The State Department official who set up Hillary Clinton’s private email server will not comply with a congressional subpoena seeking his testimony at a House hearing on Tuesday, claiming that he is being targeted for public harassment and humiliation.
Bryan Pagliano’s lawyers informed the House Oversight Committee on Monday of his plans not to attend the session, according to The Washington Post.
“Any effort to require Mr. Pagliano to publicly appear this week and again assert his Fifth Amendment rights before a committee of the same Congress, inquiring about the same matter as the Benghazi Committee, furthers no legislative purpose and is a transparent effort to publicly harass and humiliate our client for unvarnished political purposes,” Pagliano’s lawyers at the Beltway firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld wrote in a letter to the Oversight Committee, which is chaired by Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
Several congressional bodies have failed in their attempts to interview Pagliano, who led the IT department for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and served as an IT adviser at the State Department during Clinton’s tenure.
Pagliano was granted immunity by the Justice Department in exchange for his cooperation with the FBI’s email investigation. He was interviewed on Dec. 22 and provided security logs from Clinton’s server.
He has rejected multiple requests to talk about his work on Clinton’s server. He invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing last September. He also pleaded the Fifth during a deposition with Judicial Watch earlier this year. And through his lawyers, he has rebuffed several interview requests submitted by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In their letter, Pagliano’s five-member legal team asserted that “the unreasonableness of the time constraint in the subpoena underscores the purely political motivations of this Committee.”
Oversight invited several other computer engineers who worked on Clinton’s private email server to appear Tuesday. But, according to The Post, it is unclear if they will attend Tuesday’s hearing.
One of those is Paul Combetta, a technician with Platte River Networks, a Denver-based tech firm that took over management of Clinton’s server in 2013.
Combetta was also granted immunity by the Justice Department. He is of special interest to the Oversight Committee because he appears to have lied to the FBI about his decision to delete backups of Clinton’s emails in March 2015, several weeks after Clinton’s use of a private email server was revealed in news report.
Pagliano did not return an emailed request for an interview.