Hillary Clinton’s former tech aide Bryan Pagliano plans to exercise his right to the Fifth Amendment, protecting him from self-incrimination in a deposition given to conservative group Judicial Watch about his involvement with the setup of Clinton’s email server.
Pagliano also said in a court filing that there’s no valid reason to make an audio or video recording of the session since he doesn’t plan to answer any of the questions in the deposition scheduled for June 6.
“Mr. Pagliano will invoke his right under the Fifth Amendment and decline to testify at the deposition,” Pagliano’s lawyers Mark MacDougall and Connor Mullin wrote.
“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.”
Judicial Watch is pursuing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit related to Clinton’s private email server, a scandal that has dogged her campaign throughout the primary season. The group says that they are going to fight Pagliano’s proposal to ban recording of the testimony.
“Judge Sullivan already put in place a mechanism that addresses these concerns,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in an interview.
“There are always credibility issues that are raised by any assertion of the Fifth Amendment. This video, we believe will be helpful to Judge Sullivan in assessing the witness’ demeanor when asserting the Fifth Amendment and in response to other questions.”
Fitton is referencing a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan who has already ruled that videos of the sessions should be put under seal with regards to the testimony of another former aide to Clinton, Cheryl Mills.
Last fall, Pagliano—who worked for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and went with her to the State Department—has refused to discuss Clinton’s email arrangement or his role in it, invoking the Fifth Amendment before the House Benghazi Committee last fall.
“The Department has searched for Mr. Pagliano’s email pst file and has not located one that covers the time period of Secretary Clinton’s tenure,” State Department spokesman Elizabeth Trudeau said at the time.