session, and when might we expect the decisions. He made the decision not to be here and there are consequences for that. Again, the integrity of the House of Representatives, this is not an optional activity. You don’t just get to say, hey, well, I decided not to do that. We’ll look at the full range of options. If anybody is under any illusion I’m going to let go of this and let it sail off into the sunset they are very ill-advised.

00:19:09

Unidentified speaker

Chairman.

00:19:10

Unidentified speaker

Yes.

00:19:11

Unidentified speaker

I’m looking at your letter dated September 12, 2016 to Mark J. McDougal, say in this letter, and I quote, committee requires Mr. Pagliano’s appearance because, among other reasons, the possibility that he will waive or choose not to assert the privilege as to some or all questions, the possibility the committee will agree to hear his testimony in executive session, and the possibility that the committee will immunize his testimony pursuant to 18 us c-section 6005. That’s what I was inquiring about. That’s your letter.

00:19:49

Unidentified speaker

To clarify. It requires his presence to have those types of discussions. When he doesn’t show up, that option is off the table. You have to be here to have that discussion.

00:20:07

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Chairman, just a point of parliamentary inquiry. You said it is not an option for the witness who refused to testify. He was duly presented and served with a subpoena from this committee, snark?

00:20:26

Unidentified speaker

Yes.

00:20:27

Unidentified speaker

One– is that correct?

00:20:28

Unidentified speaker

Yes.

00:20:29

Unidentified speaker

One of the options, available. At what point would that be important to consider the options in a future hearing or request to the chair?

00:20:39

Unidentified speaker

We will consider all options. I would like to continue on with this hearing given the three witnesses that are here. They are here. Rather than unduly delay the rest of the hearing dealing with Mr. Pagliano, we’ll complete the hearing and then look at the options. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

00:20:58

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just one thing, sir. Are we going to do that after the hearing, what you just said you’re going to do?

00:21:08

Unidentified speaker

We’re going to consider the options considering Mr. Pagliano was not in attendance. We’ll deal with that after the conclusions.

00:21:17

Unidentified speaker

One of those things we might consider is going into executive session since Mr. Pagliano said he would be happy to come in executive session? Would that be one?

00:21:26

Unidentified speaker

I will entertain all of the potential requests but I’m telling you I have no intention going into executive session when he thumbs his nose, waste this committee’s time and U.S. Marshals have to make him show.

00:21:48

Unidentified speaker

I just want to understand as well as I can. Did the chairman issue criminal referral on Mr. Pagliano?

00:21:58

Unidentified speaker

When we heard that the FBI had not looked at anything Secretary Clinton had testified under oath before Congress, we did give a referral.

00:22:12

Unidentified speaker

And that’s outstanding?

00:22:13

Unidentified speaker

We don’t know. We don’t know.

00:22:15

Unidentified speaker

Well, you issued it.

00:22:18

Unidentified speaker

Here is my point. Here is my point. You issued a criminal referral for an individual, then you asked him to come in here and testify before Congress. That would require him to surrender his Fifth Amendment rights. If you’re referring him and putting him under threat of criminal prosecution and then asking him to come in here, that’s not fair. The immunity doesn’t cover him. Because your referral for criminal prosecution came after the fact and beyond the limited purpose for which he was granted immunity, sir.

00:22:55

Unidentified speaker

There was no criminal referral on Mr. Pagliano. Did we refer the comments and issues that Mr. Comey as director of FBI brought up? Absolutely we did. He said he required us —

00:23:11

Unidentified speaker

Puts him at risk, what we have done as a community and through you on this referral is put him under threat of criminal prosecution, because of the issue that you’re investigating. I understand that. I understand that. But it puts him in jeopardy coming before this committee while that criminal referral is in existence. I’m just saying he’s an American citizen. I know the constitution gets in the way of the committee.

00:23:42

Unidentified speaker

The gentleman will suspend, gentleman will yield.

00:23:48

Unidentified speaker

The — to clarify. The referral was to look at Secretary Clinton’s testimony before Congress. That was the referral to Mr. Pagliano, his attendance is required here. There was interaction with Mr. Pagliano with another committee but that’s another committee. Have you to bring that up with another committee. I’m concerned with the integrity of this committee. I think we’ve done the right thing. His attendance is required here and he’s not here and we’ll deal with that after. We have Mr. Thornton here and we do have Mr. Cooper here.

00:24:27

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Chairman.

00:24:29

Unidentified speaker

Gentleman from South Carolina.

00:24:30

Unidentified speaker

Could I engage with the chair in a colloquy?

00:24:35

Unidentified speaker

Yes.

00:24:37

Unidentified speaker

I thought witness Pagliano was granted immunity?

00:24:41

Unidentified speaker

That’s what I’ve read.

00:24:44

Unidentified speaker

Congress can’t prosecute anyone. So the one entity who can has granted him immunity, I’m trying to figure out what his criminal liability is.

00:24:55

Unidentified speaker

If the gentleman will yield?

00:24:58

Unidentified speaker

I was having a colloquy with the chairman but you can answer the question. I’ll be happy to hear from you.

00:25:02

Unidentified speaker

FBI granted him limited immunity.

00:25:06

Unidentified speaker

FBI didn’t grant him immunity, Department of Justice granted him immunity.

00:25:09

Unidentified speaker

For that limited purpose.

00:25:10

Unidentified speaker

How do you know it was limited use immunity.

00:25:18

Unidentified speaker

I have great respect for Mr. Lynch.

00:25:23

Unidentified speaker

His attorney — his attorney, Mr. Pagliano’s attorney says in his letter that he was given limited immunity for that purpose.

00:25:33

Unidentified speaker

Well, that raises another interesting question I hope the gentleman from massachusetts will help me figure out. When you’ve reached an agreement with the government, oftentimes it includes cooperation with other entities in that government. I wonder if Department of Justice in their professor or imuptown agreement with Mr. Pagliano made it clear he could cooperate with another branch. We can’t prosecute. They can. They made it crystal clear they aren’t prosecuting anyone in this fact pattern so where is the criminal liability?

00:26:11

Unidentified speaker

The gentleman has constitutional rights under Fifth Amendment. Whether they are violated by FBI or violated here in Congress still violated. As the gentleman knows.

00:26:22

Unidentified speaker

Not required to be a witness against himself.

00:26:25

Unidentified speaker

But the Fifth Amendment doesn’t protect you from nonincriminating answers.

00:26:31

Unidentified speaker

We have a criminal referral.

00:26:32

Unidentified speaker

Not him. He can say his name, where he worked. Every answer doesn’t incriminate you.

00:26:39

Unidentified speaker

The gentleman from Massachusetts will suspend. The gentleman from South Carolina, it’s his time. I was just in inquiring of the chair. I thought there was immunity agreement in place between Department of Justice and this witness. So if he’s been immunized, and you can’t prosecute anyone for anything, where is the criminal liability to him coming and answering questions, which further assumes every question you ask is going to expose him to criminal liability. There’s no Fifth Amendment privilege against answering nonincriminating questions.

00:27:13

Unidentified speaker

Will the gentleman yield? Sure.

00:27:14

Unidentified speaker

Sure. But he can incriminate himself because we’ve issued a criminal referral here.

00:27:20

Unidentified speaker

He’s got immunity.

00:27:21

Unidentified speaker

He doesn’t have immunity. He doesn’t have immunity. He doesn’t have immunity.

00:27:25

Unidentified speaker

You haven’t seen the immunity agreement.

00:27:27

Unidentified speaker

Look, if you want to read it yourself, it’s from the gentleman’s attorney.

00:27:31

Unidentified speaker

No, I’m going to need a more reliable source than a criminal defense attorney. I want to read the agreement itself. I want to read the agreement between the Department of Justice and this witness and whether or not it requires them to cooperate with other entities of government. That is commonplace for them to say you can tell us the truth but not Congress makes no sense. That’s all I want.

00:27:59

Unidentified speaker

Gentleman will suspend. Should be aware the committee sent a subpoena to Mr. Pagliano to reduce this agreement that was today at 10:00 a.m. And he did not produce that as well. He was under subpoena to not only have his presence here but so everyone on this panel can see this immunity agreement, which he supposedly has in his possession, those documents were also subpoenaed by the committee and he did not comply with that as well. It’s the intention of the chair here, we’re going to move on.

There’s a lot to address with Mr. Pagliano. We’re not letting government we need to continue with the hearing. We have Mr. Combetta, Mr. Thornton, Mr. Cooper here, we do appreciate. All witnesses are to be sworn before they testify. If you will please rise and raise your right-hand. Do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you’re about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Thank you. You may be seated. Let the record reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative affirmative. We have not received any written testimony from today’s witnesses. Mr. Combetta are you making opening statement.

00:29:29

Unidentified speaker

On advice of counsel I respectfully refuse to answer and assert my Fifth Amendment privilege.

00:29:35

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Thornton, are you making an opening statement.

00:29:39

Unidentified speaker

On advice of counsel I assert my right not to answer and assert my Fifth Amendment privilege.

00:29:44

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Cooper, do you intend to make an opening statement? I have no opening statement.

00:29:48

Unidentified speaker

Please, if you all can move the microphone a little tighter, closer, it’s hard to hear. Mr. Combetta, we sent a subpoena to you, we read there was immunity agreement. Mr. Combetta, did you produce your immunity agreement this morning as required under the subpoena.

00:30:15

Unidentified speaker

On advice of counsel I respectfully decline to answer and assert my Fifth Amendment privilege.  Mr. Combetta, a couple of questions. Senator Johnson last year released a portion of an August 19th, 2015 kernel communication between two Platte River employees. Here is how it read. Quote, wondering how we can sneak an email in after the fact asking them, meaning the Clinton executive services corporation, when they told us to cut the backups and have them confirm it for our records, starting to think this whole thing is covering up some shady — there’s an expletive there — I think if we had it in writing they told us to cut the backups we can go public with our statements saying we’ve had the backups since day one. Then we were told the trim to 30 days would make us look a whole lot better. As as I understand it you were one of two employees on the Clinton account, did you send or receive this email?

00:31:26

Unidentified speaker

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

00:31:43

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Combetta, two days after that last email, you wrote on August 21, 2015, to an employee of a third party back-up firm called Datto. This is what is said. Quote, we’re trying to tighten down every possible security angle on this customer. It occurs to us anyone at PRN with data to partner portal, i.e. everyone here, could potentially access this device via remote web feature. Could we set up two factor authentication or move to separate partner account or some other method to allow only who we permit on our end to access this device via the Internet, end quote. If I understand the email correctly, every single employee of PRN could have accessed highly classified national security information that’s ever been breached at the State Department. Can you move no other individuals accessed this data or even passed it onto someone else?

00:32:35

Unidentified speaker

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

00:32:41

Unidentified speaker

One more. You’re an I.T. guy paid by Clintons. Generally I.T. guys don’t erase their client’s emails unless they are told to do so – so who told you to delete the emails?

00:32:55

Unidentified speaker

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

00:33:03

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Cummings, do you have any questions?

00:33:07

Unidentified speaker

Do you all plan to continue to assert — Mr. Combetta, Mr. Thornton, do you plan to continue to assert your Fifth Amendment rights? Is that your plan? Is that your plan?

00:33:27

Unidentified speaker

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

00:33:32

Unidentified speaker

And you, Mr. Thornton?

00:33:35

Unidentified speaker

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

00:33:37

Unidentified speaker

I’m not going to have any other questions since it’s clear you’re taking the Fifth on it. But, and I can understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. We’ve had the case here before where answering a question or two then ended up in all kinds of litigation as to whether or not you had waived your Fifth Amendment privileges, so I have nothing further. I do know that dcs ethics opinion that addresses abuse of witnesses trying to take their Fifth Amendment privileges. As a lawyer, I’m not going to be a part of that process.

00:34:21

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Combetta, given that you have indicated you do not intend to answer any questions out of respect for your constitutional rights, we will now excuse you from the table.

00:34:37

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Thornton. Yesterday Chairman Lamar Smith of house science based technology committee released an August 13th, 2015 letter from Datto to PRN’s attorney which said this. And I quote, we have been following news reports concerning various investigations related to Secretary Clinton’s emails including Platte River’s provision of I.T. related services to her. We have some concerns relative to data security. Platte has not enabled encryption at the local device. Given the sensitive high-profile nature of the data, which is alleged in press reports to potentially reside on the device, it may be the target of cyber attack from a multitude of highly sophisticated or capable entities or individuals. We believe such an event could place the unencrypted data at risk as well as expose both Datto and Platte River systems to collateral damage. In its current state — and it goes on — the device and data stored there on — and it goes on — is more vulnerable to cyber attack than data believes is prudent under the circumstances. Mr. Thornton, given vulnerabilitied identified, are you aware of any hacks of PRN’s systems?

00:36:09

Unidentified speaker

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

00:36:15

Unidentified speaker

I’d like to just ask you one other question that I can’t imagine has any implications, criminal culpability or anything else, just a simple question, yes or no, and we’ll — if you’ll answer this one, we’ll cut you loose here. Were you interviewed by the FBI?

00:36:37

Unidentified speaker

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

00:36:46

Unidentified speaker

You can’t answer the question about whether or not you were interviewed by the FBI?

00:36:55

Unidentified speaker

On advice of counsel, I respectfully decline.

00:37:01

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Cummings.

00:37:04

Unidentified speaker

Again, as a member of the bar for 40 years, I’m not going to participate in this. I just think when we bring witnesses here and berate them when we could do it in executive session, whatever, I think it would be unethical for me to do that, so I have nothing.

