The State Department could not find Bryan Pagliano’s emails during the time he served as an IT staffer to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“The department has searched for Mr. Pagliano’s email pst file and has not located one that covers the time period of Secretary Clinton’s tenure,” spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said in a statement released on Monday night.
A PST file is a file format that holds email messages.
However, the Department has reportedly recovered some of Pagliano’s messages but only after Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, contradicting the Republican National Committee’s earlier court filing. It was claimed that the State Department “has represented that no responsive records exist.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 9, 2016
Trudeau said that the absence of this file does not mean the department has no emails sent or received by Pagliano.
“In fact, we have previously produced through [the Freedom of Information Act] and to Congress emails sent and received by Mr. Pagliano during Secretary Clinton’s tenure,” she continued.
Trudeau made it clear that while they found no emails sent and received by Pagliano while Hillary Clinton was serving as Secretary of State, the Department has records related to the IT staff. They are also working with the Congress and FOI requesters to provide important material.
“The Department has located a pst from Mr. Pagliano’s recent work at the Department as a contractor, but the files are from after Secretary Clinton left the Department,” she claimed.
Pagliano found himself in the midst of the Hillary Clinton email scandal for his role in setting up the former first lady’s private email server. The RNC wants the State Department to turn over all his emails as well as all the text the then Secretary of State sent and received through her Blackberry.
State Department says it can’t find emails from Clinton IT specialist https://t.co/8M15vuQe6a
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 10, 2016
Critics allege Hillary Clinton put the nation’s security at risk by conducting official state business through her home-based email server.
The RNC is demanding that the Department release the IT staffer’s records as part of a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act that they filed earlier this year.
The IT aide accepted an offer of immunity from the Justice Department in March and had since become a key witness in the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. He will also testify on her handling of emails, which were deemed to contain classified information.
“It’s hard to believe that an IT staffer who set up Hillary Clinton’s reckless email server never sent or received a single work-related email in the four years he worked at the State Department,” Raj Shah, RNC’s Deputy Communications Director, told ABC News.
Shah believes the missing records might explain his role in setting up the former Secretary of State’s server and why he was given immunity.
“Such records might shed light on his role in setting up Clinton’s server, and why he was granted immunity by the FBI. But it seems that his emails were either destroyed or never turned over, adding yet another layer to the secrecy surrounding his role,” Shah continued.
Many are wondering why the State Department does not have any copy of his email during the time Hillary Clinton commissioned him to set up and maintain her private email server. Only one email, a happy birthday message sent from Pagliano’s private email account to Clinton’s, had surfaced when her emails were published on the State Department’s public reading room.
Hillary Clinton seemed to have forwarded it to another aide with instruction “pls respond.”
The FBI investigation is said to be nearing its conclusion after some of Hillary Clinton’s aides, including her longtime adviser Huma Abedin, have given statements regarding the email scandal. Investigators and prosecutors are expecting to set up an interview with the former first lady in the coming weeks.
[Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images]