Bryan Pagliano, Hillary Clinton's alleged information technology specialist, reportedly exercised his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination today while declining to answer more than 100 questions in a deposition about his alleged role in setting up and managing Clinton's private email server.
The 90-minute deposition (i.e., sworn testimony which is a form of pre-trial "discovery," as the lawyers call it, as ordered in this case by a federal judge) of the former State Department employee was prompted by Judicial Watch, which is suing the State Department for more Hillary Clinton emails and related public records.
The Judicial Watch freedom of information lawsuit is separate from the ongoing FBI investigation into why Hillary Clinton used a private email server rather than a presumably more secure dot.gov account to conduct government business while serving as U.S. Secretary of State.
The FBI reportedly won't wrap up its investigation until after Hillary Clinton is nominated next month in Philadelphia by the Democrats as their presidential standard-bearer.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states in part that no person "shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..."
An inside source told Fox News that Pagliano took the Fifth some 125 times today while reading "the same crafted statement each time."
"'It was a sad day for government transparency,' the Judicial Watch official said, adding they asked all their questions and Pagliano invoked the Fifth Amendment right not to answer them," Fox News detailed.
The deposition which proved to be less than informative was videotaped, but it will be apparently kept under seal, the Washington Examinerdetailed.The IT specialist has reportedly also refused to testify on two occasions in Congress by pleading his Fifth Amendment rights.
"Pagliano also reportedly demanded and received an immunity deal from the Department of Justice prior to speaking with the FBI as part of the Bureau's investigation into the Clinton server," LawNewz noted.
"Pagliano has invoked his Fifth Amendment rights each time he has been asked about the private server during the past year, with the apparent exception of his conversations with law enforcement agents," the Examiner added.WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remarked about a week ago on British television that his organization plans to release more Hillary Clinton emails. He contended that U.S. authorities already has more than enough evidence to seek an indictment in the investigation, but suggested that the FBI and the Department of Justice are too politicized to go forward with a criminal case, given that Clinton is President Obama's designated successor.
In April, Obama remarked that Hillary Clinton was careless with the use of a private email server, he denied that she jeopardized national security by exposing any significant classified or top secret material.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch has insisted that there is no conflict of interest in the probe. "The investigation into the State Department email matter is going to be handled like any other matter. We've got career agents and lawyers looking at that. They will follow the facts and follow the evidence wherever it leads and come to a conclusion," she declared on Fox News Sunday
Late last month, a State Department Inspector General determined that Hillary Clinton violated federal protocols for protecting secret government documents, leaving them vulnerable to hackers. There also have been allegations that the Clinton server was hacked into, but "Clinton has repeatedly denied there is any evidence her private email server ever was breached," AP reported.In a new development today about IT security derived from additional emails Judicial Watch obtained, AP is reporting that "State Department staffers wrestled for weeks in December 2010 over a serious technical problem that affected emails from then-Secretary Hillary Clinton's home email server, causing them to temporarily disable security features on the government's own systems."
Hillary Clinton foes have alleged that foreign governments (including those with poor human rights records) and multinational corporations gave massive donations to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for favorable treatment by the U.S. State Department while Hillary Clinton served as America's top diplomat. They further claim that the private server may have been set up in part to facilitate these alleged transactions.As part of the ongoing lawsuit and the related discovery process in the Hillary Clinton private server litigation, Judicial Watch is scheduled to depose Clinton aide Huma Abedin (the wife of ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner) next week.
[Photo by Cliff Owen/AP]