Saturday, April 23, 2016


Hillary Rodham Clinton and her family personally paid a State Department staffer to maintain the private e-mail server she used while heading the agency, according to an official from Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The unusual arrangement helped Clinton retain personal control over the system that she used for her public and private duties and that has emerged as an issue for her campaign. 

But, according to the campaign official, it also ensured that 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.

That State Department staffer, Bryan Pagliano, told a congressional committee  that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination instead of testifying about the setup.

Clinton said in an interview that there were “so many problems around the world” when she took office in Jan. 2009, that she “didn’t really stop and think…what kind of e-mail system will there be?”

But Pagliano’s hire indicates that Clinton and her team gave the system adequate forethought.

The Clintons paid Pagliano $5,000 for “computer services” prior to his joining the State Department in May 2009, according to The Post. He continued to work on the server, which was located in the Clintons’ Chappaqua, N.Y. home, after he took the job. Pagliano, who had worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, did not report the side income to the State Department.

Pagliano, 39, left the job in Feb. 2013, the same month that Clinton left.

The timing of his departure raises further questions about whether he was hired at State to work solely for Clinton. At State, Pagliano carried the title of special advisor and deputy chief information officer. He earned approximately $140,000 a year as a GS-15, The Daily Caller found.

(RELATED: How Much Was Hillary’s Personal IT Guy Paid At The State Department?)

Pagliano’s attorney, Mark Macdougall, informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi that his client will plead the fifth if subpoenaed to testify about his involvement in the email setup. According to The Post, a spokeswoman for the Senate Judiciary Committee said that Pagliano made the decision not to testify after his attorney told him he could be asked questions about outside employment.

(RELATED: Hillary’s IT Guy Says He’ll Plead The Fifth If Called To Testify About Home-Brew Server)

The FBI is currently investigating Clinton’s server, which had been relocated from New York to a New Jersey data center after she left the State Department. The agency seized the hardware from the data center last month after the Intelligence Community inspector general discovered two emails that contained “top secret” information at the time they were sent.

Bryan Pagliano, the State Department IT guru who has said he will plead the fifth rather than testify about his work on Hillary Clinton’s home-brew email server, is represented by a partner at a prestigious Washington D.C. law firm with close political and financial ties to the former secretary of state.

The arrangement between Pagliano and Mark MacDougall of Akin Gump raises questions over whether the former Clinton aide merely sought to hire the best lawyer he could find for himself, or whether the Democratic presidential hopeful intervened in any way.

Clinton’s campaign treasurer is Jose Villarreal, a senior consultant at Akin Gump. One of the firm’s highest profile attorneys is Vernon Jordan, Jr., a longtime Clinton insider who was on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential transition committee. The former first couple, along with President Obama and Michelle Obama, recently attended Jordan’s 80th birthday, which was held at Martha’s Vineyard.

Clinton’s financial ties to Akin Gump also run deep. Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show that five Akin Gump attorneys have bundled $129,850 for Clinton’s campaign through June 30.

FEC records also show that individual Akin Gump attorneys and advisers, including Villarreal and Jordan, contributed $120,096 to her campaign. It is unclear how much of the individual contributions are captured in the amount bundled by Akin Gump lawyers.

Hillary Clinton’s personal IT guru is still refusing to meet with Congress, his attorney recently told the chairmen of two Senate committees.

Last month, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and Homeland Security chairman Ron Johnson asked Mark MacDougall, the attorney for Bryan Pagliano, if his client would be willing to testify about his work on Clinton’s server.

MacDougall said his client would “respectfully decline” the invitation, according to the letter, which was first obtained by the Associated Press.

Pagliano was recently granted immunity by the FBI in exchange for his cooperation in the investigation into Clinton’s server. He was hired at the State Department in May 2009 to set up and maintain Clinton’s email server, which has been found to contain classified information.

Clintons personally paid State Department staffer to maintain server - The Washington Post