House Science Committee Wades into Clinton Email Controversy

Lamar Smith
Lamar Smith

The House Committee on Science, Technology and Space has waded into the Hillary Clinton email controversy, issuing subpoenas to three companies that provided software and services on a private email server to the presidential candidate during her time as Secretary of State (see press release below).

Apparently this matter comes within the purview of the Science Committee because the body wants to determine whether the “cybersecurity standards and measures used to protect information stored on Secretary Clinton’s private server were in accord with NIST standards.”

OK. Maybe. Or maybe not.

Without delving into the specifics of the email controversy, I’ve been very disappointed in the performance of this committee under the leadership of Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). He and his merry band of Congressmen pretty much reject any scientific testimony that runs counter to their free market, no regulation political philosophy or threatens any of their major backers.

For truth in advertising, they should rename it the House Oil, Gas, Coal and Carbon Producing Industries. It would be a lot more accurate.

Normally I’d be urging the committee to focus on its main job and leave this issue to someone else, but in this case I’m afraid of exactly where that would lead.

Smith, With Support of Johnson,
Issues Subpoenas to Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server Companies

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee issued subpoenas today with the support of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to three companies that provided software and services to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that played a role in maintaining her private email server. This bicameral effort builds on the request for information sent to the companies on July 12 by both Smith and Johnson.

“Companies providing services to Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private email account and server are not above the law,” said Smith.  These companies have failed to comply with our committee’s request for documents and interviews that would provide information critical to understanding Secretary Clinton’s private server and informing policy changes in how to prevent similar email arrangements in the future. The committee is issuing subpoenas to obtain the information necessary to answer questions about the structure and security of the email system and whether or not the cybersecurity standards and measures used to protect information stored on Secretary Clinton’s private server were in accord with NIST standards.  The committee is also concerned about the preservation of the records on Secretary Clinton’s private server.  Our committee plans to provide the American people with the transparency they deserve from our government leaders and the systems used to secure operations.”

“I strongly support Chairman Smith’s decision to subpoena the three companies, which is why I co-signed the cover letter accompanying each subpoena,” said Johnson. “The companies have direct and unique knowledge of her private server and email account. The information being sought is a crucial step in bringing greater transparency to Secretary Clinton’s ‘extremely careless’ — I would call it dangerously reckless and grossly negligent — email practices. I hope the information we will obtain will inform policy changes that can prevent similar misconduct in the future.”

Full copies of the letters can be found here:

Letter to Mr. Austin McChord, CEO, Datto, Inc.

Letter to Mr. Victor Nappe, CEO, SECNAP Network Security Corp.

Letter to Mr. Treve Suazo, CEO, Platte River Networks