WASHINGTON (UPI) — A former State Department IT staffer responsible for the set up and maintenance of Hillary Clinton’s email server will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights next week when he is due to give a deposition to a conservative watchdog group.
Lawyers for Bryan Pagliano said in a court filing he will refuse to answer “any and all questions that may be put to him” and have argued there is no reason to make an audio or video recording of his interview by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group that has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit over Clinton’s private email server. The group is due to interview Pagliano on video on Monday.
Pagliano has already accepted an immunity deal with the FBI and is cooperating with their investigation separate from the lawsuit. Clinton’s emails are also under scrutiny by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which is evaluating the former secretary of state’s communication at the time when the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, came under attack, resulting in the deaths of four U.S. nationals.
Pagliano was one of at least seven witnesses subpoenaed by Judicial Watch to be interviewed in their case.
“Mr. Pagliano will invoke his right under the Fifth Amendment and decline to testify at the deposition,” Mark MacDougall and Connor Mullin wrote. “Given the constitutional implications, the absence of any proper purpose for video recording the deposition, and the considerable risk of abuse, the Court should preclude Judicial Watch, Inc. … from creating an audiovisual recording of Mr. Pagliano’s deposition.”
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled any videos of the interviews will be sealed, but Pagliano’s lawyers say video could still be released, even without court approval.
Pagliano also took the Fifth when he appeared before a closed session of the House Benghazi Committee but spoke to FBI investigators about Clinton’s email server after receiving immunity from the government.
The Clinton campaign had no immediate comment on Pagliano’s legal move, however urged everyone with information to cooperate with the House Benghazi Committee. Previously, the campaign said it was disappointed Pagliano didn’t speak to the committee, but was pleased when he did speak to the FBI.
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