00:37:25

Unidentified speaker

Given that the witness has indicated he does not intend to answer any questions out of respect for his constitutional rights, we will now excuse Mr. Thornton from the table. We will recess for 2:00 while the clerk is able to reset the table. Committee stands in recess.

00:37:41

Unidentified speaker

The committee will come to order. As we last left it, there are some serious questions based on the emails about — here you have some of the most vulnerable secrets in all the State Department, all the states, people put their lives in danger for the country, data without authentication and it begs a lot of questions. Mr. Cooper, you told the FBI, evidently, that you helped set up Hillary Clinton’s Secretary Clinton’s New York and D.C. residence with an iMac, correct?

00:40:30

Unidentified speaker

That is correct.

00:40:31

Unidentified speaker

So did you set them up, or did you set them up with somebody else?

00:40:34

Unidentified speaker

Those were out of the box solutions that were set up prior to her —

00:40:38

Unidentified speaker

Sorry, you’ve got to move it a little closer.

00:40:41

Unidentified speaker

These were out of the box solutions set up prior to her becoming secretary of state.

00:40:47

Unidentified speaker

And where did you set them up?

00:40:51

Unidentified speaker

They were set up in the offices she used in each of her homes?

00:40:55

Unidentified speaker

Did that include the SCIF.

00:40:57

Unidentified speaker

At the time they were set up, those rooms were not used as SCIFs.

00:41:03

Unidentified speaker

Did you ever have to service any of those computers or work on any of those computers?

00:41:08

Unidentified speaker

Over a period of time I did work service on those computers.

00:41:12

Unidentified speaker

You did or didn’t work on the computers? Including the one in the SCIF?

00:41:17

Unidentified speaker

I don’t recall any specific time I worked on it once they were in the SCIFs.

00:41:23

Unidentified speaker

So how many did you set up in her home?

00:41:28

Unidentified speaker

There was a computer in each office in each home. I worked on her homes for a period of 15 years. Certainly when they were oshlg originally set you were they were originally set up for staff to use in their homes. Once they became SCIFs I don’t recall using those computers.

00:41:49

Unidentified speaker

Or servicing those? No.

00:41:50

Unidentified speaker

No. Did you have a security clearance at that time?

00:41:52

Unidentified speaker

No, I did not have security clearance clearance.

00:42:01

Unidentified speaker

After you left the White House — when did you leave the White House?

2001.

00:42:05

Unidentified speaker

Did you ever have security clearance after that?

00:42:07

Unidentified speaker

No, I did not have security clearance.

00:42:10

Unidentified speaker

You had access to the server the entire time you were working for the Clintons?

00:42:16

Unidentified speaker

Yes I had access to the server.

00:42:17

Unidentified speaker

You had no security clearance.

00:42:21

Unidentified speaker

I have no security clearance.

00:42:22

Unidentified speaker

You told FBI Huma Abedin recommended you contact Bryan Pagliano to build the new security system.

00:42:33

Unidentified speaker

I spoke with Mr. Pagliano at Ms. Abedin’s request. I spoke as that system had its limitations and we were thinking about expanding it. We had opportunities using surplus equipment from the Clinton campaign we could use for President Clinton’s office to set up.

00:42:56

Unidentified speaker

Sorry. We’ve got to still move that microphone. Just straighten it out and put it right there. There you go. A little closer.

00:43:12

Unidentified speaker

What conversations did you have with Huma Abedin about the setup of the server?

00:43:18

Unidentified speaker

I don’t recall conversations with her about the setting up of the server.

00:43:21

Unidentified speaker

What about setting up emails.

00:43:23

Unidentified speaker

At some point I had a conversation with her about the setting up of an email account for Secretary Clinton on the servers.

00:43:30

Unidentified speaker

What about setting up for Huma Abedin.

00:43:35

Unidentified speaker

Did you set up an email for Huma Abedin?

Yes.

00:43:46

Unidentified speaker

Yes. Did she use that.

00:43:47

Unidentified speaker

As far as I know yes.

00:43:50

Unidentified speaker

What other emails?

00:43:53

Unidentified speaker

Other staffers in the office. Not on the email domain.

00:43:58

Unidentified speaker

Clintonemail.com.

00:43:59

Unidentified speaker

No other staffers I recall using that.

00:44:01

Unidentified speaker

So who had an email address at Clintonemail.com.

00:44:07

Unidentified speaker

Additional person with email address was Chelsea Clinton.

00:44:10

Unidentified speaker

Did you have one? No.

00:44:11

Unidentified speaker

No. So you, Huma Abedin and Secretary Clinton had email addresses there.

00:44:16

Unidentified speaker

I did not have an email address.

00:44:20

Unidentified speaker

So Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin and Chelsea Clinton each had emails at that address?

00:44:28

Unidentified speaker

Correct.

00:44:29

Unidentified speaker

What other computers did you set up in their residence? How many computers did you set up?

00:44:43

Unidentified speaker

The only two were the iMac s which you mentioned and Apple server which came in with Apple to set up that server in their household.

00:44:54

Unidentified speaker

Did you set up anything in Washington, D.C., at a residence there?

00:44:58

Unidentified speaker

As mentioned, one of the two iMac s referred to was in Washington, D.C..

00:45:03

Unidentified speaker

The other one was in Chappaqua, New York.

00:45:06

Unidentified speaker

Correct.

00:45:07

Unidentified speaker

So there’s a total of two computers, one in Chappaqua. Why did you set up Clintonemail.com?

00:45:18

Unidentified speaker

Secretary Clinton was transitioning from her presidential campaign and Senate role and had been using primarily a BlackBerry for email correspondence. There were limitations to her ability to use that BlackBerry as well as desire to change her email address because a number of people have received her email address over the course of those activities, so we created with a discussion, I believe, with Huma Abedin at the time what domains might be of interest. We obtained a domain and we added it to the original server used by President Clinton’s office for her to use with her BlackBerry at the time, and we set that up in a way where the messages simply came into that server and bounced right to her BlackBerry and were not retained on that Apple server.

00:46:03

Unidentified speaker

Who paid for these computers?

00:46:05

Unidentified speaker

All of them were paid personally by the Clintons.

00:46:07

Unidentified speaker

Personally?

00:46:08

Unidentified speaker

Personally.

00:46:10

Unidentified speaker

And who were you being compensated by?

00:46:13

Unidentified speaker

I was being compensated by the Clintons.

00:46:18

Unidentified speaker

Personally or Clinton Executive Services, Clinton Foundation, what was it?

00:46:22

Unidentified speaker

At that time I was an employee of both the Clinton family personally and Clinton Foundation.

00:46:27

Unidentified speaker

Okay. All right. My time has expired. Now recognize ranking member Mr. Cummings.

00:46:33

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Cooper, the FBI’s investigative summary states the Apple server you helped install in the home of president and Secretary Clinton in 2008 was originally purchased for the purpose of hosting email services for President Clinton’s staff. To the best of your knowledge, is that accurate?

00:46:58

Unidentified speaker

Yes, that’s accurate.

00:47:00

Unidentified speaker

According to FBI summary, the decision was made to keep that server in the Clinton residence. The reason was, and I quote, due to concern over insuring email reliability and desire to segregate email for President Clinton’s post presidency endeavors, end of quote. According to the FBI, the decision was made in January 2009 to switch from the Apple server to a new server. Yes, the FBI investigative summary states that in 2009 quote, according to Cooper, in or around January 2009, the decision was made to move to another server because the Apple server was antiquated and users were experiencing problems with email delivery on their BlackBerry devices, end of quote. Is that accurate?

00:48:07

Unidentified speaker

I would say on a date certain there was a decision made to switch from one server to the other in my conversations with Mr. Pagliano I was aware the fully meeting our needs and was not expandible to meet potential future needs of other staff in President Clinton’s office joining the server. It also did not have a robust solution to support BlackBerry usage. It’s very hard for me to even remember what the technology around BlackBerry was then and how they functioned. There were more progressive ways to use a BlackBerry. Mr. Pagliano had the expertise to set up a server that had a proper BlackBerry interface with it, and that was something that was desired by President Clinton’s team. And so, over a period of time, as Bryan decommissioned those servers from the campaign, we were able to purchase them from the campaign. He then took time to set them up on his time, either in the campaign offices or his home. I’m not sure of the location. And then delivered them to Chappaqua, I believe in around March of 2009, when I physically helped him move them into the space where they were going to reside.

00:49:16

Unidentified speaker

So, Secretary Clinton began using that new server for email around March 2009, is that accurate? Her connection to that server, I believe, was in March 2009.

00:49:26

Unidentified speaker

Now, Republicans have a conspiracy theory that Secretary Clinton used the server in her home for email in order to avoid complying with records laws. Representative Mr. Sanchez asked Director Comey about that theory. He asked, “was the reason she set up her own private server, in your judgment, because she wanted to shield communications from Congress and from the public?” Now, Mr. Cooper, here’s what Director Comey said, and I quote, “I can’t say that. Our best information is that she set it up as a matter of convenience. It was an already existing system that her husband had, and she decided to have a domain on that system.” Now, do you have any evidence to dispute what the FBI director, Mr. Comey, said?

00:50:24

Unidentified speaker

No, I don’t have any evidence to dispute that. I believe that Secretary Clinton had personal email on her BlackBerry and was looking for a new solution to be able to use personal email.

00:50:38

Unidentified speaker

Now, were you ever told that Secretary Clinton used the server in her home to avoid the Federal Records Act?

00:50:44

Unidentified speaker

No, I was never told that.

Were you ever told that Secretary Clinton used the server in her home to avoid the Freedom of Information Act?

00:50:51

Unidentified speaker

No, I was never told that.

00:50:53

Unidentified speaker

Now, Mr. Cooper, I think it would be helpful to walk through exactly what your role was and was not with regard to the production of Secretary Clinton’s emails to the State Department and the FBI. Did you cooperate with the FBI investigation to the best of your ability?

00:51:11

Unidentified speaker

Yes, I did.

00:51:13

Unidentified speaker

Did you turn over to the FBI any relevant records that were in your possession?

00:51:16

Unidentified speaker

Yes, I turned over records to the FBI.

00:51:22

Unidentified speaker

In mid-to-late 2014, Secretary Clinton’s attorneys attempted to collect all of Secretary Clinton’s work-related files from her tenure at the State Department and turn them over to the State Department. Mr. Cooper, were you involved in that 2014 document production process?

00:51:40

Unidentified speaker

No, I was not.

00:51:43

Unidentified speaker

Now, did the FBI determine that none of Secretary Clinton’s work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them from investigators investigators. Do you have any reason to dispute that finding?

00:51:59

Unidentified speaker

I do not have any reason to dispute that finding.

00:52:01

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Thank you very much.

00:52:02

Unidentified speaker

I now recognize the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Mica, for five minutes.

00:52:11

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Cooper, you started, again, the whole setup of the first server, 2007-’08, and you gave the Clinton domain email address, set that up. Is that correct? 245 tha was at the very beginning, as she was leaving campaign coming into office.

00:52:26

Unidentified speaker

I’m sorry, from my recollection, there was a President Clinton domain set up prior to that point, and the Clinton email domain was set up in January 2009.

00:52:34

Unidentified speaker

Okay. At some point when she left, I guess the private capacity, came into the public, I have some information that at least two of her old mobile devices were destroyed, and you took part in that? Is that correct?

00:52:59

Unidentified speaker

I believe you’re referring to the FBI report that mentions the two devices. Yes.

00:53:04

Unidentified speaker

Yes. I can’t —

00:53:06

Unidentified speaker

Did you take part in destroying some of her old mobile devices?

Yes. At some point in time, when she was transitioning from one mobile device to the next, we would take the information that was on the old device, back it up, transfer it to the new device.

00:53:22

Unidentified speaker

And you worked with Mr. Pagliano?

00:53:25

Unidentified speaker

I would interface with Mr. Pagliano on this. This is —

00:53:29

Unidentified speaker

Did you ever discuss with him how you could destroy a device? I don’t —

00:53:34

Unidentified speaker

I don’t — did he participate in the destruction of any devices?

00:53:37

Unidentified speaker

I don’t recall any conversations of that type.

00:53:40

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Are you aware of what happened to his emails? You actually were the one servicing the server for most of the period while she was secretary of state, is that correct?

00:53:53

Unidentified speaker

I would categorize it differently. Bryan Pagliano serviced the server. I —

00:53:59

Unidentified speaker

But you set it up and you conferred with him.

00:54:01

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Pagliano set it up. He engineered it, and I was the interface between the users and the —

00:54:10

Unidentified speaker

Would he have had any emails on those servers, to your knowledge?

No.

00:54:14

Unidentified speaker

No. He wouldn’t? And you have no idea what happened to all of his emails?

00:54:18

Unidentified speaker

I certainly do not.

00:54:24

Unidentified speaker

You also were made aware on two occasions — or made aware on two occasions to secret service, I think January of 2011, that someone was trying to hack the system, is that correct?

00:54:38

Unidentified speaker

I use that word colloquially to describe a series of logings on the server.

00:54:49

Unidentified speaker

Twice and you closed down the system briefly to deal with the situation?

Correct.

00:54:54

Unidentified speaker

Correct. When were you first contacted by the FBI?

I believe it was August of last summer.

00:55:00

Unidentified speaker

And was that the first time you sat down with them — yes.

00:55:04

Unidentified speaker

Yes. — or was that later? That was your first interview? Yes.

00:55:07

Unidentified speaker

Yes. How many times were you interviewed?

00:55:08

Unidentified speaker

Three times.

00:55:11

Unidentified speaker

And could you give us the approximate dates?

