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Republicans want IT bloke to take fall for Clinton email brouhaha

Not quite 'lock her up,' but they'll take what they can get – like formal criminal charges

US House Republicans are demanding prosecutors bring charges against the IT chap who hosted Hillary Clinton's private email service.

The chairman of the House of Reps' Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Lamar Smith (R‑TX), today sent a formal letter [PDF] to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking that charges be filed against Platte River Networks (PRN) and its CEO Treve Suazo.

Smith claims the tech biz failed to disclose or covered up its storage of Clinton's emails, which have been at the heart of congressional investigations over possible violations of government record-keeping laws. The letter claims the IT company illegally withheld copies of the emails from Congress and Suazo himself lied to the committee.

"To date, Mr Suazo, on behalf of PRN and through his attorney, has refused to produce documents, as directed by congressional subpoenas duces tecum and refused to allow his employees to provide testimony to the Committee."

The letter asks Sessions to look at hauling Suazo and his company into court for allegedly refusing to comply with a subpoena for documents, making false statements to the committee, and obstructing the committee's investigation into whether Clinton's use of the private email service placed US intelligence and national security at risk. No charges were filed against Clinton.

"There is no legal basis for Mr Suazo's refusal to cooperate and comply fully with the committee's subpoenas. Instead of cooperation the committee was met with obstruction and refusal to comply with subpoenas and requests for transcribed interviews," Smith writes.

"These actions, taken together, as well as Mr Suazo's false statements to the committee, made through counsel, support the pattern of obstruction."

Should PRN and Suazo be charged, the case could have a wider impact across the IT services sector, underscoring the possible legal risks smaller IT providers run when they accept government business – or in this case even private business – from those in government. ®

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