Bryan Pagliano’s role as Hillary Clinton’s personal email system technician was unknown to his immediate supervisors at the State Department, according to a new report from Reuters.
His hiring in early 2009 also surprised some officials at the information technology office, where the former Clinton campaign IT director took a job as information technology specialist in May 2009.
Those findings, which are laid out in a five-page letter that Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley sent last week to Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s most senior official, show just how peculiar Clinton’s private email system was and that setting it up required special maneuvering within the agency she led.
Clinton reportedly paid Pagliano out of pocket to set up and manage her private email system, which utilized Clinton’s personal email account and the server. That hardware is now in the custody of the FBI. And Pagliano recently began cooperating with investigators in exchange for immunity.
According to Reuters, one source of surprise for top State officials was Pagliano’s designation as a political appointee, or a Schedule C appointee.
Pagliano’s day-to-day bosses, Susan Swart, then the head of State’s Bureau of Information Resource Management, and her deputy, Charlie Wisecarver, exchanged emails expressing confusion at the designation, Grassley wrote.
Schedule C hires usually work in agencies’ executive offices, not in technical areas like an IT department.
Kennedy, who holds the title of under secretary for management, served as Pagliano’s immediate supervisor. That’s because federal law holds that Schedule C employees can only report to other presidential appointees or to certain senior executive officials. Swart and Wisecarver did not hold those distinctions.
According to Reuters, Kennedy gave Pagliano’s resume to Swart and Wisecarver in early 2009.
“How did the conversation go and have you reached an arrangement?” Kennedy asked them in one email, referring to Pagliano.
Pagliano, who was paid at the GS-15 pay grade, had little contact with Kennedy, the State Department told Reuters. The agency also said that Kennedy was unaware of the server or of Pagliano’s role in running it. Neither Swart nor Wisecarver knew of the operation either, a former colleague told Reuters.
Some State Department officials did learn of the server’s existence by late 2010, Grassley’s letter says.
One official who has been shown to have known about Clinton’s server was Stephen Mull, who served as executive secretary of the State Department.
In an Aug. 30, 2011 email obtained by The Daily Caller, Mull referred to Clinton’s “malfunctioning” server. The email was sent to three Clinton aides as well as to Kennedy.
Since Kennedy has reportedly said he was unaware of Clinton’s server while she was in office, is unclear if he did not read the Mull email or if he did not understand the reference to the server.
Pagliano also received a briefing on IT security in late 2010 or early 2011 in connection with his work on Clinton’s server, Grassley’s letter reportedly states.