According to an official from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the presidential hopeful and her family personally paid a State Department staffer to maintain the private e-mail server she used while heading the agency.
The arrangement helped Hillary Clinton retain personal control over the system that she used for her public and private duties and that has emerged as an issue for her campaign, the Washington Post reported.
However, according to the campaign official, it also ensured that taxpayer dollars were not spent on a private server that was shared by Hillary Clinton, her husband and their daughter as well as aides to the former president.
That State Department staffer, Bryan Pagliano, told a congressional committee this week that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination instead of testifying about the setup.
The private employment of Bryan Pagliano provides a new example of the ways that Hillary Clinton — who occupied a unique role as a Cabinet secretary who was also a former and potentially future presidential candidate — hired staff to work simultaneously for her in public and private capacities.
Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, and Huma Abedin, a close confidant who served as deputy chief of staff, both spent time working for the State Department, the Clinton Foundation or the Clintons personally.
Bryan Pagliano had served as the IT director of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and then worked for her political action committee.
The Clintons paid Bryan Pagliano $5,000 for “computer services” prior to his joining the State Department, according to a financial disclosure form he filed in April 2009.
Even after arriving at the State Department in May 2009, Bryan Pagliano continued to be paid by the Clintons to maintain the server, which was in their Chappaqua, New York, home, according to the campaign official and another person familiar with the arrangement, the Washington Post reported.
The private pay arrangement has not previously been reported. The State Department has declined to answer questions about whether the private system was widely known within the agency or officially approved.
Asked in early August about whether Bryan Pagliano had been paid privately to maintain the server, a State Department official said that the agency had “found no evidence that he ever informed the department that he had outside income”.
This week, a different State Department official said he could not clarify Bryan Pagliano’s pay situation, citing “ongoing reviews and investigations” of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail setup.
Bryan Pagliano did not list the outside income in the required personal financial disclosures he filed each year.
The State Department has said Bryan Pagliano concluded his full-time service in February 2013, which coincides with Hillary Clinton’s departure as secretary.
Bryan Pagliano remains a State Department contractor doing work on “mobile and remote computing functions,” according to a State Department spokesman.
More than 3,000 pages of emails from the private server former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used while in office have been released by the State Department on June 30.
The correspondence, released online, covers March through December 2009.
Among the 1,900 emails released by the State Department, on July 11, 2009, Hillary Clinton received an email from “Jimmy” — presumably former President Jimmy Carter — titled “N. Korea.”
The message seems to be about freeing journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were charged and held with illegal passage into North Korea. It read:
The message read: “Hillary: As I explained to you on the phone, I don’t think it is appropriate to tell them that I will come only if they agree in advance to release the women. Your response was, in effect, <<They have already agreed.>> Is this correct? If not, I will go, by commercial airline if necessary, representing The Carter Center, and try to induce them to approve the release. JC”
Hillary Clinton forwarded the message onto a redacted email account with the comment “fyi.”
In May 2015, a District of Columbia judge ordered the State Department to release Hillary Clinton’s emails in batches ever 30 days, rejecting an agency plan to roll them out in early 2016.
The release will meet the court’s mandate that it match at least 7% of Hillary Clinton’s message traffic, department spokesman John Kirby said during a press briefing on June 30.
John Kirby tried to explain away the strange timing of the release.
“You have to understand the enormity of the task here. It is a lot of stuff to go through,” he told reporters, adding the agency was “working right up to the deadline” to get the emails out.
Questions over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server while serving as secretary of State have dogged her candidacy since she entered the White House race in April.
Also on June 30, the State Department handed over 3,600 pages of correspondence to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the attacks on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.
The emails from Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations at the time of the deadly 2012 assault, and former Hillary Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan were provided under a subpoena the GOP-controlled panel issued in March.
In a letter accompanying the document delivery, Hillary Clinton’s old agency said that “to the extent the materials produced relate to your inquiry, we do not believe they change the fundamental facts of the attacks on Benghazi”.
Hundreds of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server – many relating to the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya – have been released by the State Department.
The emails were previously provided to a congressional committee.
The former secretary of state has constantly defended her use of the private account since the launch of her presidential campaign.
More of Hillary Clinton’s emails are set to be released in the coming weeks.
This first batch is just a fraction of the approximately 55,000 emails that the State Department is currently reviewing for release.
The State Department and Hillary Clinton have been subject to intense scrutiny by a congressional committee which is investigating the attack on a US diplomatic facility in Benghazi, during which Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement ahead of the release: “The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during or after the attacks.”
The New York Times has reviewed some of the emails ahead of the release and reported that they “appear to back up Mrs. Clinton’s previous assertions that she did not receive classified information at her private email address”.
The newspaper said that many of the emails detail Hillary Clinton’s concerns following the attack.
They also offer a snapshot of Hillary Clinton’s private life, including her radio listening preferences and compliments she received from a colleague regarding a photo in the press.
According to the State Department, Hillary Clinton did not have a government email address from 2009 to 2013.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has responded to a growing controversy over using her private email account for government business.
Hillary Clinton urged officials to release those emails, tweeting: “I want the public to see my email.”
This came after her emails were subpoenaed by a congressional committee investigating the deadly attack on the US embassy in Benghazi in 2012.
The state department is examining Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account as a possible breach of federal law.
The controversy has put Hillary Clinton under pressure as she is widely believed to be planning a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
In the tweet, Hillary Clinton wrote: “I asked State to release them [emails]. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.”
It was revealed on March 4 that Hillary Clinton had her own internet server at her home in New York.
As the secretary of state in 2009-2013, Hillary Clinton did not have a government email address, the US state department told The New York Times.
Government watchdogs and former officials from the National Archives and Records Administration told the newspaper that Hillary Clinton’s use of private email alone, without any government account, was a serious breach.
Others cited concerns that a personal email account could be vulnerable to hackers.
The matter has been complicated by Associated Press reports that an internet server was registered under the name of Eric Hoteham at Hillary Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York.
The correspondence of federal officials is considered government records under federal law and Hillary Clinton has already had to hand over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department.
On March 3, Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, declined to say why she used a personal account at the state department, but defended its use.
Hillary Clinton had complied with the “letter and spirit of the rules”, Nick Merrill said.
Her tweeted statement came just hours after the Republican-led congressional committee had demanded that Hillary Clinton turn over all emails relating to the Benghazi attack in which US ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed.
The chairman of the Benghazi committee, Trey Gowdy, told reporters: “I want the documents. Sooner rather than later.”
Democrats on the committee have criticized the decision arguing it is a politically-motivated hunt by Republicans.
“Everything I’ve seen so far has led me to believe that this is an effort to go after Hillary Clinton, period,” said Elijah Cummings.