Hillary Clinton’s press secretary insisted that they’ve encouraged the man who set up her home email server — and has now taken the Fifth in response to congressional testimony requests — to be cooperative in the investigation.
The Washington Post reported last night that Bryan Pagliano, a Clinton 2008 campaign worker turned State Department information technology staffer from May 2009 until her 2013 departure, set up her home server and is now being sought by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security Committee for questioning.
But he’s invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination.
“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 to invoke the protections of the Constitution,” his attorney, Mark MacDougall, wrote.
Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told CNN today Pagliano is “not a part of the campaign — he’s a private citizen and so we can’t require him to do anything.”
“He’s represented by his own lawyer. All we can do is give the same advice and recommendation and encourage as Hillary Clinton has done with all of her aides, current and former,”
Cheryl Mills, a longtime aide to Clinton whose name appears on many of the emails released by the State Department, testified today behind closed doors at the Benghazi Committee. Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff at the State Department and likely pick for national security advisor in a Clinton administration, is testifying tomorrow. Hillary is testifying in open session come October.
“I believe there will probably be other aides that come forward and are willing to answer questions. So in every instance, so far, she’s encouraged everyone to cooperate because we want to make every good faith effort to be transparent and answer any questions people have,” Fallon said.
“But with Mr. Pagliano, we encouraged him as well because we don’t think he has any reason to not be transparent about the help that he provided from an I.T. perspective, but, unfortunately, it’s his choice what to do. And I think that I can’t speak for him, but I can only speculate, and from the words that have leaked out from the letter that his attorney sent to Capitol Hill, it suggests that he was afraid of being caught in a partisan swirl that now consumes three different committees on Capitol Hill where Republicans are trying to take this fact-finding expedition into a partisan exercise meant to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”
Fallon insisted there was nothing wrong with Clinton deleting half of the emails on the server, which she determined to be private and not involving official business. “The personal e-mails, the ones that were personal in any nature, were hers, to do with what she wanted. And quite understandably, I think the public agrees that even politicians and public officials are entitled to privacy,” he said.
Asked about the FBI possession of the wiped server, Fallon replied, “I don’t know what wiped means. The e-mails were deleted.”
Clinton recently joked when asked by reporters if the server was wiped, quipping, “Like with a cloth or something?”
“She has followed every request. The State Department asked for e-mails in paper form, she provided them. They were asked on a thumb drive, she provided them. She also provided the server. I don’t know what wiped means. The emails were deleted off the server, that’s true, but it’s quite possible, I don’t know that any steps were taken to remove any metadata,” Fallon said. “So to the extent that there is a further inquiry with respect to the server, they won’t find anything other than what we’ve represented is all the work-related emails were turned over.”