Chaffetz Seeks Charges Against Former Hillary IT Aide Bryan Pagliano
Back in September, at the height of the Hillary emailgate investigation, 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 not one, but two, Congressional hearings in front of Jason Chaffetz' (R-Utah) House Oversight Committee despite his direct involvement in setting up he private servers.
The move did not sit well with Chaffetz, Chair of the House Oversight Committee, who blasted Pagliano's move saying that "subpoenas are not optional” and subsequently voted to hold Pagliano in contempt of Congress.
As it turns out, after all these months, Chaffetz is still not over Pagliano's aloof response to his committee's subpoena and has sent a letter to Trump's new Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to convene a grand jury or bring charges against Pagliano for his failure to appear before Congress. According to Fox News, Chaffetz said in a statement that allowing Pagliano's conduct "to go unaddressed would gravely harm Congress' ability to conduct oversight."
To our complete shock, Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the committee, blasted Chaffetz' call for charges saying that pursuing charges against Pagliano would be a waste of time and money.
"Apparently, Chairman Chaffetz and President Trump are the only two people in Washington today who think we should still be investigating Secretary Clinton," Cumming said in a statement. He added: "The Oversight Committee can't afford to be distracted by political vendettas against Hillary Clinton while our constituents are begging us to conduct responsible oversight of President Trump."
Of course, Pagliano's attorneys defended his actions back in September 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 infamous "Oh Shit" guy) and a host of other Clinton aides, was granted an immunity deal by the Department of Justice in return for his FBI testimony regarding the Clinton private email servers. Unfortunately, that immunity deal won't help him with these new charges.
Finally, we'll end with the same warning that we offered Pagliano back in September:
"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."