Staffer Who Set Up Clinton’s Private Server Refuses to Testify to Congress

Bryan Pagliano
Bryan Pagliano / AP
September 13, 2016

Bryan Pagliano, the staffer who set up Hillary Clinton’s private email server in her home, refused to testify in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday morning.

Pagliano chose not to testify or appear before the committee despite the FBI granting him immunity for the federal investigation into Clinton’s exclusive use of a private server during her tenure as secretary of state.

Lawyers for Pagliano, a former State Department staffer who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, told the committee that their client would be invoking his fifth amendment right to not incriminate himself, the Washington Post reported.

On Monday, Pagliano’s attorneys sharply criticized a new subpoena issued Thursday evening by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, for Pagliano to appear on two business days’ notice with two information technology workers to answer questions about why a Clinton email archive was deleted, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Post.

"Any effort to require Mr. Pagliano to publicly appear this week and again assert his Fifth Amendment rights before a committee of the same Congress, inquiring about the same matter as the Benghazi Committee, furthers no legislative purpose and is a transparent effort to publicly harass and humiliate our client for unvarnished political purposes," wrote Pagliano’s attorneys with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.

Chaffetz issued subpoenas to two other individuals from the technology firm that helped manage Clinton’s private server. Paul Combetta and Bill Thornton of Platte River Networks both used their Fifth Amendment right when they appeared to testify Tuesday morning.

Pagliano previously "invoked his Fifth Amendment right more than 125 times in a June 6 deposition," the Post noted, regarding a lawsuit filed by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, which is seeking Clinton’s emails while she was at the State Department.

Tuesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing came one day after Chaffetz subpoenaed the FBI’s complete case file of its investigation into Clinton’s email practices at the State Department.