Former Hillary Staffer Who Helped Set Up Private Server Gives Congress ‘Controversial’ Response to Subpoena

WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — A former State Department employee who helped Hillary Rodham Clinton set up her private email server said he will assert his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before the House committee on Benghazi.

Attorneys for Brian Pagliano sent the committee a letter Monday saying their client would not testify at a hearing planned for next week. The panel subpoenaed Pagliano last month.

“While we understand that Mr. Pagliano’s response to this subpoena may be controversial in the current political environment, we hope that the members of the Select Committee will respect our client’s right to invoke the protections of the Constitution,” Mark MacDougall, Pagliano attorney, wrote.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The letter was first reported Wednesday by The Washington Post. The top Democrat on the Benghazi committee, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, confirmed the letter in a memo to fellow Democrats.

Cummings wrote that he is not surprised that Pagliano would wish to take the Fifth given what Cummings calls the “wild and unsubstantiated accusations” against Clinton, the former secretary of state and current Democratic presidential candidate.

The congressional committee was launched to investigate the Obama administration’s response to the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. That probe has widened to include Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. Clinton has dismissed both controversies as “partisan games.”