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Hullabaloo


Thursday, April 27, 2017

 
The oversight committee watchdogs are on the case

by digby




























You may believe that congressional oversight has gone lax now that Trump is in the White House, but you should think again:
The private internet company hired by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to maintain her private email server has been obstructing a congressional investigation into its actions for more than a year, prompting a leading lawmakers to refer the case to the Trump administration’s Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas), chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, has asked the DOJ to prosecute Platte River Networks CEO Treve Suazo for obstructing a congressional investigation into his company’s role in providing security for Clinton’s home brewed email server, which became the subject of widespread debate following revelations that it had multiple security vulnerabilities.

Smith, whose committee has jurisdiction over the investigation, said the Congress would not tolerate Platte River's failure to comply with the investigation.

"The Committee is referring Mr. Treve Suazo, CEO of Platte River Networks, to the Department of Justice for prosecution under federal laws pertaining to failing to produce subpoenaed documents, making false statements to Congress regarding possession of documents, and obstructing Congress," Smith said in a statement.

"Platte River Networks, a company hired by former Secretary Hillary Clinton, has deliberately withheld requested materials from the Committee and refused to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas," Smith alleged. "With a new administration in place, I am hopeful that the Department of Justice will appropriately respond to the referral.  We cannot allow companies with valuable information to stonewall us in our oversight efforts."

Senior congressional aides apprised of the situation said their investigation shows there is mounting evidence there were "pretty serious cyber security concerns" with Clinton’s server.

They're not going to let anyone get away with such grave threats to our national security, nosirree. They are ON IT.

They don't seem to be interested in the cybersecurity issue of the Russian hacking of the presidential campaign, however, which seems odd.

One member of the committee weighed in last fall on that:

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said Thursday that it was “terrific” that voters got more truthful information about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, regardless of whether the hackers were Russian.

“The hackers, whether or not they’re Russian hackers, I don’t know,” the California congressman said. “I know the CIA and the FBI disagree as to who the hackers are. But whether they’re Russian hackers or any other hackers, the only information that we were getting from hackers was accurate information, was truthful. And that’s not gonna turn the tide. If the American people have been given more truthful information, that’s terrific.”

Contrary to what Rohrabacher said, US intelligence agencies have near uniform consensus blaming Russia for hacks during the presidential campaign into the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. As CNN has reported, the disagreement between the FBI and CIA is over whether the Russians’ specific goal was to get Donald Trump elected, not as the lawmaker says over who is behind the cyber attack. Since that was reported earlier this month, Democrats and many Republicans, led by senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, have called for an investigation into Russian interference in the election. Trump, meanwhile, has said he does not believe the intelligence agencies that Russia was trying to help him win the White House.

In the interview on the John and Ken Show on 640 KFI California radio, Rohrabacher expressed skepticism that the hackers were Russian but praised them for doing better investigative journalism during the campaign than the American media.

He said, “It was truthful and in fact, whoever the hackers were, who could’ve been our hackers or Russian hackers or whoever, they were doing more investigative journalism into the corruption and arrogance of the liberal Democratic campaign for president than any of the national media, who were just hellbent to try to destroy Don Trump. That’s all they focused on.”

Rohrabacher, who is the chairman of the House subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia, has made headlines in recent months for his affinity for Russian president Vladimir Putin. In an interview earlier this month with Yahoo News anchor Bianna Golodryga, Rohrabacher said that the anchor’s claim that Russia was a human rights abuser was “baloney,” then accused her of bias because she was a political refugee from the former Soviet republic of Moldova.

In Thursday’s radio interview, Rohrabacher recounted a story of how he once played American football, went to a pub, and then arm-wrestled Putin while Putin was an official in the city of St. Petersburg. Putin won the arm-wrestling match, Rohrabacher said.

Trump's a big Rhorabacher fan. He invited him to the White House after he saw Rohrabacher defend him on Fox News.

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