00:55:14

Unidentified speaker

Off the top of my head —

00:55:15

Unidentified speaker

Last summer it was the first. And then subsequent —

00:55:17

Unidentified speaker

Last summer, subsequently in the fall, and this spring of —

00:55:23

Unidentified speaker

Were you ever offered any type of immunity agreement by the Department of Justice?

00:55:26

Unidentified speaker

I was not.

00:55:28

Unidentified speaker

How long have you been represented by your current counsel?

00:55:32

Unidentified speaker

Since the beginning of — since I was first contacted by the FBI.

00:55:35

Unidentified speaker

And again, you’ve explained that it was the Clintons who paid for your counsel up to that time and the organization that was set up by the Clintons?

00:55:49

Unidentified speaker

I’m the only person who’s paid for my counsel.

00:55:52

Unidentified speaker

You’ve paid for your own —

00:55:53

Unidentified speaker

Yes.

00:55:54

Unidentified speaker

— expenses. They have not paid for any.

00:55:56

Unidentified speaker

Correct.

00:55:57

Unidentified speaker

Have you had any kind of a joint defense agreement with any other individual involved in the FBI’s investigation?

00:56:04

Unidentified speaker

I have no such agreement.

00:56:06

Unidentified speaker

No such agreement. Finally, you stepped back from the day-to-day activities with the Clintons about the time of the transition, is that correct? As she left office?

00:56:27

Unidentified speaker

Yes —

00:56:28

Unidentified speaker

And Pagliano took over?

00:56:30

Unidentified speaker

Yes.

00:56:33

Unidentified speaker

And you were also responsible for the transfer — helping with the transfer. In fact, you walked her aide, Hanley, over the phone through taking the information that they had in emails and archiving it. Is that correct?

00:56:49

Unidentified speaker

At one point, I assisted Monica Hanley in setting up a laptop computer so that she could create an offline archive of the emails that were on the server.

00:56:58

Unidentified speaker

And to your knowledge, was everything —

00:57:01

Unidentified speaker

I don’t know the outcome of that —

00:57:03

Unidentified speaker

You don’t know if there — and do you know, finally, was there any deletion or attempts to delete any information that had been stored that was going to be transferred and archived?

00:57:14

Unidentified speaker

I have no knowledge of that.

00:57:15

Unidentified speaker

Thank you.

00:57:16

Unidentified speaker

I now recognize the gentleman from the District of Columbia, plz north Ms. Norton for five minutes.

00:57:25

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The FBI report for the average American put the matter involving Ms. Clinton’s emails to rest for the average person. It was the FBI, a tough report. And yet, you could take kernels, and that’s what’s happening here. And I want to ask you, Mr. Kernel — Mr. Cooper — about one of those kernels. One of the conspiracy theories to come forward out of that report follows on from some testimony that you gave. The report quotes you, and I take it you were under oath before the FBI?

00:58:05

Unidentified speaker

I’m sorry, I was not under oath.

00:58:07

Unidentified speaker

Well, it says you advised that you sometimes assisted users, including Clinton — I’m now quoting the report — when they obtained a new mobile device by helping them back up the data from the old device before transferring it to the new device and syncing the new device with the Clinton server.

00:58:33

Unidentified speaker

That’s correct.

00:58:34

Unidentified speaker

That quote is correct. Then the summary describes two instances. And here’s where the conspiracy theories have been acted out, both in this house and in the presidential campaign, that you recall two instances where you destroyed old mobile devices with a hammer. And Mr. Trump claimed that, who would do that if they didn’t have anything to hide? And representative DeSantis picked up that rhetoric and says it obviously shows intent to hide something. Mr. Cooper, I’d like to directly ask you about the destruction of those BlackBerrys. Was your purpose in destroying the old BlackBerry device ever to hide Secretary Clinton’s emails from being saved or disclosed from federal records laws?

00:59:34

Unidentified speaker

Congresswoman, no. It was not in any way to destroy or hide any information at all. I couldn’t speak to whether there were records on there that needed to be or should be considered federal records. In fact, the opposite would be the case in that I was going out of my way to preserve all of the information that was on those devices, transfer them to the new devices and make sure the server —

00:59:55

Unidentified speaker

Well that was going to be my question.

01:00:00

Unidentified speaker

— loaded up.

01:00:01

Unidentified speaker

Before you destroyed them from one BlackBerry to another, did you transition the very same emails from the old BlackBerry to the new one?

01:00:08

Unidentified speaker

It was a combination of the backup procedure and the procedure of activating the new device. All of the information from the previous device would have ended up on the new device before we went and deleted using the BlackBerry tools to wipe it, the old device.

01:00:25

Unidentified speaker

So, would it not or did it mean that you copied the content, total content of the Secretary’s device, saved it and loaded it on to a new device so you had the exact same thing on to the new device?

01:00:39

Unidentified speaker

That is correct.

01:00:40

Unidentified speaker

During the course of the FBI’s investigation, did you realize that you still had retained the extra copy of the content of those old BlackBerry devices on your own machine? And did you provide that information to the FBI?

01:01:00

Unidentified speaker

In preparing to meet with the FBI and examining my files related to the server, I did describe some files that may have contained content related to this. I turned that content over to my attorneys, who worked with the FBI and Department of Justice on capturing that material for their possession.

01:01:21

Unidentified speaker

So, I take it that that was to make the case that you did not intend to destroy the BlackBerrys to hide anything.

01:01:28

Unidentified speaker

That is correct.

01:01:29

Unidentified speaker

And now the FBI has the information that was on every single BlackBerry, including that last BlackBerry.

01:01:36

Unidentified speaker

Certainly, they have the information for the ones that I had backup files on.

01:01:40

Unidentified speaker

And in any case, it’s from one BlackBerry to another BlackBerry with nothing lost in between?

01:01:46

Unidentified speaker

Correct.

01:01:47

Unidentified speaker

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

01:01:49

Unidentified speaker

I now recognize the gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Duncan, for five minutes.

01:01:54

Unidentified speaker

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Cooper, do you have an I.T. background, or do you consider yourself to be an expert in the I.T. field?

01:02:03

Unidentified speaker

No, I do not consider myself to be an expert.

01:02:08

Unidentified speaker

Do you think the State Department should have had someone more qualified than you to oversee and protect Secretary Clinton’s server from hackers?

01:02:21

Unidentified speaker

I was not working for the State Department, and I believe this server to be — again, it was primarily used by President Clinton’s office. Secretary Clinton had what I believe was a personal account on that server. I can’t — I’m not in a position to talk about what the role of the government is in protecting that sort of information.

01:02:41

Unidentified speaker

On Sunday, January 9th, 2011, at 2:57 a.m., 2:57 in the morning, you sent an email to Secretary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, explaining that you had to shut down Secretary Clinton’s server due to someone trying to hack it. How many times did you personally have to shut down the server to prevent it from being hacked?

01:03:07

Unidentified speaker

Again, it’s the server that contained both Secretary Clinton’s and President Clinton’s office on there. This was an attempt — a series of failed log-on attempts, which were brought to my attention by an alert we had on the system. One of the ways to stop that in the early operations of the server was to shut down the server for a period of time so that the attacks would cease. We would then over time develop more sophisticated ways, which is the direction of Mr. Pagliano to help filter those sorts of failed login attempts.

01:03:47

Unidentified speaker

Do you know whether powering down a server is the typical way in the I.T. community to protect against hacks?

01:03:54

Unidentified speaker

I can’t speak to that.

01:03:57

Unidentified speaker

Do you know what a brute force attack is?

01:04:00

Unidentified speaker

Yes. A brute force attack, from my understanding, is a series of high-frequency, failed login or attempted logins using a variety of usernames and passwords.

01:04:15

Unidentified speaker

How many brute force attacks did you observe in the Clintons — on the Clintons’ server?

01:04:21

Unidentified speaker

I can’t say with any specificity how many had happened. They happened with some limited frequency over the period of, I’d say the last 2 1/2 years, while she was in office. But we had developed systems to tamper these down.

They occurred with a frequency?

01:04:41

Unidentified speaker

Some frequency.

01:04:46

Unidentified speaker

All right, I yield my time back to the chairman.

01:04:50

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Cooper, how many people had access to the server?

01:04:56

Unidentified speaker

In terms of as administrators?

01:04:59

Unidentified speaker

I want the whole universe, administrators, users, the whole bit, the whole gambit.

01:05:04

Unidentified speaker

There were two people who had some administrative rights, myself and Mr. Pagliano. I can’t off the top of my head tell you exactly how many users there were over the lifetime of the server, but it was less than 20 people.

01:05:18

Unidentified speaker

Was there remote access login available?

01:05:20

Unidentified speaker

The only remote access login to the server was for myself and Mr. Pagliano.

01:05:25

Unidentified speaker

Was it encrypted?

01:05:27

Unidentified speaker

I can’t speak to that. I can’t recall.

01:05:29

Unidentified speaker

So, you’re running it. You don’t even know it it’s encrypted?

01:05:33

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Pagliano was running it. I was using it.

01:05:38

Unidentified speaker

Did it had dual authentication?

01:05:40

Unidentified speaker

I don’t recall dual authentication.

01:05:42

Unidentified speaker

So, there’s no dual authentication. We’re not sure it has encryption. It does have remote access. It has some 20-odd people that can do it. It’s intermingled with the Clinton Foundation. Clinton executive services, was it also have access to that?

01:06:01

Unidentified speaker

I can’t say it’s intermingled with the Clinton Foundation. Clinton Executive Services —

01:06:05

Unidentified speaker

You’re being paid by them, right? There were people being paid by Clinton Foundation that were accessing, using the system, right?

01:06:15

Unidentified speaker

In part there were individuals who had multiple responsibilities for multiple entities within the Clinton world and some people did do work for the Clinton Foundation, yes.

01:06:24

Unidentified speaker

So, did the State Department ever contact you or complain or issue any sort of concern?

01:06:33

Unidentified speaker

No. Did they not have any concern or —

01:06:36

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Chairman, I have one more question.

01:06:41

Unidentified speaker

Yes, Mr. Duncan.

01:06:42

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Cooper, I understand that in order to make Secretary Clinton’s private email server interconnection with the State Department’s much more secure server, the State Department had to lower its own security settings, at least temporarily, to match Secretary Clinton’s more insecure security server. Do you know about that? The fact that she had this insecure server?

01:07:03

Unidentified speaker

That is not something I specifically know about. I have read accounts of that in the media, but I have no direct knowledge of that.

01:07:10

Unidentified speaker

All right. Thank you very much.

01:07:11

Unidentified speaker

Thank you. I will now recognize the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Lynch.

01:07:15

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Cooper, for being here and your willingness to testify. I appreciate that. Mr. Cooper, the FBI conducted a year-long investigation that concluded that, and I’ll use Director Comey’s own statement here. He said, “we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information.” and he went on to say that, “I do not see evidence that is sufficient to establish that Secretary Clinton or those with whom she corresponded, both talked about classified information on email or knew when they did it that they were doing something that was against the law.”

Now, I know you’re not a computer expert, and that’s probably more appropriate line of questioning for Mr. Pagliano, but in its year-long investigation, the FBI did have a number of technical computer experts on their team, and they took about a year. And I want to, again, recite their conclusion. And this is Director Comey, again, in his testimony before this committee. “With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal email domain in its various configurations since 2009 was successfully hacked.” And the FBI investigation summary similarly stated, “the FBI investigation and forensic analysis did not find analysis confirming that Clinton’s email server systems were compromised by cyber means.” Do you have any information today, Mr. Cooper, that contradicts the FBI’s finding?

01:09:02

Unidentified speaker

I do not have any information that would contradict that finding.

01:09:06

Unidentified speaker

Okay. The FBI also interviewed Bryan Pagliano. The I.T. expert on the server. The FBI’s investigative summary describes in some detail what he explained. And it states, “when asked about the maintenance and security of the server system he administered, Pagliano stated there were no security breaches, but he was aware that there were many failed login attempts, which he referred to as brute force attacks,” what the gentleman was referring to earlier in his line of questioning. Mr. Cooper, is that statement that I just read, that quote from Mr. Pagliano in his conversation with the FBI, is that consistent with your recollection?

01:09:52

Unidentified speaker

That is consistent with my recollection.

01:09:56

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Did you take any steps to protect the server when there were these failed brute force, so-called, login attempts?

01:10:04

Unidentified speaker

Over time, Mr. Pagliano developed a few different solutions that allowed us to manage them in a variety of ways, from blocking the ip addresses manually, and ultimately, automatically, as I recall.

01:10:18

Unidentified speaker

Okay. The FBI summary explains some additional steps that were described. I’m not sure if it was — I think it was Mr. Pagliano who took those steps to improve the security of the server, including establishing secure socket layer certification for encrypted login on March 29th and internet protocol filtering to block access from would-be hackers. Is that consistent with your recollection?

01:10:43

Unidentified speaker

That is consistent with my recollection.

01:10:44

Unidentified speaker

Thank you. That’s all I have, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.

01:10:50

Unidentified speaker

Gentleman yields back. I will now recognize the gentlemen from Ohio, Mr. Jordan, five minutes.

01:10:58

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I had questions for the gentlemen who are not here, so I want to walk the committee through a few slides. This is where we were earlier when Mr. Norton was here. This is an email from one of those guys. One of them sent it and/or received it. August 2015. A lot of things happened before that date. Wondering now how they can sneak in an email stating when they asked us to cut the backups and have them confirm it for our records, we’re starting to think this whole thing is really covering up a lot of bad stuff. They wanted something in writing because they knew they were going to get thrown under the bus later on. That’s what — and we know that they changed the backup structure because look at the FBI report, page 18. Cheryl Mills instructed someone — name is redacted, at Platte River Networks — to modify the email retention policy on Clinton’s Clintonmail.com email account. She wanted to get rid of anything after 60 days. So we know they were instructed to, they just wanted something in writng.

