Pagliano’s immunity deal and pleading the 5th are not compatible

Bryan Pagliano is the IT engineer who worked for Hillary Clinton, both during her campaign in 2008 and during her tenure as Secretary of State. He’s the one that set up the e-mail server Clinton used while Secretary rather than the US Government-approved system at State. During the investigation, Pagliano reportedly received an immunity deal from DoJ lawyers. That’s why the news of his stated intention to plead the 5th during a deposition with Judicial Watch raised my eyebrows.

The 5th Amendment to the US Constitution is well known for its protection of the right to not be forced to incriminate yourself. (There’s a lot more in that amendment, by the way, but this is the clause most people are familiar with.) But an interesting thing happens when one is granted immunity: you are unable to incriminate yourself because the prosecution has explicity said you are immune. Consequently, you cannot use the 5th Amendment as a shield to avoid answering questions. Attempting to do so means you’re obstructing the law and that is something the 5th Amendment cannot help you with. This was the first thing I thought of when I read the stories about Pagliano’s intent to not answer questions.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone in thinking that. Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan has ordered Pagliano’s lawyers to file a memo detailing their argument for Pagliano to legally plead the 5th, and he’s specifically asked that they produce the details of the immunity agreement.

This is just blatant stalling for time, now. They are trying to give Hillary enough time to lock up the nomination so she can use that as leverage to make the case against her simply fade away. Pagliano should be required to give the answers to the questions from Judicial Watch or he should be in jail and his life rendered a valid target for as deep an investigation as can be had.

As an aside, and as a professional IT engineer myself, I’d also like to make the comment that if the vulnerability-ridden mess of an e-mail server that Clinton was using is an example of Mr. Pagliano’s work, then I think everyone should steer as clear of him as humanly possible when considering any kind of legitimate IT system they may need.

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