Columnist Charles Krauthammer explained Thursday why former Clinton aide Bryan Pagliano was invoking the Fifth Amendment to duck a subpoena about Clinton’s private email server, which he set up.
"If you go through the logic, you ask yourself why would the guy take the fifth? What's he afraid of?" Krauthammer said on Fox News. "I think it has to be contradictory testimony or perjury."
Witnesses often invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid incriminating themselves through their testimony.
Krauthammer explained that the aide was likely pleading the Fifth Amendment to protect his former boss, not himself.
"If you ask him what were you told? What did the secretary say she wanted? Did she give you a reason? What was hidden in there that we don't know? All of these things he would rather not have to say because you can be sure they will be contradictory testimony," Krauthammer said.
Fortune editor Nina Easton speculated that Pagliano was taking the fifth because he didn’t want to become a political casualty.
"If you look back to the 90’s and all the collateral damage that happened to people in the Clinton orbit during investigations, dating back to the MacDougalls and Whitewater, it's a quick hop, skip, and a jump to a bad memory of being indicted for impeding an investigation," Easton said.
Krauthammer said that the aide could ultimately be granted immunity in exchange for his testimony, but that Republicans are waiting to see what else comes to light about Clinton’s emails before taking that step.
"I think the reason it's not happening now is they want to have all the ducks lined up so they will know from other testimony what to ask him. I think it's a good thing to wait and then you give him immunity and you get the story," Krauthammer said.