Another State Department IT aide invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer more than 90 questions Monday during a Judicial Watch deposition. John Bentel, former director of information resource management of the executive secretariat, refused to answer questions about whether Hillary Clinton had paid his legal fees or given him financial incentives during the final deposition in Judicial Watch’s lawsuit over her private emails. According to Judicial Watch, Bentel repeatedly answered, “On advice from my legal counsel, I decline to answer the question and I invoke my Fifth Amendment rights.”
District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered him to testify under oath back in August because he noticed that the record in the case appeared to contradict Bental’s sworn testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
Bentel told the House Select Committee on Benghazi in June 2015 that he had no knowledge of Clinton’s private email server.
However, the State Department inspector general later discovered that Bentel “told employees in his office that Secretary Clinton’s email arrangement had been approved by the State Department’s legal staff and also instructed his subordinates not to discuss the Secretary’s email again,” according to the court order.
State Department aide and Clinton employee Bryan Pagliano also asserted his Fifth Amendment rights during Judicial Watch’s deposition back in June.
“The fact that yet another State Department official took the Fifth highlights the disturbing implication that criminal acts took place related to the Clinton email and our Freedom of Information Act requests,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton commented.
Fitton said in a recent Clinton email update that no matter who wins the election, pressure for a criminal investigation into Clinton’s email corruption will continue and a special prosecutor will have to be appointed.