The House Oversight Committee has voted to hold Hillary Clinton’s chief IT staffer Bryan Pagliano in contempt of Congress after failing to present himself to testify regarding his former employer’s private e-mail server.
Though Pagliano has spoken to the FBI, he has left Congress “with no choice” according to Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, after refusing to speak to two separate congressional committees regarding his time under Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Despite being served a subpoena by armed agents of the U.S. Marshals Service, Bryan Pagliano was once again a no-show.
Pagliano’s lawyers assert that had he shown, he would simply have claimed his Fifth Amendment right to refuse answers to questions that might incriminate him. Unfortunately for Pagliano, one cannot plead the Fifth if they don’t actually show up.
Democrats have painted the vote of contempt as a stunt to embarrass Clinton and direct attention away from Donald Trump’s alleged indiscretions. Representative Elijah E. Cummings asked, “Where is our investigation of Donald Trump? His potentially fraudulent business practices?” He claims the move is “an abuse of authority and taxpayer dollars to inappropriately affect the presidential election.”
Chaffetz isn’t impressed. He doesn’t think that Pagliano should be concerned about testifying, now that he’s been granted immunity by the FBI. Cummings, however, says that the immunity granted Pagliano is limited enough that his refusal to testify remains legitimate. But since the FBI has officially closed the case, only lying directly to Congress could still jeopardize him.
Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter.