FBI grants immunity to Clinton staffer who set up email server
This could be the beginning of the end for Hillary’s political career, with the now immunized Bryan Pagliano, no mere IT tech, but rather a member of Hillary’s 2008 campaign, free to sing like a bird and implicate others in a criminal conspiracy.
Adam Goldman of the Washington Post broke the story:
The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official.
The official said the FBI had secured the cooperation of Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009.
The next shoe to drop would be FBI questioning of other staff and Hillary herself.
As the FBI looks to wrap up its investigation in the coming months, agents are likely to want to interview Clinton and her senior aides about the decision to use a private server, how it was set up, and whether any of the participants knew they were sending classified information in emails, current and former officials said.
This could set off a cascade of witnesses flipping, to avoid prison, by implicating their superiors. William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection outlines the process:
Several months ago, Kemberlee predicted that getting a State Department employee to flip on Hillary would be the key, Some dare say conspiracy: Who will be first Hillary aide to flip on her?:
Was there a concerted conspiracy to violate the law, particularly given the fact that Clinton opted for a private email on her person server? Who else knew classified information was being transmitted outside of government purview?
If any of these suspicions are confirmed throughout the course of the FBI’s investigation, will aides then be offered legal concessions if they cooperate?
What were once Clinton’s closest lackeys may end up being her downfall.
And that appears to be the FBI’s plan, flip a key witness, then roll up others all around Hillary.
Needless to say, the Hillary campaign is putting a brave face on this development:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign welcomed news that the Democratic front-runner’s former top IT staffer is now cooperating with the FBI's probe of her private email server — following reports that the Justice Department granted the staffer immunity from prosecution.
Bryan Pagliano — who worked for Clinton’s 2008 campaign, then followed her to the State Department — set up her controversial email system that is currently the center of the FBI's investigation into whether the homebrewed server put classified material at risk. (snip)
Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said the campaign was “pleased” that Pagliano was speaking with investigators. The spokesman also noted that Clinton has made herself available for questions from the FBI, but said they have not yet taken her up on the offer. “As we have said since last summer, Secretary Clinton has been cooperating with the Department of Justice’s security inquiry, including offering in August to meet with them to assist their efforts if needed,” Fallon added in a statement.
Last Summer, when Pagliano took the Fifth Amendment rather than submit to an interview by the House Benghazi Committee, Clinton’s campaign issued a statement calling that decision “disappointing.”
“We disagreed w/ his decision not to answer questions from Benghazi Committee so are pleased he is cooperating now,” Fallon said on Twitter on Wednesday night.
This blows to hell the Hillary camp contention that this is just a security review. It is now unmistakably a criminal inquiry, and immunity is not casually granted. Usually it means that there is something specific of a criminal nature that is being sought, and that the recipient of the immunity is a smaller fish.
And who would the big fish be?
Do I really need to ask? It ain‘t Huma (who will almost certainly stonewall; she is so obviously dedicated to her cause that she has devoted her life since college to ingratiating herself with Hillary).
The big issue for Hillary now is whether she talks to the FBI or not, assuming they ask. The New York Times reports:
It is commonplace for the F.B.I. to try to interview key figures before closing an investigation, and doing so is not an indication the bureau thinks a person broke the law. Although defense lawyers often discourage their clients from giving such interviews, Democrats fear the refusal of Mrs. Clinton or her top aides to cooperate would be ready ammunition for Donald J. Trump, the Republican front-runner.
A federal law enforcement official said that barring any unforeseen changes, the F.B.I. investigation could conclude by early May. Then the Justice Department will decide whether to file criminal charges and, if so, against whom.
If Mrs. Clinton speaks with the FBI, she could open herself up to a perjury trap. She would not know what other information they have.
It is still vaguely possible this could end without a criminal referral, but chances are getting slimmer and slimmer.
May can’t come soon enough for me.