Let’s walk through some history here. From the FBI report, July 2014, at the request of Cheryl Mills, Platte River Networks remotely transfers all Hillary Clinton emails to Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson’s laptops. These laptops later have Bleachbit applied to them and stuff is deleted. What happened right before that? What happened right before July 2014? Again, go to the report, page 15 of the report. During the summer of 2014, Cheryl Mills is given a heads-up by the State Department that there would be a letter coming requesting all Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails. Jump forward to December. Cheryl Mills’ request, Platte River Networks changed the email retention policy on her account. What I just read.

What happened right before that? What prompted this change? December 2nd, chairman of the Benghazi committee, Trey Gowdy, sends a letter to David Kendall, says hey, we just found out about this other account — we didn’t know at the time it was the only account — this other account Hillary Clinton has. We’d like information, any emails relating to the Benghazi situation from that account. And of course, right after that, they changed the policy. Platte River Networks is instructed to delete anything after 60 days.

And now we move forward to the amazing month, the one the chairman cited in his opening comments, March 2015. March 2nd, the New York Times reports, she’s got just this one email account, this private server situation. March 3rd, Mr. Gowdy sends a preservation letter, telling them to preserve everything that might be relevant to our investigation. March 4th, there’s a subpoena. March 9th, Platte River Networks is put on notice about the preservation order. March 10th, she does her press conference. And of course, the important dates, March 25th and March 31st. Those two dates there are conference calls with Clinton lawyers, Bill Clinton’s lawyers and Hillary Clinton’s lawyers and Platte River Networks’s. And of course, on the 31st of that month is when they take BleachBit to the whole darn thing and they get rid of everything. They get rid of everything. So, now we have two guys, three guys, one on the front end, Mr. Pagliano, who helped Mr. Cooper set it up, take the Fifth and get immunity. And now we have two guys on the tail end, right? Mr. Combetta and Mr. Thornton. Didn’t work for the government. They take the Fifth. And one of them gets immunity.

Go back to the date again, August 2015. These guys are starting to wonder, wow, we don’t have anything in writing. We’ve been given all these instructions verbally, phone calls, conference calls, all these instructions to change the backup, delete things, erase things, BleachBit things, take hammers to things, all these instructions. We don’t have anything in writing. We might be in trouble. Guess what? They are.

That’s the story, and that’s why it’s appropriate, Mr. Cummings, for the chairman to invite them in here today and see if they would finally answer somebody’s questions. Mr. Gowdy’s just right. He’s exactly right. They’ll talk to the people who can put them in jail, but they won’t talk to Congress. They’ll talk to the Justice Department, Mr. Pagliano, Mr. Combetta will talk to the Justice Department, but they won’t talk to us. We can’t put them in jail. We just want to get answers for the American people. And they won’t talk to us. I’ve never seen anything like this, Mr. Chairman, where you get, as you talked about yesterday, no regular American can get away with the kind of behavior Secretary Clinton gets away with. Two standards now in the country, and this is what is so wrong and this is why the hearings you’re having and the investigation we’re doing is entirely appropriate. And with that, I yield back.

01:16:03

Unidentified speaker

Gentleman yields back. I will now recognize the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Farenthold.

01:16:13

Unidentified speaker

Thank you for testifying and helping us get at the truth. Let me take a step back. I’m little geeky. I’m going to ask some geeky questions you may or may not be able to answer. This server the Clintons had, this wasn’t just like a personal computer that everyone has that they pick up their email. People think, I have a server in my house, I get email. They think their computer is a personal server. This is an email with business-class software that delivered, forwarded and stored email for dozens of people, is that correct?

01:16:41

Unidentified speaker

Yes, that’s correct.

01:16:43

Unidentified speaker

And are you familiar with many people who have this type of equipment in their home? It’s typically something that’s in an office, is that correct?

01:16:50

Unidentified speaker

That’s correct.

01:16:52

Unidentified speaker

Do you know everybody who has a server at their home, except for maybe me?

01:16:57

Unidentified speaker

I’m aware of a few.

01:16:58

Unidentified speaker

But it’s pretty rare. Are you familiar with what email software was running on the server?

01:17:03

Unidentified speaker

I do not recall specifically what the software was running on —

01:17:07

Unidentified speaker

All right, and you told the chairman that what it was set up to do is an email came and it forwarded it to Mrs. Clinton’s BlackBerry. And then did it delete it from that server or did it keep it on that server?

01:17:18

Unidentified speaker

My recollection, just to be clear, there are two servers that we’re speaking about. There was an Apple server in use from approximately June 2008 until —

01:17:27

Unidentified speaker

Right.

01:17:29

Unidentified speaker

— March 2009. That server, which is originally, again, set up for President Clinton’s office staff, had some software on it. I’m sorry, I don’t recall the name of the software package on there that administered that work. One was a mail client and one was a tool that was supposed to interface with BlackBerry, but it wasn’t BlackBerry’s own product.

01:17:50

Unidentified speaker

So, was it secure or did it just, like, forward using SMTP, like the Verizon-BlackBerry gateway?

01:17:58

Unidentified speaker

I can’t speak to the security of what that software was, but I believe in the case of Secretary Clinton, because she wasn’t going to be accessing that email any other fashion and the focus was transitioning her email address over so people would start to use her new email address. We were simply receiving messages in, not retaining them on that server and having them automatically forward to her —

01:18:19

Unidentified speaker

Right. And on the later server, did it do the same thing?

01:18:22

Unidentified speaker

On the later server, it functioned more like what you were probably used to in your day-to-day activity, where there was a mailbox on that server that could be accessed —

01:18:31

Unidentified speaker

And was it opened up to where you could get your email through that server through pop3 or imap or a web client?

01:18:38

Unidentified speaker

Well, I don’t specifically recall. I believe depending on the user, we were customized. Bryan would help customize what ports were open based on how that user was accessing —

01:18:50

Unidentified speaker

And did you require that users picking up their mail remotely use a secure client or did they just come in clear text over the standard SMTP ports, the pop reports?

01:19:04

Unidentified speaker

I can’t recall what the protocols were.

01:19:06

Unidentified speaker

So you don’t recall if there was a requirement to login with an SSL, so potentially could have been clear text. Did you turn over the logs and notifications that you received to the FBI, the email of brute force attacks?

01:19:21

Unidentified speaker

I did not turn those over to the FBI. There was an instance where we shared some logs with the United States Secret Service when we were first experiencing failed login attempts.

01:19:33

Unidentified speaker

So you got a notice when there was a failed login attempt, but if somebody given this brute force attack where they use, they just enter username and you throw random passwords at it — if they had gotten it right, you wouldn’t have been notified, would you? You would have thought maybe it was — you would have thought it was Mrs. Clinton or some legitimate user actually getting in?

01:19:55

Unidentified speaker

I don’t want to suppose, but —

01:19:58

Unidentified speaker

You only get notices of failed login attempts.

01:20:00

Unidentified speaker

Right.

01:20:01

Unidentified speaker

You weren’t notified every time somebody actually logged in, though there may have been a log kept.

Correct.

01:20:07

Unidentified speaker

Correct. So, somebody could have gotten in and you just wouldn’t have known it. And I’m sorry, I don’t remember if I asked this, was there a firewall between the Internet and this server, a piece of hardware between the server and the internet?

01:20:18

Unidentified speaker

I believe there was a firewall associated with Pagliano’s server, yes.

01:20:21

Unidentified speaker

All right. Was there one with the Apple server?

01:20:23

Unidentified speaker

I don’t recall.

01:20:24

Unidentified speaker

All right. And then, we talked a little bit about Mrs. Clinton going through a variety of BlackBerrys. Were they all the same version of BlackBerrys, or did she migrate up between, you know, when the new BlackBerry came out, did she want the latest and greatest BlackBerry?

01:20:42

Unidentified speaker

Again, it’s a little bit difficult, I think, for me, at least, to go into a time warp into the sequencies, but BlackBerry was releasing models quite frequently then with very different user interfaces from track balls to track wheels to track pads.

01:20:57

Unidentified speaker

I know. I went through that nightmare myself.

01:20:59

Unidentified speaker

And I think over time, she would move to a newer device usually when her older device may have been, you know, a little bit older or a little bit failing.

01:21:07

Unidentified speaker

And do you know if the security patches were regularly put on all of these servers?

01:21:12

Unidentified speaker

I feel fairly confident that the security patches were updated by Mr. Pagliano.

01:21:16

Unidentified speaker

I’ll tell you, having kept a server in my house for a while, I gave it up and now moved over to an online hosting, because it’s next to impossible to keep up with the pace of the security fixes that are coming out. I see I’m out of time. It happens when I geek out. I yield back.

01:21:34

Unidentified speaker

Thank you. I will now recognize the gentlewoman from Wyoming, Ms. Lummis for five minutes.

01:21:45

Unidentified speaker

I’m glad we had a geek-out, because I can’t do that. I’m a rancher. I’m not as familiar with these technologies. But I do know this, just as an average American when it comes to technology. We do know that the Chinese government hires people to hack by day and that those same hackers hack for hire at night. So, there are people who are spending every single day in China, probably Russia, other countries, trying to hack into the computers of U.S. Government officials officials. So, security’s a constant problem in this country, especially for high elected officials or appointed officials. And I do know this, that encryption can be used to help prevent that, that dual authentication processes can be used to help prevent that kind of hacking. So, Mr. Cooper, are you telling me that there was no dual authentication, no encryption, and the secretary of state had no protection of our secrets when we all know that efforts are being made to hack people just like her in government?

01:23:22

Unidentified speaker

I, unfortunately, cannot provide you the details of what the specific security functions were on the server. I know that there were security functions on the server, and they evolved over time, essentially as technology evolved over time and there were different things available and considered at different junctures. I would certainly agree with you that this is something that we should all be concerned with, and I saw this again as there’s a need to, yes, protect the privacy of individuals in their personal lives using their email.

01:23:57

Unidentified speaker

We also know that as members of Congress, we just know that if we travel to a foreign country and we have a device with us, especially to Russia, they tell you to wrap our devices in aluminum foil so there’s no transmission. And I’ve seen televised examples of secretary of state Clinton using her electronic devices to communicate while she’s running all over the world. And now that we know that these servers and devices were scattered around in her home and that there was some sort of management of documents in Colorado, how can people like me assure the American people that the information that was on those emails and that some of which has been destroyed and is not available to us, is not being sifted through, even as we speak, by Chinese hackers and Russian hackers? What security does our country have by virtue of what looks to me like some pretty lackadaisical attitudes towards sensitive data, top-secret data, secret data, confidential data?

01:25:34

Unidentified speaker

First, let me say I’m not an expert in computer security. I understand some of the concerns you’ve expressed from things I’ve read in the newspaper, but I have no expertise in that area. Second, I had no knowledge of the content and could not verify that what the content was on this equipment. And third, I also have no specific knowledge in which countries Secretary Clinton chose or did not choose to use her devices.

01:26:00

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

01:26:02

Unidentified speaker

And before you yield back, if you would yield to me for a second.

01:26:06

Unidentified speaker

I yield to the chairman.

01:26:07

Unidentified speaker

So, Mr. Cooper, “a,” you get huge brownie points from the committee for showing up and having the guts to actually answer questions. We’re very grateful for that. I’m also very grateful for your candid nature in expressing the idea that you don’t have the expertise to even answer those questions as thoroughly as possible. The problem I have — again, I believe you’re doing the best you can, at least based on the testimony I’ve heard thus far. Here’s the problem, it’s you, Mr. Cooper, with no experience, no dual authentication, no encryption, up against the Chinese and the Russians. Who do you think’s going to win that one? That’s what scares the living daylights out of us, is because the cavalier nature in which this was set up in some of the nation’s most sensitive and secure information. That’s the concern. I’m now going to recognize the gentleman from — it wasn’t a question. I’m now going to recognize the gentleman from Vermont, Mr. Welsh, for five minutes.

01:27:12

Unidentified speaker

Thank you very much. I’ll have a few questions and a bit of a statement. Mr. Chairman, you’re a great chairman, you’re doing a great job, but I disagree with your excessive, in my view, focus on Hillary Clinton. I want to give a little perspective here. Legitimate investigation, but we had the FBI, we had Mr. Comey who has an unimpeachable record of vigilance as a prosecutor. Who called them as he sees them. He went through every single thing, every single email, and he came to the conclusion that there was no criminal conduct. There is no evidence that, in fact, the Secretary’s email had been hacked. And he says it’s not even a close call. So, whether that email should have been set up, the private server, the Secretary’s acknowledged that that was a mistake. There’s a legitimate basis to inquire as to what happened, but we’ve done it, and the FBI’s done it. And I have a feeling that a little bit of this those do with something other than the emails, and it may have to do with something that’s looming in November.

