Judge Orders Bryan Pagliano To Produce Immunity Agreement With Justice Department
A federal judge has ordered Bryan Pagliano, Hillary Clinton’s personal information technology specialist, to produce details of his immunity agreement with the Department of Justice, which is investigating the mishandling of classified information on the former secretary of state’s email server.
Judge Emmet Sullivan also indefinitely postponed Pagliano’s deposition with the watchdog group Judicial Watch. Pagliano’s lawyers informed Sullivan earlier this week that the former Clinton aide would plead the Fifth during the deposition.
The attorneys filed a request earlier on Friday asking Sullivan to prohibit Judicial Watch from video recording the deposition. They said that there is precedent to prohibit the recording of a deposition in which a witness pleads the Fifth. They also asserted that Judicial Watch intended to use video of Pagliano invoking his rights against self-incrimination for political purposes and expressed concern over “the potential tainting effect on the jury pool in a potential government enforcement action.”
In his order, Sullivan, a Bill Clinton appointee who has been critical of the State Department and of Hillary Clinton throughout the email scandal, said that Pagliano will have to provide rationale for pleading the Fifth. To do so, he will have to provide details of his immunity agreement with the Justice Department
“Counsel for Mr. Pagliano shall file a Memorandum of Law addressing the legal authority upon which Mr. Pagliano relies to assert his Fifth Amendment rights in this civil proceeding, including requisite details pertaining to the scope of Mr. Pagliano’s reported immunity agreement with the Government,” Sullivan ruled on Friday, according to Politico.
Pagliano invoked his Fifth Amendment rights back in September during a brief appearance in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. He reportedly began cooperating with the FBI several months ago in exchange for immunity.
Little is known about Pagliano’s agreement with the government. But The New York Times reported in March that Pagliano was granted limited immunity rather than blanket immunity. Limited immunity is a narrower agreement that prevents a witnesses’ words from being used against them. Blanket immunity is a promise not to prosecute at all.
Others have sought details of Pagliano’s immunity agreement. In March, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch for details of the arrangement. They requested that she extend Pagliano’s immunity to any information he might provide in interviews with their committees. Pagliano declined the invitation.
In his order, Sullivan gave Pagliano until Tuesday to provide the Memorandum of Law and immunity agreement.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton issued a statement calling Sullivan’s order “an important step to getting more answers from Mr. Pagliano about Hillary Clinton’s email system.”
This post has been updated with additional details.