Fmr Obama Adviser: Clinton IT Specialist was Wise to Invoke Right Against Self-Incrimination

September 16, 2015

Former Obama adviser Steve Rattner said Wednesday that he understands why the former Hillary Clinton aide in charge of her private email server at the State Department is now invoking his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

"I don’t blame that guy for pleading the fifth," Rattner said. "He’s just some IT guy she hired and suddenly he finds himself under investigation by the Justice Department."

Former State Department employee Bryan Pagliano was paid by the Clintons to manage her private email server, which is now the object of an FBI criminal investigation. Pagliano did not report the income he accepted from this job on a government financial disclosure form, raising further questions about why the server was shielded from public view.

Pagliano, who is being represented by a law firm with deep Clinton ties, has pled the Fifth to avoid divulging details about his employment. Members of Congress are now weighing whether to grant Pagliano immunity in exchange for his testimony.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough agreed with Rattner that Clinton associates tied to her private email scandal should invoke their right against self-incrimination.

"As an attorney, I would tell anybody in his position to plead the fifth," Scarborough said. "There is an active FBI investigation going on. It is far more aggressive than it has been portrayed in the national media, and everybody in Washington, D.C.  knows that."

Scarborough said later that Clinton has to balance the political need to appear transparent with the legal realities of her email scandal.

"That's the biggest problem with Hillary Clinton holding a press conference, because there is an active FBI investigation going on," Scarborough said. "If she's going to do it, she's got to make sure that the information that she gives the American people is not going to be contradicted in a month or two."