Now, one of the issues that I have as I listen to many of the questions of my colleagues is that they’re essentially asking the witnesses to try to disprove a negative. For instance, my friend from Wyoming was asking about the Russians or Chinese trying to get into that email. They probably are. They’re trying to get into every department we have, probably trying to get into the White House, trying to get into the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. So, that apprehension is well founded. But there’s no way any of us can disprove or prove that they have or haven’t gotten into the email of the secretary of defense or the secretary of state or the White House or any of the house accounts. So, the repetition of the question that raises the apprehension that the chinese or the russians are making this determined effort to hack into accounts and focusing it all on Hillary Clinton acts as though that intentionality of the Russians and the Chinese doesn’t apply across the board to anybody and everybody that’s in government or may have access to some information that they’d want. So, talking about Mr. Cooper having the guts to come in here. Thank you, Mr. Cooper. But you can’t prove or disprove any more than anyone else can whether the Russians have successfully penetrated anyone’s email account, let alone Secretary Clinton’s. So the whole issue here is a repetition of an initial assertion that somehow, some way, not only did Secretary Clinton make a mistake by having a private server, but that the insinuation is that she actually jeopardized secrets.

And there’s a memory gap here, because this committee is the one that had Mr. Comey in here, and he sat here for, I don’t know how many hours, but he answered every single question that every single member had, and that exhaustive investigation that Mr. Comey and the FBI did demonstrated that there was no evidence of either criminal violation, and he found no evidence that the emails had been penetrated. So, that’s really the basis upon which a lot of us believe that this committee, and it’s a great committee — all of us are proud to serve on it — is playing a role that’s beyond oversight investigation. It’s kind of advocacy in creating a sense of alarm among the American people as to whether something that is valuable information is being taken. Do you have any information, Mr. Cooper, that any secret information has been taken by the Russians, the Chinese or any other actor?

01:31:27

Unidentified speaker

I have no indication and I’d simply refer to the FBI report and their findings.

01:31:32

Unidentified speaker

All right. And in all of your discussion with your colleagues, has anybody else indicated that they had a shred of evidence that any national security information of the united states was penetrated as a result of the Clinton emails?

01:31:46

Unidentified speaker

I don’t even think I’ve had any conversations to that effect.

01:31:49

Unidentified speaker

All right. And is it a big deal for people to change their devices, iPads, iPhones, BlackBerrys? Is that somehow a big deal?

01:31:57

Unidentified speaker

I think it’s rather commonplace these days.

01:31:59

Unidentified speaker

All right. I thank you and I yield back. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

01:32:04

Unidentified speaker

Before the gentleman yields back, if I can — I appreciate the kind comments, but let’s remember, we got multiple people pleading the Fifth, afraid of criminal wrongdoing. We also have an FBI director, one of the questions was did you look at what Secretary Clinton said under oath? There are other equities that we have in the destruction of documents. He said he didn’t look at any of that. And so, that was also part of his testimony. He didn’t even look at that part of it, thus the imperative for us to do our jobs. But I do appreciate the gentleman’s, appreciate him yielding. Will now recognize the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Meadows, for five minutes.

01:32:46

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Cooper, thank you for your answers, as we look into this further further. You set up a server for the sole reason, as it relates to Ms. Clinton, so that she could use a domain name and have those private emails at her domain name served on that server, is that correct?

01:33:12

Unidentified speaker

Again, I set up two servers, both with the primary purpose of serving President Clinton’s personal office.

01:33:19

Unidentified speaker

Right, but in servicing Ms. Clinton, you put her domain name to service emails on those servers, correct? Correct.

01:33:27

Unidentified speaker

Correct. Why did you not use another server, like one and one or any of the other servers that are out there? Why would you not use those? And you know, I have a device that has a domain name that I own that I get emails at, and it’s much cheaper for me just to have a server that does that. Why would you not have done that?

01:33:50

Unidentified speaker

First, we had this solution in place, so it was certainly an option, and considering other options. I think there were some appeals to this in that the data was contained in one place. We knew where it was contained. It was physically in a secure location. And I think that some of the tools that you or I may employ today, even with a personalized domain, were not available at that time.

01:34:14

Unidentified speaker

Well, in 2009 they were, because I’m using them. And so, they were available then. And so, what you’re saying is the reason to not have another another — you’re getting advice from your counsel. Will you hold the clock? I guess you want to talk about —

01:34:34

Unidentified speaker

Sorry, just to turn off —

01:34:35

Unidentified speaker

So, the other aspect of this, Mr. Cooper, is you made a conscious decision to put her email address on this server to keep it from being viewed by other people that might have a server, like one and one or anybody else? Is that your testimony?

01:34:55

Unidentified speaker

I’m not sure that I was the decision-maker. I was —

01:34:58

Unidentified speaker

Who was, was it Hillary Clinton?

01:34:59

Unidentified speaker

I was in discussions primarily with Huma Abedin. I don’t know if she was the decision —

01:35:04

Unidentified speaker

So, your testimony here today is that Huma Abedin said that she would prefer to have Ms. Clinton’s email on a private server versus a server that was actually managed by someone else? That’s your testimony?

01:35:19

Unidentified speaker

My testimony is that that was communicated to me.

01:35:21

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Well, that’s illuminating, because if that’s the case, what would be the potential reason for having it where you can see it and someone else couldn’t see it?

01:35:36

Unidentified speaker

Again, this was a server already in existence for the use of President Clinton’s office, and I think it provided a convenient and what was intended to be a reliable solution for her personal email.

01:35:46

Unidentified speaker

All right, so, how many email addresses does she have?

01:35:49

Unidentified speaker

She primarily used one email address at a time as far as —

01:35:52

Unidentified speaker

How many did she have? Because I notice in their emails, they have numbers behind it and everything else. So, how many different emails —

01:35:59

Unidentified speaker

If you count her AT&T email address as one and then two others on the Clinton domain that I’m aware of.

01:36:05

Unidentified speaker

Okay. And so, as you were managing this, I guess the other concern that I would have is did you have a BlackBerry exchange server on your server?

01:36:22

Unidentified speaker

Yes, there was.

01:36:23

Unidentified speaker

So you had actually the push technology actually on your server?

01:36:26

Unidentified speaker

Correct.

01:36:28

Unidentified speaker

So, when the discussion between Platte River and the attorneys and all of that happened in March, were you part of that discussion to clean and erase some of those emails from servers?

01:36:47

Unidentified speaker

I was not at all a part of that discussion.

01:36:51

Unidentified speaker

All right. Is it commonplace when you have a discussion about erasing emails and archived emails to have an attorney on a discussion with a client? Is that common? I mean, I was in a business a long time. It never happened with me.

01:37:04

Unidentified speaker

That’s not something that I have the ability to comment on.

01:37:07

Unidentified speaker

Well, you have an ability to comment on it. You may choose not to —

01:37:10

Unidentified speaker

I have no opinion on that.

01:37:13

Unidentified speaker

Well, have you ever been part of a conversation to erase emails where there’s been an attorney there to advise you on the advisability of that? Have you personally? Yes or no?

01:37:26

Unidentified speaker

I personally have had no experience in that situation.

01:37:29

Unidentified speaker

Okay, all right. So, let me finish. You said that you’re paying for your attorneys’ fees here. Correct.

01:37:35

Unidentified speaker

Correct. Have you ever been reimbursed, or have you ever had any potential reimbursement for fees for attorneys’ fees from anyone other than your own personal accounts?

01:37:49

Unidentified speaker

No.

01:37:50

Unidentified speaker

Do you anticipate any reimbursement?

01:37:52

Unidentified speaker

No.

01:37:53

Unidentified speaker

All right. I yield back.

01:38:00

Unidentified speaker

We’ll now go to the gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Hice, for five minutes.

01:38:05

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to begin by saying what I think’s the feeling of many in this committee today, just how shameful it is that so many of our witnesses are no longer here. And frankly, the appearances they could care less about our national security and are less concerned about defending our country than they are on either being absent or pleading the Fifth. And as it was brought up earlier, they’re willing to meet with and talk with others, those who have the potential of prosecuting them. Who knows what possible deals have been made in some of those discussions, but they refuse to meet with us, and it begs the question, what in the world are they hiding? And so, I want to thank you, Mr. Cooper, for your courage and your willingness to be with us today and to provide some answers. It means a great deal to us. Did Secretary Clinton at any time have more than one device?

01:39:10

Unidentified speaker

I don’t recall specifically her having more than one email device, though I have come to learn that at some point she had some ipad devices that she may have used simultaneously with the BlackBerrys.

01:39:21

Unidentified speaker

So, there is a possibility she had more than one device at a time?

01:39:26

Unidentified speaker

It’s possible.

01:39:31

Unidentified speaker

You have referred to yourself many times as not being an I.T. expert. At any time did you consult cyber security experts when you were setting up her initial server?

01:39:40

Unidentified speaker

The initial server we consulted with Apple and their business solutions program to set up that server. And of course, later we consulted with Mr. Pagliano for those services.

01:39:51

Unidentified speaker

Okay. And for many department or agency in the government, did you consult with at all?

01:39:57

Unidentified speaker

No. No consultations of that type.

01:39:59

Unidentified speaker

Okay. When you referred earlier to some of the hacks that were taking place, the brute force and so forth, with some degree of regularity, did you report those hacks or potential hacks to the FBI or secret service or any other agency?

01:40:19

Unidentified speaker

As I mentioned earlier, when we first experienced some of the repeated failed login attempts, I reported them to the secret service.

01:40:27

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Do you know if anything was done when it was reported? Do they need to investigate or search anything out?

01:40:47

Unidentified speaker

The secret service looked at logs from the server and made some recommendations to Mr. Pagliano about the possible origins of those failed logins and some techniques he might use to mitigate that problem.

01:41:04

Unidentified speaker

Did any, be it agencies or other cyber security experts express any concern over this being a private server or use of private emails?

01:41:14

Unidentified speaker

Not directly to me.

01:41:17

Unidentified speaker

So even when they came and did some investigation and some  research, that question was never brought up to you?

01:41:25

Unidentified speaker

Correct.

01:41:32

Unidentified speaker

How does BleachBit work, are you familiar with that?

01:41:37

Unidentified speaker

I am not familiar with that.

01:41:38

Unidentified speaker

Well, seems to me, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Cooper and everyone in this room, and everyone in the country, for that matter — I mean, we know how absolutely dangerous it is, the potential dangers of information getting in the hands of our adversaries. And you’ve related that that possibility existed dramatically. In fact, Director Comey was right when I thought he was being very polite when he said this is extremely careless, what has taken place. And unfortunately, Mr. Cooper, you’re right in the middle of that that. We have nominations coming after us and here you are standing up as a defense to try to keep security from being leaked out to professionals and countries. And the words of Director Comey have to be directed to you as well. This has been extremely careless, what’s taken place, and your handling, frankly, of the I.T. infrastructure, even in the midst of admittedly not being an expert in this field, to me shows absolute disregard for our national security. And Mr. Chairman, I’m grateful for your continued commitment to pursue and to try to get to this and those who refuse to answer our questions and plead the Fifth to protect their own hide as opposed to protecting our national security, again, it’s shameful. But thank you for pursuing this, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back.

01:43:09

Unidentified speaker

Gentlemen yields back. Will now recognize the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Hurd.

01:43:14

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Cooper, thank you for being here. I know you’ve said many times you’re not an expert in computer security, so I won’t try it get too detailed. My first question is, have you ever worked in the federal government before?

01:43:29

Unidentified speaker

Yes, I worked in the White House in 2000-2001.

01:43:35

Unidentified speaker

Were you involved in handling classified information?

01:43:38

Unidentified speaker

No.

01:43:40

Unidentified speaker

Did Mr. Pagliano work for you?

01:43:48

Unidentified speaker

I’m sorry, can you clarify —

01:43:49

Unidentified speaker

So, you were responsible for setting up these servers, is that correct?

01:43:53

Unidentified speaker

I oversaw the setup of these servers.

01:43:56

Unidentified speaker

So, who was your boss when you were setting up the servers?

01:44:00

Unidentified speaker

President Clinton was my boss.

01:44:02

Unidentified speaker

And when you set up the servers, did — you’ve reached out to the services of Mr. Pagliano at some point, is that correct? And so, was he your consultant?

01:44:13

Unidentified speaker

Yes, he was a consultant.

01:44:14

Unidentified speaker

Was he working at State Department at the time?

01:44:17

Unidentified speaker

At the initial setup, he was not working at the State Department.

01:44:20

Unidentified speaker

While he was working at the State Department, was he involved in providing consultative services to your organization? Yes.

01:44:29

Unidentified speaker

Yes. Is that normal?

01:44:32

Unidentified speaker

I have no basis to judge that.

01:44:36

Unidentified speaker

So, as the person responsible for setting up these servers, did you ever engage a third party to do stuff like technical vulnerability assessments or penetration testing?

01:44:47

Unidentified speaker

I left that responsibility to Mr. Pagliano.

01:44:49

Unidentified speaker

And Mr. Pagliano was responsible for these servers from the beginning of the creation of these servers?

01:44:55

Unidentified speaker

He was not responsible for the Apple server. He was responsible from the transition of the Apple server to what we call the Pagliano server, and through the duration of the Pagliano server.

01:45:04

Unidentified speaker

So, the Pagliano server was backed up to an external hard drive between may 2009 and June 2011, is that correct?

01:45:11

Unidentified speaker

My understanding.

01:45:14

Unidentified speaker

And we had a report from the FBI that states that you would periodically delete these records, maintaining the backup as disc space ran out, is that correct?

01:45:26

Unidentified speaker

I have no knowledge of how that procedure operated.

01:45:27

Unidentified speaker

So you weren’t responsible for that part? Correct.

01:45:29

Unidentified speaker

Correct. Who was?

01:45:30

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Pagliano. So, when the decision was made to set up an independent server, were you involved in that conversation? I know you were talking about this briefly with my colleague from North Carolina.

01:45:42

Unidentified speaker

Yes.

01:45:44

Unidentified speaker

And why was the decision made to not use a commercial service versus doing something yourself?

