The firm that managed Hillary Clinton’s private email server said it has no knowledge that the server was “wiped”, according to reports.
That could mean that more than 30,000 emails Mrs Clinton said she deleted from the device could be recovered, according to the Washington Post.
Mrs Clinton, the front-runner for the Democrats’ 2016 presidential candidacy nomination, has said personal correspondence sent and received during the four years she was US secretary of state was deleted from the server.
About as many emails pertaining to administration business have been turned over to the US state department, which is reviewing them and releasing them periodically by court order.
Deleting emails is not the same as wiping a server. Deleted emails often can be recovered from a device that has not been “wiped” – that is, completely erasing the data from the hard disk.
Last week, Mrs Clinton said that using a personal email account run on a private server to conduct government business was a “mistake”, adding: “I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility.”
Platte River Networks, the Denver-based firm which managed the system, said it has no information indicating the server was wiped.
Platte River took over the device in June 2013, about four months after Mrs Clinton left the state department, and turned it over to the FBI last month, the Post reported.
Republican senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said they will seek a review of the deleted emails if they can be recovered.
As she pursues the Democratic presidential nomination, Mrs Clinton has faced relentless questions and criticism regarding her use of a private email account for government business. The FBI has been investigating the security of the former secretary of state’s email set-up.
Mrs Clinton asserts that she had the right under government rules to decide which emails were private and to delete them, a claim the Justice Department supported in a recent filing with the US District Court in Washington.
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch is seeking access to her emails under a public records lawsuit.