Former Hillary Staffer Who Set Up Her Email Server Took The 5th

Former Hillary Staffer Who Set Up Her Email Server Took The 5th

The State Department employee Bryan Pagliano who worked on Hillary’s campaign was the subject of breaking news last night. He is pleading the Fifth regarding setting up Hillary’s private email server in 2009 and told congressional committees as much:

Bryan Pagliano

This, of course, is Pagliano’s right — and he is correct that the Fifth Amendment protects the innocent as much as the guilty. So this may be just a matter of simple self-protection, and in that respect, it is probably a wise move. Pagliano’s lawyer is an experienced former prosecutor who knows the drill. With the FBI conducting some sort of investigation into possible criminal conduct, it is usually the small fish that is the first target. By not testifying, the problem may simply go away for him. If Congress or the FBI really wants his testimony, one or the other can give Pagliano immunity from using his testimony against him in prosecution. If they don’t, he can’t be compelled to testify. And by not testifying to Congress, Pagliano can’t lie to Congress or get caught in inconsistent statements, which is where his biggest potential for criminal exposure probably is. Many a felon has been convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, which prohibits false statements to the federal government as part of an official inquiry.

But putting aside the wisdom of his decision, Pagliano’s invocation of the privilege certainly raises the question of whether there is criminal conduct in which his testimony might implicate him. Remember, this is the guy who helped set up her secret server while employed by her campaign. He later got a job in her State Department and may have played a role while there in maintaining the server. There’s not much reason, from what we know, to think he was involved in sending or receiving classified information. So the real concern is the server itself.

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Pagliano’s invocation of the privilege certainly raises the question of whether there is criminal conduct in which his testimony might implicate him. As we have noted from the beginning of this controversy, it is a felony for the custodian of a federal record (which Mrs. Clinton plainly was) to “willfully and unlawfully” conceal, remove, mutilate, obliterate, falsify, or destroy the same (18 U.S.C. § 2071(b)). We don’t know all the facts here, but there certainly are indications that Mrs. Clinton set up this server for the purpose of evading federal disclosure and oversight. As James Carville argued back in March in trying to defend her, “I suspect she didn’t want [Congressman] Louie Gohmert riffling through her e-mails, which seems to me to be a kind of reasonable position for someone to take.” Reasonable only if she was not too concerned with complying with the law, perhaps.

Pretty shady. I guess we may never get to the bottom of this email scandal unless someone is willing to take responsibility. Such a sad state of affairs we live in.

Written by Katie McGuire. Send your hate mail to the author at [email protected], or feel free to mean tweet me at @GOPKatie, where I will be sure to do very little about it.

McGuire

Writer, Blogger. Political aficionado. Addicted to all levels of government campaigns.

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