01:45:51

Unidentified speaker

Again, the initial setup of both servers was in consideration of a small group of users from President Clinton’s office. This was a solution that we felt was an appropriate solution for trying. As you can tell by the fact that we transitioned pretty quickly from the Apple system to another system, we were moving to a more robust piece of equipment that could —

01:46:15

Unidentified speaker

So, you’ve said yourself at some point, did you raise your hand, say hey, guys, I don’t have the technical expertise to do this, maybe we should have somebody else?

01:46:23

Unidentified speaker

I was never in the position to be the technical expert on either server.

01:46:27

Unidentified speaker

So, there’s been a lot of conversation about whether or not this system has been hacked and brute force, you name it. Has the FBI, to your knowledge, investigated whether there was indeed — was there a forensic investigation on the servers to see whether there was evidence of an attack?

01:46:48

Unidentified speaker

I would refer you to the FBI for that.

01:46:52

Unidentified speaker

Were you ever asked questions about this? Did you all do an exhaustive, you know, review of whether or not you had records of data leaving the network? Were you monitoring whether data was leaving the network?

01:47:06

Unidentified speaker

I would refer you to Mr. Pagliano or the FBI for that. I —

01:47:10

Unidentified speaker

Were you ever told or did you ever suspect classified information was being emailed to and from the Secretary?

01:47:16

Unidentified speaker

No.

01:47:18

Unidentified speaker

Nobody ever brought that up with you or expressed a concern?

01:47:21

Unidentified speaker

No.

01:47:23

Unidentified speaker

Interesting. Do you think that common practices cyber hygiene was to be used in the development of these servers?

01:47:44

Unidentified speaker

I’m not wholly familiar with what common practices are, but I can say that I believe some common practices were likely used.

01:47:51

Unidentified speaker

And who were you using for guidance on what was good digital system hygiene, Mr. Pagliano?

01:47:59

Unidentified speaker

And Apple on the original device.

01:48:01

Unidentified speaker

Now, you said Apple a few times. Is this like you went into the help desk at the mall, like —

01:48:09

Unidentified speaker

We had an agreement with Apple’s business service program at the time that inspected to use, set up the system and installed it.

01:48:20

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

01:48:26

Unidentified speaker

I thank the gentleman. Now we’ll go to the gentleman from Alabama, Mr. Palmer, for five minutes.

01:48:32

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ms. Abedin and Ms. Hanley indicated the whereabouts of Clinton devices would frequently become unknown once she transitioned to a new device. What about these other devices? Did you make any inquiry about any of the missing devices to make sure they were properly secured in the data properly recorded?

01:49:01

Unidentified speaker

I can say whenever there was a transfer from one device to the next there was a goal and process to transfer the data from the previous device to the new device. You’re specifically asking about what happened to the devices that I know that I personally did not dispose of. I can’t speak to that. I believe the people who were in the process of doing that were asked to dispose of them by rendering them unusable.

01:49:31

Unidentified speaker

So you were responsible for setting up the servers and these devices?

01:49:35

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Pagliano set up the Pagliano server for someone to transfer to a blue BlackBerry device it simply requires someone to tell the server there is a limited period of time —

01:49:55

Unidentified speaker

Did you have any responsibility in handing the device that was no longer being used? What did you do with that? I understand you did something with some device.

01:50:04

Unidentified speaker

On occasion I was the person who made the transfer and when I was complete with backing up the information, ensuring it was on the new device, wiping the old device, I rendered them unusable in other manner, yes.

01:50:22

Unidentified speaker

Where your aware there’s a missing laptop and external storage device?

01:50:25

Unidentified speaker

I’m aware based on the reading of the FBI report.

01:50:28

Unidentified speaker

So you did know about it. Do you know that the report was lost in the mail?

01:50:37

Unidentified speaker

That’s as much as I know.

01:50:40

Unidentified speaker

Do you know who mailed it?

01:50:42

Unidentified speaker

I don’t have no details about that.

01:50:44

Unidentified speaker

So if you don’t know who mailed it you don’t know who it was sent to. You are as Mr. Hice pointed out that Mrs. Clinton’s use of a personal server is extremely careless. You were aware he said that. You read the FBI report.

01:51:07

Unidentified speaker

Yes, I’m aware of the report.

01:51:11

Unidentified speaker

In your handling of Mrs. Clinton’s servers, did you have any concerns that the use of a personal server and outdated technology on her cell phones might be a problem? .

01:51:23

Unidentified speaker

I viewed her use as personal use of a BlackBerry and the server that we kept up to date over a period of time.

01:51:32

Unidentified speaker

You’ve been around the Clintons for a pretty good period of time, haven’t you?

Yes.

01:51:41

Unidentified speaker

And you’re aware of the highly sensitive material that Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state was handling. That would pass through her communications devices and servers through her email. You certainly had to be aware that there was sensitive investigation?

01:52:04

Unidentified speaker

If I was generally aware that Secretary Clinton encountered sensitive information, sure. How that was transmitted to her that’s not something I was specifically aware of.

01:52:16

Unidentified speaker

In your disposal of these devices — and you said you were made sure they were wiped and you took other measures to dispose of them — did you receive any instructions or any training about making sure that the data on those systems were properly recorded? Did anyone talk to you about that?

01:52:36

Unidentified speaker

I had no specific instructions around that.

01:52:52

Unidentified speaker

Would you consider your handling of these devices as possibly careless? And I ask you that — and I think you’ve been a good witness. Appreciate the fact that you stayed but in listening to the questions and your lack of knowledge of some of the cyber technology, the cyber protection technology and things like that my concern is is that it’s almost an atmosphere of indifference. And I really hope that’s not the case because this is not — although some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle try to make this about her candidacy, it’s really about our national security and how we handle things going forward and I think that’s the prevailing concern this committee has is that we make sure we don’t put our national security at risk, we don’t put our intelligence officers at risk. That’s my big concern, particularly with this missing laptop that apparently no one has made an effort to recover. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

01:54:00

Unidentified speaker

I thank the gentleman, I recognize the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Walker, for five minutes.

01:54:05

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

01:54:12

Unidentified speaker

A lot of times we’re hearing back and forth of who to believe so I found it interesting, I believe there’s three different times today that our friends to my right have not been necessarily truthful in some of the accusations they have made. Number one, I believe that one of the members talked about this as some kind of relentless pursuit of Republicans trying to damage Secretary Clinton’s presidential chances or hopes. At the same time this is some kind of photo-op. Let me remind everybody if we could just pause for a moment and remember what Director Comey said. He said this was an investigation not caused by Congress but rather the inspector general from the intelligence they were able to gather. So let me put that on the record making sure this has not been Republican driven. This was inspector general and the FBI. Another thing they’ve tried to make a case for is this is some kind of Republican witch-hunt. I specifically asked Director Comey did he feel this way, he said no, he did not. In fact he said it was not a witch-hunt. And then today we hear our Democrat friends say there was no evidence the emails were hacked. Well, on January 9, 2011 Mr. Cooper you became aware of an attempt to hack Hillary Clinton’s private email server, is that correct?

01:55:28

Unidentified speaker

I believe you’re referring to an email that was in the FBI report and as — you may not have been here earlier, I said I was using the word “hacked” colloquially so I thought people would understand, what this was was a series of failed log in attempts and one of the earliest occurrences of this, the way we managed to put an end was to shut down the server for very brief period of times.

01:55:51

Unidentified speaker

I was here earlier and heard you share a little bit about that. Do you agree that there is no evidence that this server could have been hacked?

01:56:02

Unidentified speaker

I can to the best of my knowledge refer you to the FBI report who did the forensic analysis on this.

01:56:08

Unidentified speaker

But you don’t kind of a take on it.

01:56:10

Unidentified speaker

I have no knowledge that there was successful hack.

01:56:13

Unidentified speaker

Are you aware of how many times the Russians and Chinese tried to attack us on a daily basis?

01:56:19

Unidentified speaker

I’m not aware of it.

01:56:21

Unidentified speaker

This was on her private server? Not a State Department or government-protected server, is that correct?

01:56:26

Unidentified speaker

Correct, this is a private server.

01:56:28

Unidentified speaker

It’s interesting that if it wasn’t to what you consider maybe a hack status, you emailed her twice that day. How often did you normally email Mrs. Clinton in a given day?

01:56:39

Unidentified speaker

I believe the email was to Ms. Abedin. Again, this was one of the first or second occurrences that something like this was happening. I was just making her aware more than the email services might be off line for a few moments.

01:56:54

Unidentified speaker

In the weeks before, how many times did you send an email in the same reference?

01:57:00

Unidentified speaker

I don’t recall ever sending a great volume of those emails.

01:57:02

Unidentified speaker

So this was the first time you ever sent something like that.

01:57:05

Unidentified speaker

I can’t say specifically it was the first time.

01:57:08

Unidentified speaker

Pretty rare, though, you would think?

01:57:09

Unidentified speaker

Yes.

01:57:10

Unidentified speaker

Yet at the same point you’re describing the hack was not the best description of it?

Correct.

01:57:14

Unidentified speaker

Correct. But you were concerned?

01:57:16

Unidentified speaker

I was mostly in the email making her aware I was shutting down the server for a brief period of time.

01:57:22

Unidentified speaker

Were there any other times or attacks that you were aware of that you felt like — put the server in a vulnerable position of which Mrs. Clinton was in possession of this server?

01:57:32

Unidentified speaker

As there was an increase in the failed log in eded log in attempts we made the secret service aware and they reviewed the logs and made a recommendation.

01:57:46

Unidentified speaker

A number roughly of how many times that might have happened on these failed email attempts?

01:57:51

Unidentified speaker

I can’t give you a specific number.

01:57:53

Unidentified speaker

Less than a thousand? More than a thousand?

01:57:55

Unidentified speaker

Less.

01:57:56

Unidentified speaker

In just closing and I’ll yield back the rest of my time, you might have mentioned this earlier as well but can you remind me how you were compensated? Can you go into that? Who compensated you for all that?

01:58:16

Unidentified speaker

I worked for the Clintons for 15 years and was compensated in a variety of ways depending on what my activities were. For President Clinton helping him write his memoirs, I traveled the world with him, at points I supported the foundation too. I had varying sorts of income.

01:58:34

Unidentified speaker

A little gray area there, if I may be so bold. When you say you were compensated in a variety of ways, did that include being paid with cash?

No.

01:58:43

Unidentified speaker

No. So this was just like personal check from Bill Clinton here you go?

01:58:48

Unidentified speaker

Yes, taxable — I was a full employee of Bill Clinton.

01:58:53

Unidentified speaker

What was the title on — how were you getting paid with that? Did it say “Bill and Hillary”?

01:59:00

Unidentified speaker

There were multiple payrolls, there was a Clinton household payroll, later there was a Clinton Executive Services Corporation payroll.

01:59:07

Unidentified speaker

But they were personal checks as well?

01:59:09

Unidentified speaker

They were through an employer services company that managed the payroll.

01:59:13

Unidentified speaker

All right, thank you, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

01:59:24

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Mr. Cooper, for your patience and also your answers that you’ve provided by the panel today. You alerted folks to possible breach attempts and were concerned obviously about security as we’ve heard in your testimony today. In January, 2013, according to the FBI reports a Tor user logged into a staffer of President Clinton’s account on the Pagliano server and browsed email and folders of that person’s account. Were you aware of that sfwlaech that’s a little different than what you — what was just stated to Mr. Walker.

02:00:09

Unidentified speaker

I was not aware of that breach until I read in the the same account where you read it.

02:00:15

Unidentified speaker

Did it cause you concern? Once I read it? Sure.

02:00:19

Unidentified speaker

Sure. Sure.

02:00:20

Unidentified speaker

In the spring of 2013, which would have been approximate to this same thing, according to the FBI, sidney blumenthal’s aol account was hacked by Guccifer and Mrs. Clinton’s email exchange with Mr. Blumenthal was made public. Were you aware of that breach?

02:00:41

Unidentified speaker

I was aware of that.

02:00:43

Unidentified speaker

What was your response to these breaches?

02:00:45

Unidentified speaker

At that point in time I was transitioning out of any role or responsibility with the server as various teams were selecting Platte River Networks to take over the email services and I don’t know that I had any sort of direct response —

02:01:02

Unidentified speaker

Well, did you believe that there was sensitive information? Certainly it would qualify as very private, being the position that Mrs. Clinton held.

02:01:14

Unidentified speaker

Certainly private information, concern that you would have naturally concern that information was properly backed up and secured.

02:01:21

Unidentified speaker

And the FBI reported finding emails marked secret on a PRN server and you assisted with the transfer of data to the PRN server. Were you aware of secret or sensitive emails on the servers you worked on?

02:01:39

Unidentified speaker

I did not assist to the transfer of the PRN servers.

02:01:43

Unidentified speaker

Even with the missing laptop which you didn’t lose but apparently it got lost after PRN received it?

02:01:50

Unidentified speaker

Yeah, I have no knowledge of that.

02:01:52

Unidentified speaker

But you did have knowledge of providing a laptop for transfer.

02:01:56

Unidentified speaker

I provided by a laptop and instruction on how to download email, yes.

02:02:02

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Cooper, you conveyed to I believe it was Mr. Meadows — and we appreciate the insight you’ve given us — that Huma Abedin assisted in arrangements on the use of the private server when all of this was being set up. Is that correct?

02:02:19

Unidentified speaker

Yes.

02:02:21

Unidentified speaker

Did you create or did Huma Abedin or Cheryl Mills or Jacob Sullivan have a user account on the private server?

02:02:29

Unidentified speaker

Huma Abedin had an account.

