The man believed to have set up and maintained former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server will be deposed this week after a more than two-week delay.
IT expert Bryan Pagliano was originally scheduled to testify on June 6 as part of a court case relating to email messages Clinton sent, but the event was postponed when his lawyers informed a federal court he would be using his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and would decline to answer questions.
On Monday, Judicial Watch, the conservative legal watchdog group involved in the lawsuit, said it had finally reached a deal to allow the event to proceed on Wednesday.
Even though Pagliano is planning not to answer questions, the session could still be incriminating for Clinton.
In civil cases such as the open records one launched by Judicial Watch, judges are allowed to draw inferences from someone’s decision not to answer questions. And Pagliano’s refusal to detail the system used to set up Clinton’s email server will leave the machine shrouded in mystery, dragging out an issue that has dogged her presidential campaign for more than a year.
The judge in the case, Emmet Sullivan, has said Clinton herself might be deposed as part of the case, and the odds of that order being handed down are believed to increase — if only slightly — with Pagliano’s decision not to talk.
In addition to Pagliano, Judicial Watch is also planning to interview longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin and State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy in the next two weeks.
As lawyers for Pagliano defended their client’s resistance to answer questions this month, Sullivan ordered them to release a copy of the immunity agreements he had reached with the Justice Department as part of its ongoing investigation related to Clinton’s bespoke server and the possibility that classified information was mishandled. The judge ultimately ruled that the deal itself could remain shielded from the public, though lawyers revealed that it was limited in scope.
In filings, the Justice Department also warned that release of the document “could prematurely reveal the scope and focus of the pending investigation.”