The State Department IT worker who managed Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state will plead the Fifth Amendment if called to testify about his work on the Democratic presidential candidate’s mysterious email setup, his attorney informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi this week.
The committee subpoenaed Bryan Pagliano on Aug. 11, according to The Washington Post. In addition to testifying on Sept. 10, committee chairman Trey Gowdy asked Pagliano to produce documents related to the servers he managed on behalf of Clinton.
Pagliano worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before moving over to the State Department in May 2009, several months after Clinton took office. He left the agency at the same time as Clinton, in February 2013.
But in a letter to the Benghazi Committee on Monday, Mark MacDougall, Pagliano’s attorney, said that his client would assert his constitutional right against self-incrimination if called to testify. Pagliano is one of numerous Clinton aides that Gowdy’s panel intends to interview. Two of Clinton’s top aides will testify this week. Clinton herself is scheduled to publicly testify next month.
Pagliano’s decision to plead the fifth comes amid growing concerns over whether Clinton handled classified information on her private server. The FBI took control of the hardware last month after the Intelligence Community inspector general determined that two of the emails maintained on it contained “top secret” information.
“While we understand that Mr. Pagliano’s response to this subpoena may be controversial in the current political environment, we hope that the members of the Select Committee will respect our client’s right to invoke the protections of the Constitution,” wrote MacDougall, an attorney for high-profile Washington, D.C. law firm, Akin Gump.
According to The Post, MacDougall stated that two Senate committees had also contacted his client within the last week.
“Mr. Pagliano’s legal counsel told the committee yesterday that he would plead the Fifth to any and all questions if he were compelled to testify,” a spokesperson for Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley told The Post in a statement.
The Senate Homeland Security and Homeland Affairs Committee also recently reached out to Pagliano, according to MacDougall’s letter.
When Pagliano was hired at State, he was given the titles of strategic adviser and special projects manager to the chief technology officer and the deputy chief information officer. While he oversaw Clinton’s email server, it was reportedly housed in the basement of her Chappaqua, N.Y. home. After Clinton left office, she hired a company in Denver to manage the device. The company, Platte River Networks, transferred the server from Clinton’s home to a New Jersey data center in 2013. (RELATED: New Details Emerge About Hillary Clinton’s Email Setup)
Numerous questions remain about the server, including whether it was cleared of all of Clinton’s emails, and, if so, who ordered it, and when.