Clinton team used special program to scrub server, Gowdy says

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Hillary Clinton’s team used more than just a “cloth” to scrub her private server – employing a special program known as BleachBit to delete her private emails and try to prevent their recovery, a senior Republican on the House oversight committee who has read the FBI’s investigative file told Fox News.

“They didn't just push the delete button. They had them deleted where even God can't read them,” Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Thursday.

The account is striking considering that Clinton, at a rare press conference last year in Las Vegas, seemed to claim ignorance when asked by Fox News whether she wiped her server.

“What, like with a cloth or something?” Clinton quipped, adding: “I don’t know how it works digitally at all.”

Yet Gowdy said her team was using BleachBit, which is like an electronic shredder that permanently scrambles data.

In reference to the kinds of emails Clinton has claimed were private and not worth turning over, Gowdy said, “You don't use BleachBit for yoga emails, or for bridesmaids emails. When you're using BleachBit, it is something you really do not want the world to see.”

Despite the apparent attempts to prevent recovery, the FBI has recovered 14,900 emails from the server. A federal judge has now ruled that the State Department has until Sept. 13 to show which emails are government-related.

The chief investigators for conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which is seeking the records in court, also told Fox News that records about Benghazi were among the deleted files.

Gowdy, meanwhile, has questioned FBI Director James Comey’s claim to Congress and the public that a reason Clinton was not charged in connection with her private email use as secretary of state was because there was no evidence of criminal intent.

Based on the FBI investigative file, including notes from Clinton’s July interview, Gowdy said it doesn’t appear agents pressed Clinton on why she set up the server.

“I didn’t see any questions on that,” Gowdy said. “She said she did it for convenience, but I didn’t see the follow-up questions.”

Clinton is facing the possibility of new revelations on several fronts.

Aside from the court-ordered email review process, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Fox News’ “The Kelly File” he has more documents and plans to release the emails before November. He called the files “significant.”

WikiLeaks is the same group that released Democratic National Committee emails before the party’s national convention last month showing some officials discussing ways to undermine Clinton primary rival Bernie Sanders. The emails forced the resignation of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, among other officials.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.