02:02:32

Unidentified speaker

Huma Abedin did have an account.

Mr. Cooper, are you aware in the FBI report it states on page 10 that Missrs. Clinton’s immediate aides, who include Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Jacob Sullivan told the FBI they had no knowledge of the existence of a private server until after Mrs. Clinton’s tenure at state. But that would have not been true, would it?

02:02:56

Unidentified speaker

I can’t speculate on what their comments were.

02:03:00

Unidentified speaker

I know you can’t speculate on what their comments were but you just stated that Ms. Abedin knew of the server, she had an account on the server so how is it possible she could not have known about a server when Mrs. Clinton was at State.

02:03:14

Unidentified speaker

I can’t speak to her recollection of when she knew but she was I can tell you —

But that would be contrary to the facts, wouldn’t it?

02:03:21

Unidentified speaker

I can just tell you I know she had an account on the server and she was aware and using an account on the server.

02:03:28

Unidentified speaker

At the time Mrs. Clinton was there. Okay thank you for establishing those facts for us. We appreciate that. Blackberries. We know that there was preferences on functions and systems and going back and forth a lot of difference devices and we also know that there was one BlackBerry that was provided by from state but they’ve sent it with a warning that, look, all of this could be Freedom of Information Act therefore go in with this understanding so they elected to not use that BlackBerry. There were other BlackBerries used associated with the server which we’ve determined. How were they obtained? Were they third-party obtained? Obviously it wasn’t through State because there was only one we know about. Maybe there were more.

02:04:12

Unidentified speaker

I can’t speak to them being obtained by the State Department.

02:04:15

Unidentified speaker

Were they obtained through third party?

02:04:18

Unidentified speaker

BlackBerries were typically to the best of my recollection just obtained from the service provider AT&T who we had account with to service those phones.

02:04:28

Unidentified speaker

So they weren’t obtained by third party like eBay, or Amazon?

02:04:34

Unidentified speaker

Not to my knowledge.

02:04:35

Unidentified speaker

With that, my time has expired, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

02:04:38

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Chairman, just one question of the gentleman. You said that there was an email marked secret and we just wanted to know what that was because we never saw that.

02:04:53

Unidentified speaker

I’ll let you work that out with Mr. Russell.

02:04:56

Unidentified speaker

I want the record to be clear if it’s not one.

02:05:00

Unidentified speaker

I’ll now recognize Mr. Guthman of Wisconsin.

02:05:08

Unidentified speaker

I want to nail down a follow-up of what Representative Walker said. You first became involved with then President Clinton in 1999? That was your first involvement with the Clintons? Yes. Okay. At the time you were an aide so at that time you were paid by the United States government?

02:05:25

Unidentified speaker

In ’99 I was an intern still, in 2000 I became a U.S. government employee.

02:05:31

Unidentified speaker

Wow. What being an intern will lead to, huh. Okay, and then when President Clinton left office from then until today you say you worked for the Clintons but was it, like, a — Clintons person for two years, foundation, Clinton Executive Services Corporation? Who was cutting the checks from time to time?

02:05:59

Unidentified speaker

The organizations evolved over a period of time as I think was only natural as different parts of the operation grew and this rank. From a period of time I was in the transition office from President Clinton for the first six months out of office. I then worked for him in support of his efforts to write his memoir for almost four years.

Because then it was Bill personally?

02:06:22

Unidentified speaker

A combination with the book publisher. And then following that worked on what was the Clinton household payroll for a series of years.

02:06:31

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Could you get us a list? Just because I want to kind of see, you know, where you were involved in the thing. I hope it’s not too much bother from when Bill Clinton left office until today who were you working for? See what I’m saying? Like when you get the W-2 —

02:06:51

Unidentified speaker

From then until when I left in 2013?

02:06:54

Unidentified speaker

Were you getting W-2s or 1099s?

02:06:58

Unidentified speaker

I can have my attorneys prepare something for you.

02:07:02

Unidentified speaker

I’d like to have that. Next question, when you interacted with the Clintons, did you usually hear from Bill directly, Hillary directly, Huma? Who was the person you usually heard from?

02:07:12

Unidentified speaker

I primarily worked for President Clinton and worked with him on a day to day basis.

02:07:18

Unidentified speaker

Did you ever get emails from houma or Hillary?

02:07:21

Unidentified speaker

Certainly.

02:07:23

Unidentified speaker

Okay, like once a month? Once a week?

02:07:25

Unidentified speaker

I couldn’t tell you what the frequency was. Often it was coordination between the family to organize their schedules.

02:07:34

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Did you have any coordination with the foundation or did the foundation ever employee.

02:07:38

Unidentified speaker

Yes. Okay. When you heard about the foundation, who was your contact there is? Who was your contact with the foundation?

02:07:51

Unidentified speaker

Over time many different people worked for the foundation, primarily my role with the foundation was in supporting President Clinton’s activities with the foundation.

02:07:59

Unidentified speaker

Did you ever hear from Huma or Hillary about the foundation?

02:08:06

Unidentified speaker

At various times they participated in foundation of events over the lifetime of the foundation from when we left the White House.

02:08:12

Unidentified speaker

When did the foundation kick in? I can’t remember when that thing began.

02:08:16

Unidentified speaker

Officially the foundation was launched as we were leaving the White House in support of the presidential library and develop programs over time from that period.

02:08:25

Unidentified speaker

Before it became the charitable institution it eventually became?

02:08:28

Unidentified speaker

Correct.

02:08:31

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Did you receive emails from Secretary Clinton or Huma connected to State Department business?

02:08:39

Unidentified speaker

Not that I recall. Secretary Clinton on occasion had forwarded me documents to print.

02:08:44

Unidentified speaker

Usually when they contact you, her or Huma would be foundation business or personal business?

02:08:50

Unidentified speaker

I would say personal business.

02:08:52

Unidentified speaker

Can you give me an example of personal business?

02:08:54

Unidentified speaker

Asking where President Clinton was, if he was available, something that may have been going on in their household.

02:09:03

Unidentified speaker

Okay. I tell you what I’ll do. I’ll leave the remainder of my time to the chair. But I would like to see, you know, a chronology of, you know, this is who I got with 2s from in 2002, this 2003, this 2004. One more question. Was it usually just one person cutting the check each month? Were there months in which you got a check from Bill personally and the foundation?

02:09:33

Unidentified speaker

It varied over different period of times.

02:09:37

Unidentified speaker

Okay.

02:09:38

Unidentified speaker

Mr. Cooper, who are you employed by now?

02:09:40

Unidentified speaker

I have my own consulting firm and have a variety of clients that I work with to help them with their thought leadership, to identify —

02:09:49

Unidentified speaker

Does that include any of the array of Clinton entities?

02:09:53

Unidentified speaker

No, it does not involve any current Clinton entities.

02:09:57

Unidentified speaker

Or people or anything like that?

02:10:01

Unidentified speaker

If you could clarify, I’m sorry.

02:10:05

Unidentified speaker

This does not involve any of the Clintons now?

02:10:07

Unidentified speaker

No.

02:10:08

Unidentified speaker

Thank you. We recognize the gentlewoman from New York, Ms. Maloney.

02:10:13

Unidentified speaker

Thank you many, Mr. Chairman. I’d like to begin by quoting Bernie Sanders. He famously said in one of the debates, he said “enough. Enough of these emails.” And I think that those of us that have sat through this hearing today can say the same. We’re seeing a predictable pattern from the Republican party where they come out and make all kinds of accusations that I believe are politically motivated, they make all kinds of accusations against Secretary Clinton. And they claim — they make really reckless ones that are criminal accusations and then they call for an investigation and then the investigation happens and what comes out of the investigation does not support the accusations and then they move on to the next email, quote, attack that they put forward. And this happened, we saw it with the discredited Benghazi hearings and accusations and reports and reviews where the FBI and other independent investigators found no evidence, none whatsoever, of a crime with the emails and so what do we have again? Another accusation claiming email criminal activity.

Now this latest someone that Secretary Clinton and her top aides ordered the destruction of emails to conceal these emails from investigators, for example, my good friend — and he really is a good friend — Representative Meadows, I heard him on national television where he claimed that the emails were deleted as a result of — and I quote — a directive from the Clinton campaign. There’s no evidence to support this accusation. Chairman Chaffetz made a similar claim in his troefrl the U.S. Attorney on September 6 claiming that Secretary Clinton’s attorneys, Kendall and Mills, issued this order during a call with Platte River Networks in 2015. But these claims were already investigated by the FBI and guess what? There was not any evidence to support these claims. And the FBI summary explains that after Secretary Clinton’s attorneys finished producing her work-related emails to the State Department she no longer needed her remaining personal emails. Well, the FBI is there for a reason, they’re there to investigate, to make determinations and to come forward with conclusions. And they’ve concluded that there’s no evidence, so why are we here? Why are we trying to contradict what the FBI found?

And the bottom line is that the FBI based on their reviews, based on the professionals that they have looking at this, they came forward and said — and Director Comey actually said it right before this committee, he testified, “we do not find any evidence of evil intent and intent to obstruct justice.” this is the head of the FBI relying on a complete investigation of his personnel on this issue. He also said — and I’m quoting him again — “we did not find evidence to indicate that they did anything to try to erase or conceal anything of any sort. So the FBI has already made their determination. So by my one question to you, Mr. Cooper, in all of your work and your understanding, your experience with all of this, did you see anything that contradicts the conclusion of the FBI professionals and Director Comey who testified before this Congress he saw no criminal activity, he saw no abuse of justice. Did you see anything to contradict his conclusion?

02:14:58

Unidentified speaker

The facts to my knowledge, no.

02:15:01

Unidentified speaker

No, okay. So I just want to remind everyone that the FBI — we’re here for one day but they conducted a year-long investigation and concluded that no charges were appropriate. And they had, I would say, an all-star team. We have very good investigators here on our committee but I would say a year-long investigation by the FBI with their all-star teams that they are professionals, they’re trained professionals and they came forward and said that there was no charges, no charges were appropriate. So I just want to join Bernie Sanders in saying enough is enough. And we’ve had investigation after investigation, accusation after accusation and now we have another accusation after the investigation was completed by the FBI which has an unmatched in order protecting our citizens, preserving the law of this country and preserving the integrity of government and I would say I rest my case. I listened carefully to Director Comey.

02:16:23

Unidentified speaker

The gentlewoman’s time has expired.

02:16:26

Unidentified speaker

I was just warming up, Mr. Chairman.

02:16:29

Unidentified speaker

The gentlewoman is — yields back. We’ll now recognize the gentleman, Mr. Smith, who’s the chairman of the science space and technology committee. We’re pleased to have him in his seat today and we’re thankful for the close working relationship we have with the committee. We now recognize him.

02:16:47

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, very much, Mr. Chairman, for inviting me to attend today’s hearing to examine the security of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s private server. Secretary Clinton’s unique server and email arrangement is of particular importance both to your committee and to the Science, Space and Technology Committee. The Science Committee has a responsibility to examine ways in which executive branch departments and agencies and private entities can improve their cyber security practices. As part of the Science Committee’s on-going investigation I have issued subpoenas to three of the companies that performed maintenance and security work on Secretary Clinton’s private server. Two of the companies received lawfully issued subpoenas for information related to work they performed for frrmer Secretary Clinton, Platte River Networks and SECNAP, Inc., have refused to produce responsive documents. Both companies have misinterpreted the plain language of the subpoena and both companies have stated they don’t have responsive materials which is demonstrably false. Unfortunately, these companies’ decisions to obstruct the committee’s investigation and defy a lawfully issued subpoena continues a Clinton habit of secrecy rather than transparency. In fact, just this morning — and this may be of interest to the gentlewoman from New York who just spoke — SECNAP’s counsel confirmed to my staff that the Clinton’s private LLC is actively engaged in directing their obstructionist responses to Congressional subpoenas.

This is a clear obstruction of justice. Americans deserve to know the truth which is now being blocked by the Clinton organization. One of the companies, Datto, did provide responsive materials to the subpoena. These documents shed light on the unique arrangement by Secretary Clinton to set up a private server. This includes the lack of even basic cybersecurity measures applied to the information stored on the server such as encryption. It’s inconceivable that a secretary of state who is entrusted with our national security secrets would not take every available step to safeguard our nation’s classified information. The information through the Science Committee, the Oversight Government Reform Committee and Senator Ron Johnson of the Homeland Affairs Committee is crucial in determining the degree to which our national security was unprotected and perhaps endangered. I look forward to continuing to work with you, Mr. Chairman, and appreciate all the good work you have done and if it’s all right I have a couple questions for Mr. Cooper.

02:19:40

Unidentified speaker

Yes. First of all, thank you for being here today and answering questions. You deserve credit for that and that compares to those who refuse to answer questions and are not interested in trying to help us find out the truth. Let me ask my first question. We heard this morning that SECNAP’s council has said that the Clinton Executive Services Corporation is obstructing at least my committee’s subpoena. Do you think this is standard practice for the Clinton Executive Services Corporation?

02:20:28

Unidentified speaker

I’m not a position to answer that.

02:20:32

Unidentified speaker

Have you seen other instances where they’ve tried to prevent information from getting to a committee?

02:20:36

Unidentified speaker

I’m not aware at all.

02:20:41

Unidentified speaker

Many documents include Datto communications with Platte River Networks. Should they have information in its possession related to that?

02:20:55

Unidentified speaker

My interaction was handing over user names and passwords and that was the totality of the interaction I’ve had. I’ve never had interaction with them.

02:21:05

Unidentified speaker

Can you say weren’t they are likely to have information about the server or not?

