Hillary Clinton’s E-Mail Scandal Continues: Further Details Surface As Staffer Bryan Pagliano Granted Immunity In Exchange For Cooperating
One of Hillary Clinton’s IT staff members has been granted immunity by the U.S. federal government in exchange for breaking his silence regarding his role in setting up and managing the Democratic presidential “front-runner” candidate’s private e-mail server in Chappaqua, New York.
Bryan Pagliano — who first installed the network in Clinton’s home in 2009 — plans to now fully cooperate with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the FBI’s investigation into the matter, according to the Washington Post.
In a statement to the media, Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon told the Washington Post that he was “pleased” that Pagliano would now work with investigators after previously invoking his Fifth-Amendment right to staying hush-hush before a September, 2015, Congressional panel, noting “As we have said since last summer, Secretary Clinton has been cooperating with the Department of Justice’s security inquiry.”
Many, however, see the Clinton staff member’s previous extended silence as a sign of possible incrimination.
Particularly vocal on the matter has been H.A. Goodman of the Huffington Post, who noted in a recent column that: “First, this can’t be a right-wing conspiracy because it’s President Obama’s Justice Department granting immunity… Second, immunity from what? The Justice Department won’t grant immunity… unless there’s potential criminal activity involved with an FBI investigation.”
Goodman would also note that Pagliano’s settlement to agree to testify “speaks volumes,” as “only one person set up the server that circumvented U.S. government networks.” The blame for this action, Goodman believes, falls squarely on Clinton and Pagliano.
In a previous story, the Washington Post reported that Clinton paid Pagliano as part of a “private arrangement” for the act of maintaining this private server, which she then used for years to store her official correspondences as Secretary of State. This assertion, which The Post sources to an “unnamed Clinton campaign official,” is also coupled with reports that Pagliano failed to list any of his income in his personal financial disclosures.
Clinton’s campaign responded with the spin that she hired Pagliano privately to ensure “taxpayer dollars were not spent on a private server that was shared by Clinton, her husband and their daughter as well as aides to the former president.”
The FBI’s investigation, meanwhile, remains ongoing as to what — if any — level of criminal activity occurred in Clinton’s home by storing actual classified documents on her private, non-government network. While the extent to which Clinton’s involvement in a crime will likely never be officially determined, it is known that as many as 31,380 e-mails were deleted.
According to the Washington Post, the FBI is targeting resolution in its investigation in the “coming months,” and plan to conduct many more interviews with Clinton and her senior officials as the law-enforcement agency attempts to determine the extent to which the presidential candidate is actually at fault. Specifically, officials are focusing on examining, in detail, the potential damage that Clinton’s e-mails could have caused had they been intercepted. No official indication has been given that prosecutors will convene a grand jury to subpoena this testimony and documents.
Clinton — who has been unofficially named the Democratic National Committee’s nominee-of-choice since well before any polls against her rival, Bernie Sanders, were taken — has taken care to classify the entire FBI investigation instead as a “security review.”
According to The Post’s anonymous sources, however, there is a commonly held belief that there is at least a small chance that some sort of an actual crime has been committed.
“There was wrongdoing,” noted a former senior law-enforcement official to the news outlet. “But was it criminal wrongdoing?”
FBI and Department of Justice spokespersons — in addition to Pagliano’s attorney, Mark McDougall — have declined to comment.
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