Newly released WikiLeaks emails provide a new theory — offered by a 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign official — for why Clinton’s private email server technician, Bryan Pagliano, avoided testifying to Congress last year by invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.
“Bryan was the one who retrieved all our emails for Maura to read,” Neera Tanden, Clinton’s 2008 policy director, wrote to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in a a Sept. 3, 2015 email released on Thursday by WikiLeaks.
“Maybe that is why he’s avoiding testifying,” she added.
News broke that same day that Pagliano, who was the 2008 campaign’s IT director, would take the Fifth instead of testifying in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
It is unclear who Maura is. But it is most likely Maura Pally, Clinton’s deputy counsel on the failed 2008 campaign. Pally is now vice president of programs at the Clinton Foundation. She did not return a request for comment.
It is also unclear from the brief email why Pagliano would have been ordered to retrieve the emails or when he retrieved them. He was paid by the Clinton campaign through early 2009, well after the Clinton campaign ended. He took a job at the State Department in May 2009. In that role, he helped manage Clinton’s email server, which was kept at her New York home.
Pagliano was granted limited immunity in exchange for his cooperation with the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s server. He was interviewed multiple times by investigators, first in December.
In addition to pleading the Fifth during the Benghazi Committee hearing, Pagliano refused to show up to a House committee hearing last month despite being subpoenaed to appear. He also took the Fifth in a deposition with Judicial Watch, the watchdog group that has sued the government over Clinton’s emails.