Former Clinton IT specialist Bryan Pagliano has informed the House Benghazi Select Committee that he will be invoking his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions regarding the secret private email server that Hillary Clinton used while Secretary of State.
However, in an August 31 letter to Congress, Pagliano’s attorney said the former 2008 campaign staffer who installed and managed Clinton’s personal server and left his IT job at the State Department in February 2013, the same month Clinton stepped down as secretary, would “respectfully assert his Fifth Amendment right” before the Benghazi Select Committee.
“The matters for which Mr. Pagliano’s testimony and documents are being sought by the Select Committee are also the subject of investigative activity by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice,” the letter said.
Despite using the investigations by the FBI and DOJ as the reason to plead the Fifth, it has been reported that Pagliano is refusing to cooperate with investigators from either probe. Apparently this follows a pattern of refusals to cooperate that go back as far as the original inspector general investigation back in the early summer.
Pagliano had worked with Clinton going back to at least 2006, serving on her original presidential campaign then later at the State Department with continuing duties overseeing the email server. Last week Clinton claimed to have used the secret private email server going back at least to her time as senator from New York:
“I did all my business on my personal email [in the Senate],” Clinton said. “I was not thinking a lot when I got in [to the State Department]. There was so much work to be done. We had so many problems around the world. I didn’t really stop and think what kind of email system will there be.”
“This was fully above board, people knew I was using a personal email, I did it for convenience. I sent emails that I thought were work related to people’s dot gov accounts,” she added.
This last statement is a direct contradiction to evidence previously revealed that showed that Clinton and her aides had sent information that would later be determined to be classified to at least six other people’s private email addresses, including non-government employee Sidney Blumenthal, the longtime ClintonWorld loyalist who was blocked from taking a position at State by the Obama Administration due to rumors he had spread about President Obama during the 2008 campaign.
As the Baltimore Sun said today “There is a smoking gun. In fact, there’s a whole smoking arsenal”.
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