The former information technology adviser to Hillary Clinton is reportedly intending to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at a deposition next week in answering questions about Clinton’s decision to use an unsecure personal server exclusively in her communications as Secretary of State. Bryan Pagliano made the disclosure in a court filing where he also sought to prevent the videotaping of his invocation of the privilege against self-incrimination.
Pagliano’s lawyers Mark MacDougall and Connor Mullin wrote that “Mr. Pagliano will invoke his right under the Fifth Amendment and decline to testify at the deposition . . . Given the constitutional implications, the absence of any proper purpose for video recording the deposition, and the considerable risk of abuse, the Court should preclude Judicial Watch, Inc. … from creating an audiovisual recording of Mr. Pagliano’s deposition.”
Putting aside the question of videotaping, the invocation raises a concern that (with the reported immunity deal with the Justice Department) Pagliano could effectively bury the truth about what occurred in the controversy. If no criminal charges are brought by the Justice Department, Pagliano can remain silent and effectively walk with his knowledge. It would seem reasonable for Judicial Watch to ask for the scope of any immunity deal that would already protect him from such disclosure.
The silence of Pagliano and the reported lapse of memory of other top aides is likely good news for the Clinton team in pre-November damage control. If top aides will claim faulty memories or invoke their right to remain silent, the only disclosures before the election would have to come from the FBI or Congress. Yet, the FBI would turn over any proposed indictments to the Justice Department and, if the Justice Department scuttles any indictment, there would not normally be a public report.