In the latest wrinkle in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the former staffer who helped set up and maintain Clinton’s private email server, has promised to invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer questions asked of him.
Specifically, Bryan Pagliano was subpoenaed by the House Benghazi Committee to testify as to what he knew of Clinton’s email system during her tenure of Secretary of State.
In addition to requesting his testimony, the Committee asked for all of Pagliano’s documents regarding the email arrangement.
In response to the subpoena, Pagliano’s attorney submitted a letter to the Committee stating that his client will plead the Fifth amendment and will refrain from answering potentially self-incriminating questions. Pagliano is also refusing to turn over the requested documents due to the ongoing FBI investigation.
His attorney stated that, “While we understand that Mr. Pagliano’s response to this subpoena may be controversial in the current political environment, we hope that the members of the Select Committee will respect our client’s right.”
The response from Clinton’s camp is a statement that, “We have been confident from the beginning that Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email was allowed and that she did not send or receive anything marked classified, facts confirmed by the State Department and the Inspector General. She has made every effort to answer questions and be as helpful as possible, and has encouraged her aides, current and former, to do the same, including Bryan Pagliano.”
Clinton’s aide further stated that, “Bryan is an utter professional and a wonderful young man who does not live in the public eye and understandably may not wish to be drawn into a political spectacle. So his decision is both understandable and yet also disappointing to us, because we believe he has every reason to be transparent about his IT assistance.”
Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings claims that Republicans have scared off Pagliano stating that, “Although multiple legal experts agree there is no evidence of criminal activity, it is certainly understandable that this witness’ attorneys advised him to assert his Fifth Amendment rights, especially given the onslaught of wild and unsubstantiated accusations by Republican presidential candidates, Members of Congress, and others based on false leaks about the investigation. Their insatiable desire to derail Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign at all costs has real consequences for any serious congressional effort.”
Republicans disagree. Benghazi Committee Chairman,Republican Trey Gowdy, stated that he has absolutely no interest in poking at the email scandal that has caused Clinton such issues in her presidential campaign.
On the other hand, the Committee has been extremely frustrated by the State Department’s failure to timely produce requested documents and emails. The State Department counters that it is doing everything to work as speedily as possible. “The department has made every effort to cooperate with the Benghazi Committee, providing 32 witnesses for interviews and over 70,000 pages of documents, including over 20,000 pages in the last month alone. We are continuing to work with the committee on its numerous requests.”