Last week, Clinton’s IT aid who helped setup her private email server, Bryan Pagliano, apparently decided that Congressional subpoenas, like federal record retention laws, were merely optional suggestions that did not require compliance. As such, Pagliano elected to skip last Tuesday’s Congressional hearing in front of the House Oversight Committee regarding Hillary’s email scandal.
That said, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Chair of the House Oversight Committee, seems to be under the “illusion” that Congressional subpoenas are not optional at all and, as such, has voted to hold Pagliano in contempt of Congress. According to The Hill, the Committee even had Pagliano served by armed U.S. Marshalls as an optical gesture to show they mean business.
“Subpoenas are not optional,” Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Thursday. “Mr. Pagliano is a crucial fact witness in this committee’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to conduct government business.”
The committee asked Pagliano be served by U.S. Marshals, according to both Cummings and Chaffetz. Chaffetz argued that the move was intended to prevent ambiguity, while Cummings characterized the move as harassment.
Democrats serving on the Oversight Committee, like Elijah Cummings (D-MD), were appalled that Republicans would vote to force the IT staffer to comply with federal laws saying they simply intended to “harass and intimidate Mr. Pagliano.”
“The Committee could have sent a staffer in a coat and tie, but they sent federal Marshals with guns,” Cummings said. “This served no purpose but to harass and intimidate Mr. Pagliano.”
“These actions are the definition of abuse. They are harassment. And I believe they are unethical.”
Meanwhile, Pagliano’s attorneys responded to the Oversight Committee saying that he had already “asserted his Fifth Amendment rights” and refused to answer any questions. Therefore, they argued that additional appearances before Congress served no “valid legislative purpose.”
“You and the committee have been told from the beginning that Mr. Pagliano will continue to assert his Fifth Amendment rights and will decline to answer any questions put to him by your committee,” according to the letter.
“A subpoena issued by a Congressional committee is required by law to serve a valid legislative purpose and there is none here,” reads the letter, which refers to the committee’s efforts to force Pagliano to testify as a “naked political agenda” with “no valid legislative aim.”
Of course, as our readers are already aware, Pagliano, like Paul Combetta (the “Oh Shit” guy), was granted an immunity deal by the Department of Justice in return for his FBI testimony regarding the Clinton private email servers. Given the immunity deal, Chaffetz argues there should be “no fear of criminal liability preventing him from testifying before the committee.”
We would caution Pagliano that, as suggested by the pic above, he would probably be well served to tread lightly…not many people share the Clintons’ particular talent for escaping scandal after scandal without repercussions.