Hillary Clinton's decision to use BleachBit to scrub her private email server could have been based on the fact that the free software can be downloaded and used with complete anonymity, the program's developer said.
Andrew Ziem, the creator of BleachBit, pointed to a recent CNN report about his software in which a computer security expert had speculated that Clinton's team would have selected a more expensive, more sophisticated service if it truly sought to conceal records.
"While there may be some merit to that, there is also an argument to be made for hoping that this doesn't leave a money trail," Ziem told the Washington Examiner.
Ziem said he was not aware Clinton had applied BleachBit to her server until Rep. Trey Gowdy said so on Fox News Thursday, because downloads of the program are anonymous and untraceable.
Gowdy said Clinton's emails had been so thoroughly scrubbed that "even God can't read them."
"It seems probable that the intent was to erase information," Ziem said of Clinton's use of BleachBit.
The open-source software can also be used to clear space on a computer with a cluttered memory, the BleachBit creator said.
But in a post on his website Saturday, Ziem noted the program is an effective way to delete emails beyond recovery short of the "physical destruction" of servers with "a hammer or blow torch."
Millions of people have downloaded BleachBit since its creation in 2008, Ziem said. He noted his website has experienced a spike in traffic since Clinton's use of BleachBit was revealed.
Nobody from the FBI contacted Ziem at any point during the year-long investigation of Clinton's private email use, despite the fact that the Democratic nominee's decision to download BleachBit was discovered by agents as part of that probe.
Members of Congress learned about the methods Clinton's legal team employed to destroy records after the FBI turned over notes from its closed investigative file earlier this month.
Those files, some of which are classified above the clearances of prominent lawmakers, have raised new questions about the materials Clinton withheld from the administration and their contents.
New emails made public from the private inboxes of Clinton's closest aides have shed light on the cozy relationship between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation during her tenure, creating challenges for the presidential candidate as she attempts to overcome voters' perception of her as dishonest.