Ex-Clinton aide who set up private email to take 5th again
By Associated Press | June 2, 2016, 15:04 EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The ex-staffer who set up former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s home email server intends to refuse to testify, again, in an upcoming deposition.
Lawyers for Bryan Pagliano said in a court motion filed Wednesday that he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at a deposition scheduled for next week.
A federal judge last month granted a request from the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch to question six current and former State Department aides about the 2009 creation of the private email system used by Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Pagliano previously refused to testify before Congress. He has been granted immunity by federal prosecutors in a separate FBI probe into whether classified information that flowed through Clinton’s server was mishandled. Clinton is expected to be interviewed soon as part of that investigation.
A separate review by the State Department’s Inspector General concluded last month that Clinton and her team ignored clear internal guidance that her email setup broke federal standards and could have left sensitive material vulnerable to hackers. Clinton has called her decision to rely on the private server a mistake, but contends she violated no laws.
The State Department has thus far released more than 52,000 pages of Clinton’s work-related emails, including a small percentage that have been redacted because they contain information considered sensitive to national security. Thousands of additional emails have been withheld by Clinton, whose lawyers say they contain personal messages unrelated to her government service.
At issue in the Judicial Watch case is whether the State Department conducted an adequate search of public records in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed in 2013. The group is seeking records related to former Deputy Secretary of State Huma Abedin’s outside work as a paid consultant for a charitable foundation run by Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.
The department’s initial search did not include the thousands of emails Hillary Clinton exchanged with her aides, including Abedin, using private email addresses. The department said it didn’t have access to those emails at the time.
There have been at least three dozen civil lawsuits filed, including one by The Associated Press, over public records requests related to Clinton’s tenure as the nation’s top diplomat from 2009 to 2013.
Written by Michael Biesecker