State Department

Clinton family reportedly personally paid State Dept. staffer to maintain private server

Catherine Herridge reports from Capitol Hill

 

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and her family reportedly paid a State Department staffer to maintain the private email server she used during her tenure as secretary of state.

The Washington Post, citing an unnamed campaign official, reports the arrangement helped Clinton maintain her personal control over the server that she used to conduct public and private business. The official also said it also ensured that taxpayers weren’t paying for the upkeep of the server that was shared by Clinton, her husband, the former president, and their daughter as well as former aides, the Post reports.

The State Department staffer in question, Bryan Pagliano, told a congressional committee that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights instead of testifying about the private server. A congressional source told Fox News on Friday that investigators on the Benghazi Select Committee hoped to question Pagliano, a former IT specialist, over possible destruction of evidence.

Pagliano served as Clinton’s IT director of her 2008 campaign committee and then on her political action committee, according to The Post. He installed and managed her server and left his IT job at the State Department in February 2013, the same month Clinton stepped down as secretary.

The Post reports the Clintons paid Pagliano $5,000 for “computer services” prior to him joining the State Department, according to a 2009 financial disclosure form he filed. After he arrived on the State Department’s staff in 2009, he continued to be paid by the Clintons to maintain the server, a campaign official and another person familiar with the arrangement told The Post.

When asked about whether the former IT specialist had been paid privately to maintain the server, a State Department official said the agency “found no evidence that he ever informed the department that he had outside income,” The Post reports. This week, a different State Department official, couldn’t clarify to the newspaper Pagliano’s pay situation.

Pagliano reportedly didn’t list any outside income in the required personal financial disclosures he filed each year. The Post reports he remains a State Department contractor doing work on “mobile and remote computing functions,’ according to the State Department.

It’s not known exactly when or who “wiped” Clinton’s personal email server. However, it seems clear the move came after October 2014, when the State Department requested personal emails be returned as part of her business records.

Committee Republicans have long argued they don’t have all the documents that should be available to the investigation, after Clinton, using her personal discretion, purged some 30,000 emails.

Fox News put additional questions to Pagliano’s attorney, Mark J. MacDougall, Friday about whether his client played a direct role or had knowledge of the server scrub, but MacDougall said there was nothing further to add beyond the letter.

An intelligence source who confirmed to Fox that the FBI’s “A-team” was handling the Clinton email case, described the investigation as “moving along well,” adding investigators remain “confident” deleted records can be recovered because whoever did the scrub may “not be a very good IT guy. There are different standards to scrub when you do it for government vs. commercial.”

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Fox News’ Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.