Republican Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Jason Chaffetz was seeking criminal charges against a former State Department IT specialist who helped set up former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Chaffetz sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week asking that Bryan Pagliano be charged for failing to comply with two subpoenas ordering him to testify before the Oversight Committee in 2016. The letter detailed the committee’s efforts to work with Pagliano to avoid the necessity of a criminal referral, which included giving Pagliano a second opportunity to show up after failing to appear.
Pagliano, who managed Clinton’s private server and served as a senior adviser to the former presidential candidate, did not show up either time.
In the letter to Sessions, Chaffetz wrote that allowing Pagliano’s conduct “to go unaddressed would gravely harm Congress’ ability to conduct oversight.”
During the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s server, Pagliano was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for his cooperation, but it doesn’t look like that deal will help him with the possibility of new charges.
“There is no legal basis for Pagliano’s refusal to appear before the committee,” Chaffetz wrote.
Pagliano remained free from any consequences for not obeying any subpoenas, but Congress doesn’t appear to be backing down on this matter.
The bigger issue here is that if he didn’t break the law and had nothing to hide, he should have made an appearance. Because he didn’t show up — no doubt expecting Clinton to be elected president in November — he looks guilty. Whatever truth he could be hiding is almost certainly harmful to Clinton, which has got to be making her nervous.
There are many too unanswered questions about the former secretary of state’s use of a private email server, including the extent to which national security might have been compromised because of it.
The investigation shouldn’t end because Clinton lost the presidential election.
The American public deserves answers.
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