Sen­a­tors weigh im­mu­nity for Clin­ton aide’s tes­ti­mony

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY STEPHEN DI­NAN AND S.A. MILLER

Two top Se­nate in­ves­ti­ga­tors floated the idea of im­mu­nity Tues­day to Bryan Pagliano, the staffer who set up the email server in for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton’s home, in ex­change for tes­ti­mony about her ac­tiv­i­ties.

Mr. Pagliano last week said he would as­sert his Fifth Amend­ment right against self-incrimination in re­fus­ing to an­swer ques­tions about the mat­ter, but Sens. Chuck Grass­ley and Ron John­son, the chair­men of two key com­mit­tees in­ves­ti­gat­ing the sit­u­a­tion, said they have au­thor­ity to ex­tend im­mu­nity if Mr. Pagliano is will­ing to talk.

They pro­posed a prof­fer ses­sion, where Mr. Pagliano would let them know what he knows in an off-the-record set­ting, and all sides could then de­cide what steps to take.

“The Com­mit­tees have the au­thor­ity to ob­tain an im­mu­nity or­der, to ac­quire the in­for­ma­tion they need, while also pro­tect­ing your right against self-incrimination,” the two sen­a­tors wrote in a let­ter to Mr. Pagliano’s lawyer.

The sen­a­tors would need to judge to de­cide what to re­lease and how quickly to do it.

Ju­di­cial Watch, which alone ac­counts for 16 of the open records law­suits, filed pa­pers Tues­day op­pos­ing that move, say­ing the gov­ern­ment hasn’t even said how many emails top Clin­ton aides Huma Abe­din and Ch­eryl Mills turned over last month.

Fac­ing em­bar­rass­ing ques­tions about its record-keep­ing, the State Depart­ment an­nounced a new “trans­parency co­or­di­na­tor,” Am­bas­sador Jan­ice L. Ja­cobs, to try to get a han­dle on things. The RNC, how­ever, said Ms. Ja­cobs has al­ready con­trib­uted the max­i­mum amount to Mrs. Clin­ton’s 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign pri­mary ac­count, call­ing her in­de­pen­dence into ques­tion.

Mr. Kirby said she won’t be in­volved in the clas­si­fi­ca­tion de­ci­sions con­cern­ing Mrs. Clin­ton’s emails.

Mr. Pagliano was paid by Mrs. Clin­ton’s po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tion through early 2009, then shifted over to the State Depart­ment, where he was an in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy spe­cial­ist. At the same time, how­ever, Mrs. Clin­ton’s cam­paign has said she paid him to main­tain the server she kept at her New York home.


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