Hillary Clinton used some of her own money to pay a State Department staffer who helped her family manage a private email server that she used for both personal and government communication. Although the setup can be used as evidence of how Clinton wanted to personally control the system that she partly used for official work, an unnamed campaign official tells the Washington Post it was also a way to ensure no taxpayer dollars went to the upkeep of a server that was also used by her husband and daughter, as well as other aides. The Post was the first to break the news of the unusual pay arrangement with IT professional Bryan Pagliano, noting it marks the latest example of how Clinton “hired staff to work simultaneously for her in public and private capacities,” notes the Post.
Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill issued a brief statement via Twitter on Saturday saying that Pagliano had been “hired by the Clinton family as a consultant” to work “periodically” to help manage the “system … that hosted the family’s emails.”
Pagliano invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions or produce documents after a congressional committee subpoenaed him this week. The Clinton campaign apparently wasn’t too happy with that decision. “Bryan is an utter professional and a wonderful young man who does not live in the public eye and understandably may not wish to be drawn into a political spectacle,” A Clinton aide told CNN on Thursday. “So his decision is both understandable and yet also disappointing to us, because we believe he has every reason to be transparent about his IT assistance.”
Although Pagliano did list the $5,000 payment he received from the Clintons for “computer services” before joining the State Department in financial disclosure forms he filed in April 2009, he did not report any income from the family in subsequent years. The State Department has largely refused to answer questions on whether Pagliano’s situation was an open secret within the agency. Last month, an official said the State Department had “found no evidence” that Pagliano ever reported he had outside income.
In an interview with NBC on Friday, Clinton conceded she should have set up two email accounts but declined to directly apologize for that decision.