Let me share yet another bit of information on Donald Trump’s presidential run. Always keep yourself aware of all the latest developments!:
Not even an immunity deal could guarantee that the tech who set up Hillary Clinton’s private email server would show up to testify in Congress.
Two employees of the company that maintained the email system did appear, but pleaded the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering questions.
And when Hillary Clinton Democrats tried to blame Republicans for the obvious stonewalling job on Capitol Hill this week, U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy wasn’t buying it.
Maybe the pneumonia victim herself was home watching the news about the rash of developments in the email server investigation. Brian Pagliano, the IT technician who installed Clinton’s unauthorized server in the first place, failed to appear Tuesday — failed to respond to a congressional subpoena for scheduled testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
At an earlier appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which Gowdy chaired, Pagliano pleaded the Fifth 125 times to avoid self-incrimination, according to Politico. Since then, he’s received immunity from prosecution from the Obama Justice Department for his role in the email server scandal, but still refused to show up on Tuesday.
Democrats on the Oversight Committee tried to excuse his absence as fear of being prosecuted for political purposes.
“What we have done is put him under threat of criminal prosecution,” Rep. Stephen Lynch claimed, according to The Hill.
“It puts him in jeopardy coming before this committee while that criminal referral is in existence. He’s an American citizen. I know the Constitution gets in the way of this committee sometimes.”
Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, lashed back with a fury occasionally seen from the former prosecutor known as “The Bulldog.”
“I want to read the agreement between the Department of Justice and this witness and whether that agreement requires this witness to cooperate with other entities of government — that is commonplace!” Gowdy yelled, according to The Hill.
“For them to say, ‘you can tell us the truth and not tell Congress’ makes no sense!”
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Meanwhile, two other witnesses who worked for Colorado-based Platte River Networks, which helped maintain Clinton’s controversial server system, declined to testify Tuesday even though one of them, Paul Combetta, had been granted immunity by the Justice Department as well.
Combetta is the person who actually destroyed Clinton’s emails after they had been subpoenaed by Congress when the existence of her private email server came to light.
In an interview last week, Gowdy said he was stunned that such a key figured had been granted immunity.
“If the FBI and the Department of Justice gave this witness transactional immunity, it is tantamount to giving the triggerman immunity in a robbery case,” he said in an interview on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“It looks like they gave immunity to the very person you would most want to prosecute.”
Though he did show up Tuesday before the committee as ordered, Combetta invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
“You’re an IT guy who’s paid by the Clintons. Who told you to delete the emails?” Chairman Jason Chaffetz asked, according to The Hill..
“On advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer and exert my Fifth Amendment right,” Combetta replied.
A witness has a right to invoke the Fifth Amendment, of course. The men who wrote the Constitution were well aware that a government that could force its citizens to incriminate themselves was only a step away from tyranny.
But Chaffetz was clearly not pleased that Pagliano did not even show up to Tuesday’s hearing – and called it “thumbing his nose at Congress.”
“We’re not letting go of this,” vowed the representative from Utah.
Maybe Congress won’t. But maybe a whole lot of people using the Fifth as a legal shield right now are expecting a pardon from the second President Clinton if things really go bad.
Just remember, don’t accept the media’s partisanship and never allow them to scare you. Make America Great Again!