02:21:09

Unidentified speaker

I have no knowledge.

02:21:10

Unidentified speaker

What information again have you handed over to them.

02:21:16

Unidentified speaker

I handed over user names in the transition process.

02:21:20

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, that completes my questions and appreciate the opportunity to be a part of your committee’s hearing today.

02:21:27

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, we appreciate it. Mr. Carter from Georgia.

02:21:32

Unidentified speaker

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Cooper, thank you for being here and staying as long as you have. Mr. Cooper in Secretary Clinton’s New York and Washington, D.C. homes, did she have a personally owned desktop security inside the secure areas or the SCIFs?

02:21:48

Unidentified speaker

We discussed earlier there were Apple iMacs were in both homes in the rooms that became SCIFs predating the time they became SCIFs.

02:21:56

Unidentified speaker

How do you know that?

02:21:58

Unidentified speaker

Before they became SCIFs they were both office which is I had the occasion to work out of.

02:22:09

Unidentified speaker

What kind were they?

02:22:11

Unidentified speaker

Apple iMacs.

02:22:13

Unidentified speaker

Who visited there?

02:22:14

Unidentified speaker

Staff at the home.

02:22:15

Unidentified speaker

Was it ever left unsecured?

02:22:17

Unidentified speaker

Unsecured meaning — sorry.

02:22:19

Unidentified speaker

Just left out the where someone could get to it?

02:22:21

Unidentified speaker

These were personal computers in their homes secured by the secret service.

02:22:27

Unidentified speaker

Who did you say had access to it?

02:22:29

Unidentified speaker

The Clinton family and their staff.

02:22:32

Unidentified speaker

And their staff.

02:22:38

Unidentified speaker

Let me ask you about two occasions in 2011 that — where you were can’t that someone was trying to hak into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. What made you concerned someone was trying to hack in as described in your email to Huma Abedin?

02:22:58

Unidentified speaker

I think I was colloquially using the word “hacked” to describe what was a multiple failed log in attempt on the server and what I was really conveying to her, less so of the concern of that activity and more so that we were dealing with it by shutting down the server for a period of time and so she should expect her email to be off line for that period of time.

02:23:19

Unidentified speaker

So later that day you emailed Ms. Abedin and said there was a second attempt. You said “we were attacked again so I shut the server down for a few minutes?

02:23:28

Unidentified speaker

Yes.

02:23:29

Unidentified speaker

Help me out. Wherever I think of “attack” on a computer I think that’s somebody who’s trying to get in unauthorized unauthorized.

02:23:46

Unidentified speaker

I was using colloquial language.

02:23:48

Unidentified speaker

So that’s not what you meant?

02:23:49

Unidentified speaker

These were multiple failed log in attempts on the server.

02:23:51

Unidentified speaker

Wouldn’t you describe that as someone trying to get in unauthorized?

02:23:55

Unidentified speaker

I would describe it as someone who is trying to get in unauthorized, yes.

02:23:58

Unidentified speaker

So was it the same attempt as was the previous day?

02:24:05

Unidentified speaker

I can’t recall whether it was the same attempt or being able to determine whether it was the same type of —

02:24:10

Unidentified speaker

Did you shut the server down on that day in January of 2011?

02:24:14

Unidentified speaker

To the best of my recollection based on the emails that you have, you’re describing, yes.

02:24:19

Unidentified speaker

What good that would have done? What was the purpose in doing that?

02:24:26

Unidentified speaker

My understanding is that these were automated attempts and once they don’t ping a server on the other side they would stop and that seems to be the practice of what happened.

02:24:36

Unidentified speaker

We’ve read numerous reports that Mr. Pagliano arranged for you to receive notifications when there were attempted hacks on the server. Did you receive any notification of any attempted attacks on the server?

02:24:49

Unidentified speaker

What Mr. Pagliano set up were alerts to alert me if there were any failed log in attempts which could be from users or non-users.

02:24:58

Unidentified speaker

Okay. I’m struggling here. Tell me the difference between a failed log-in attempt and a hack.

02:25:03

Unidentified speaker

A failed nothing from attempt is very simply when someone tries to log into the server in one form or another into a account or the server itself.

02:25:11

Unidentified speaker

What’s an attack? Sorry, with the user name or password that’s not valid. So that could be a legitimate user who’s mistyped their password. Or who — a legitimate user whose password has expired.

02:25:23

Unidentified speaker

Okay. I get that. Define an attack for me, then.

02:25:28

Unidentified speaker

Again, the word “attack” is colloquial.

02:25:30

Unidentified speaker

No, no, describe what you would define attack as.

02:25:34

Unidentified speaker

Multiple failed log in attempts trying different users names in no specific pattern.

02:25:39

Unidentified speaker

Would you agree most people describe attack as something much more than that?

02:25:45

Unidentified speaker

I would agree with that.

02:25:49

Unidentified speaker

Okay. We’ve been told and discovered that Hillary Clinton’s old phones were destroyed with a hammer. With a hammer. Were these phones connected to the private email server in question?

02:26:02

Unidentified speaker

Yes, I described earlier that when Secretary Clinton would transition from one device to the next we’d take the old device, back it up, make sure the content was transferred to the new device linked with the server so any information that came from the server was on the new device, then once that was completed, wipe the told device using the BlackBerry tool and then I would render them unusable.

02:26:26

Unidentified speaker

Why did you use that kind of method. It seems somewhat, if you will, barbaric. A hammer to a phone?

02:26:33

Unidentified speaker

I think it’s practical to not just throw a cold device into a garbage receptacle where someone might try to pick it up out of curiosity and use it.

02:26:45

Unidentified speaker

You know, here we are in — with all due respect, sir, the definition of an attack that you have and the definition of an attack I have that and I think most people have are completely different then we’re taking an old phone and destroying it with a hammer. Were you instructed to do that?

02:27:04

Unidentified speaker

No, that was not something I was instructed to do.

02:27:07

Unidentified speaker

But you say that was normal procedure? Is this the way you do away with everybody’s old phones.

02:27:12

Unidentified speaker

I felt that that was a good practice at the time.

02:27:16

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Mr. Chairman, I’ve exceeded my time and I yield.

02:27:20

Unidentified speaker

I thank the gentleman. A few other questions as we conclude here. Again, I give you great credit for being here and answering the questions, I do appreciate it. Why are were there no backup images prior to June 23, 2013 made available to the FBI as part of their criminal investigation investigation?

02:27:46

Unidentified speaker

That’s not something I have that knowledge or insight into.

02:27:48

Unidentified speaker

But, I mean, you and Mr. Pagliano were running the ship here so why were there no backup images.

02:27:54

Unidentified speaker

Technically Mr. Pagliano handled that component of the server and I was not managing the backup.

02:28:01

Unidentified speaker

The FBI report states that the so-called Pagliano server was backed up to an external hard drive between may of 2009 and June of 2011, is that your understanding?

02:28:16

Unidentified speaker

It’s only my understanding from reading the same report that you have read.

02:28:19

Unidentified speaker

The report further states that you would periodically delete the records maintained in the backup as disk space ran out. Is that correct?

02:28:28

Unidentified speaker

I was not the one responsible for those deletions.

02:28:31

Unidentified speaker

You didn’t do those deletions?

02:28:33

Unidentified speaker

No.

02:28:34

Unidentified speaker

Was there any consideration to get a backup? Or external hard drives?

02:28:39

Unidentified speaker

I believe at one point we upgraded the back up system attached to the server.

02:28:44

Unidentified speaker

So rather than backing this stuff up you just went ahead and deleted it.

02:28:50

Unidentified speaker

I was not the one responsible for or doing any deletions.

02:28:54

Unidentified speaker

The FBI was unable to locate or procure city of the 13 mobile devices used by Secretary Clinton during her tenure. Are you aware of the location of any of these devices?

02:29:06

Unidentified speaker

I am not aware of the location of those devices.

02:29:10

Unidentified speaker

Secretary Clinton. Did she ever use the computer you set up for her?

02:29:18

Unidentified speaker

The computers in their homes?

02:29:20

Unidentified speaker

Yeah.

02:29:21

Unidentified speaker

I can’t say specifically.

02:29:23

Unidentified speaker

You never saw her? Did she know how to use the computer?

02:29:26

Unidentified speaker

I don’t know that she did.

02:29:27

Unidentified speaker

So you bought a computer, set up the computer, but you never saw her use it?

02:29:31

Unidentified speaker

I don’t believe I ever saw her use the computer.

02:29:34

Unidentified speaker

Who had access to this computer?

02:29:35

Unidentified speaker

She has household staff in each home and I think her personal aides who would come to her house before or after she travelled who would predominantly to my knowledge use those computers to print off clips and briefing materials.

02:29:51

Unidentified speaker

And they could access that when it became a SCIF?

02:29:56

Unidentified speaker

I don’t know if that was the situation.

02:29:57

Unidentified speaker

Well, you were there in the household on a regular basis. Did you ever use in the the SCIF.

02:30:01

Unidentified speaker

I don’t remember using the computers once they were in the SCIF. That was separate computer that was not in the SCIF in the home in Chappaqua that was regularly used for email purposes.

02:30:15

Unidentified speaker

Would it print her emails.

02:30:17

Unidentified speaker

I can’t say to know that it would print her emails.

02:30:19

Unidentified speaker

Sorry, what?

02:30:20

Unidentified speaker

I don’t know that it printed her emails.

02:30:22

Unidentified speaker

Okay, but did you ever see the computer in her SCIF?

02:30:26

Unidentified speaker

I’ve seen the SCIF and I know the computer was in there. It’s hard to parse the times.

02:30:31

Unidentified speaker

You’ve been in the SCIF.

02:30:35

Unidentified speaker

Those rooms, I’ve spend time in over many years prior to them becoming SCIFs.

02:30:40

Unidentified speaker

You put a qualifier in there. Are you telling me for four years you never went in that room?

02:30:45

Unidentified speaker

I can’t recall a specific occasion where I walked into that room but there may have been an occasion.

02:30:49

Unidentified speaker

So you’re talking to the Secretary tear and she walks in the room you stopped at the door.

02:30:54

Unidentified speaker

I don’t recall any specific situation of that type.

02:30:58

Unidentified speaker

All right. Do you know how the SCIF was secured?

02:31:02

Unidentified speaker

I was there when the SCIFs were set up and I believe they had locks on the doors.

02:31:14

Unidentified speaker

What happened when the FBI showed up? Did they seize things? Were you there?

02:31:18

Unidentified speaker

I’m sorry?

02:31:19

Unidentified speaker

Were you there when the FBI came?

To?

02:31:25

Unidentified speaker

To?

02:31:26

Unidentified speaker

To her home in New York.

No.

02:31:27

Unidentified speaker

No. We’re not 100% certain they came to her home in New York. Are you aware if they seized anything?

02:31:32

Unidentified speaker

I’m not aware of that.

02:31:34

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Let’s go back one more time. The very same day Hillary Clinton started her senate confirmation is this very same day you registered Clinton Clintonemail.com and set up the server, correct?

02:31:52

Unidentified speaker

I believe that was the day we registered Clinton email.com. Not sure that’s the day we set up the server. What was.

02:32:00

Unidentified speaker

Why that day? What was she doing three days before that?

02:32:05

Unidentified speaker

I have no recollection of where she and I were three days before that.

02:32:08

Unidentified speaker

Why not set up a Gmail account?

02:32:10

Unidentified speaker

I think the consideration was that there was an existing server used by President Clinton’s small group of staff that provided by an option for her to maintain a personal email address using that system.

02:32:19

Unidentified speaker

Does she have a personal email address before she got Clinton email.com?

02:32:23

Unidentified speaker

She was using an AT&T BlackBerry address up to that point which had limited ability to retain emails or view them in any other way besides the BlackBerry.

02:32:38

Unidentified speaker

Okay. We have additional — do you still advise Teneo holdings?

02:32:42

Unidentified speaker

Yes, I still advise Teneo.

02:32:45

Unidentified speaker

Okay. Listen, again, I want to reiterate how much appreciate your being here, subjecting yourself to questions before Congress, it’s not a comfortable thing, I’m sure it’s not something you set out early in life to do but nevertheless the committee did call you and you are here and you’ve answered — you’re attempting to answer the questions and for that we’re appreciative. This is the way the system is supposed to work so we’re very grateful. Let me recognize before we recess here Mr. Cummings.

02:33:17

Unidentified speaker

How’s your business doing?

02:33:19

Unidentified speaker

Okay.

02:33:21

Unidentified speaker

I ask that because a lot of times we have these hearings and a lot of people don’t — sometimes don’t seem to realize that there’s life after the hearing. Do you have a family?

02:33:45

Unidentified speaker

I do not.

02:33:48

Unidentified speaker

Then, you know, you — I, too, want to thank you for your testimony testimony. I think you’ve been very straightforward, I thank you for cooperating with the FBI. And your testimony has been very helpful. You know, wherever I — having practiced law for many years, it’s painful, I’m sure, to have to pay legal bills because it’s expensive. And that’s money that you could probably be doing some other things with but, I’m sorry you have to go through all of this but the fact is that this is part of life and I just want to thank you very much. And I can understand based on your testimony why Director Comey came to the conclusions he did, particularly with regard to you. So thank you very much.

02:34:56

Unidentified speaker

It is the intention of the chair to recess and reconvene at a later time. The committee stands in recess. [ indistinct conversation ] [ indistinct conversation ) .

*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.

PEOPLE IN THIS VIDEO

Paul Combetta

Specialist

Platte River Networks

Justin Cooper

Staff Member

Clinton (Bill, Hillary & Chelsea) Foundation

More People

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