Former Hillary Clinton Staffer Comes to Congress to Plead the Fifth

Former Hillary Clinton Staffer Comes to Congress to Plead the Fifth (ABC News)

Hillary Clinton’s former staffer who worked on her personal email server invoked his Fifth Amendment rights today and did not answer the House Select Committee on Benghazi's questions in a closed-door deposition.

Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s email server as a staffer on her presidential campaign and at the State Department, has notified several congressional committees and federal agencies probing Clinton’s private email use and server that he will take the Fifth to any questions, citing the ongoing FBI investigation into Clinton’s server.

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Former Clinton Aide Bryan Pagliano Plans to Plead the 5th to Benghazi Committee Questions

Pagliano, who was subpoenaed by the committee, spent roughly 20 minutes with members before leaving the Capitol. He did not take any questions from reporters today.

Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, said Republicans had 19 pages of questions prepared for Pagliano.

"He has a right to not answer questions that he thinks may incriminate him, and you have a right to glean any inference you want from the fact that he has,” he said.

Gowdy said he is “reticent” to request immunity for Pagliano from a court in exchange for his testimony, saying the executive branch “has the best investigatory tools” to compel Pagliano to testify.

Pagliano was reportedly contacted by the FBI and State Department Inspector General regarding his work for Clinton.

Pagliano recently informed the chairmen of the Senate Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees investigating Clinton that he would not give a "preview" interview -- known as a proffer -- ahead of any immunity offer, as it could open him up to accusations that he "waived his right" to avoid incriminating himself.

Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had signaled their willingness to request immunity for Pagliano from a court should he come in for a pre-interview.

"In the event that any Committee of the Congress makes an [immunity] application to a U.S. district court ... Mr. Pagliano will, of course, comply with such an order,” Pagliano’s lawyers wrote in a letter to the chairmen obtained by ABC News.

“Until that time, we must respectfully decline to participate in the exploratory discussions or proffer session with the Committees' staff as suggested in your letter," the lawyers added.

In a recent exclusive interview with ABC News, Clinton said she was “sorry” she used private email and a home-brew server for officials business while she was serving as secretary of state.

Clinton is scheduled to appear before the Benghazi Committee for a public hearing on Oct. 22. Gowdy said Clinton's top aide Huma Abedin will appear before the committee for a closed-door deposition before Clinton's hearing.

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