Hillary Clinton and her family paid a State Department staffer out of their own pockets to set up and operate her home-brew email server, The Washington Post reports.
While the finding seemingly answers the question of whether the staffer, Bryan Pagliano, worked on Clinton’s private server on the government’s dime — the Clinton camp is asserting he didn’t — the arrangement raises other questions about how far Clinton went to set up an off-the-books email system.
Clinton said in an interview that aired Friday that there were “so many problems around the world” when she took office in Jan. 2009, that she “didn’t really stop and think…what kind of e-mail system will there be?”
But Pagliano’s hire indicates that Clinton and her team gave the system adequate forethought.
The Clintons paid Pagliano $5,000 for “computer services” prior to his joining the State Department in May 2009, according to The Post. He continued to work on the server, which was located in the Clintons’ Chappaqua, N.Y. home, after he took the job. Pagliano, who had worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, did not report the side income to the State Department.
Pagliano, 39, left the job in Feb. 2013, the same month that Clinton left. The timing of his departure raises further questions about whether he was hired at State to work solely for Clinton. At State, Pagliano carried the title of special advisor and deputy chief information officer. He earned approximately $140,000 a year as a GS-15, The Daily Caller found. (RELATED: How Much Was Hillary’s Personal IT Guy Paid At The State Department?)
Earlier this week, Pagliano’s attorney, Mark Macdougall, informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi that his client will plead the fifth if subpoenaed to testify about his involvement in the email setup. According to The Post, a spokeswoman for the Senate Judiciary Committee said that Pagliano made the decision not to testify after his attorney told him he could be asked questions about outside employment. (RELATED: Hillary’s IT Guy Says He’ll Plead The Fifth If Called To Testify About Home-Brew Server)
The committees are reportedly considering granting Pagliano immunity, a move that would compel him to testify.
The State Department initially said that there was no evidence that Pagliano was paid on the side to operate Clinton’s server. Early last month after Pagliano’s role was revealed, an official told The Post that the agency “found no evidence that he ever informed the department that he had outside income.”
This week, State declined to discuss Pagliano’s arrangement, citing “ongoing reviews and investigations.”
The FBI is currently investigating Clinton’s server, which had been relocated from New York to a New Jersey data center after she left the State Department. The agency seized the hardware from the data center last month after the Intelligence Community inspector general discovered two emails that contained “top secret” information at the time they were sent.