Take the Fifth? Like a Fifth of Bourbon?

That was Ace's echo of Hillary Clinton's inimitable "Wipe the disk? Like with a cloth?"

We hear today that Clinton's IT aide will take the Fifth rather than testify before Congress about her email server.  But not to worry, the Clinton campaign has explained that this in no way casts a criminal light on Her Inevitableness:
. . . Bry­an Pagliano, the former State De­part­ment com­puter staffer and aide in her 2008 White House run who helped to set up Clin­ton’s private serv­er in 2009, planned to in­voke his Fifth Amend­ment rights in­stead of ap­pear­ing at a de­pos­ition be­fore the com­mit­tee next week.
Re­pub­lic­ans served him with a sub­poena last month.
Clin­ton’s cam­paign said Pagliano’s de­cision was dis­ap­point­ing but un­der­stand­able. “We had hoped Bry­an would also agree to an­swer any ques­tions from the com­mit­tee, and had re­cently en­cour­aged him to grant the com­mit­tee’s re­quest for an in­ter­view,” an aide said. “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. 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,” the cam­paign aide said.
 Elijah Cummings has dutifully taken up this refrain.  There's just one problem:  you don't get to take the Fifth because you'd prefer not to be drawn into a political spectacle.  You have to be facing the prospect of incriminating yourself by answering questions.


Anonymous said...

Fine. Give him use immunity and ask away.


Grim said...

I think immunity is the way to go, but of course you're always risking incriminating yourself by talking to a Federal investigation. Making false statements is considered perjury even if it's accidental. You don't have to be a criminal walking into the room to be a criminal walking back out again.

Texan99 said...

Certainly they should grant him immunity, but in the meantime the Clinton campaign can hardly claim there's no criminal context to his refusing to testify, as if the situation were squeaky clean but he was just a tad allergic to attention.