You thought the Real Donald Trump was bad.
A former State Department IT expert has refused to answer questions about his work on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, keeping its operations shrouded in mystery.
Bryan Pagliano’s legal team have said that he would remain silent during a deposition with the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, originally scheduled for Monday but now delayed until further notice.
His decision increases the odds that Clinton herself will be forced to testify in the case, and because of quirks of the legal system, his decision to stay quiet could be seen as an implicit confirmation that he or the State Department had done something wrong. Unlike in a criminal case, judges in civil cases such as Judicial Watch’s can draw ‘inferences’ about someone’s guilt from a witness’s decision to plead their rights under the Fifth Amendment. For lawyers, there is a reason to go through the motions and ask questions, even if the response is the same over and over again.
Even if Pagliano doesn’t say a word during the deposition, he will impact the case moving forward.
The open records lawsuit launched by Judicial Watch is aimed at determining whether Clinton and her top staffers thwarted the FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] through her use of a personal email address and private server at her New York home. Pagliano is believed to have set up and maintained the private server, and is likely the one man with a detailed understanding of how it worked and why.
His continued silence has fuelled months of speculation about how Clinton’s email was set up, its digital security and whether it was designed to thwart transparency laws. For Clinton, that means no relief from a political headache that has dogged her campaign for more than a year.