- New Clinton Email Issues Emerge in Court
- Judicial Watch Releases More Testimony from State Department Clinton Email Witnesses
- Obama Touts Cuba Relations While It Still Appears on U.S Terrorist List
Some major and interesting developments occurred this week in the Clinton email scandal. Attorneys for Clinton IT official, Bryan Pagliano, confirmed for the first time that Mr. Pagliano has “use” immunity agreements with federal prosecutors investigating the Clinton email matter. Mr. Pagliano’s court filing lays it out:
In December 2015, Mr. Pagliano proffered testimony to the DOJ in connection with an ongoing DOJ investigation. A short time later, Mr. Pagliano and the DOJ entered into an agreement granting Mr. Pagliano limited “use” and “derivative use” immunity consistent with 18 U.S.C. § 6001 et seq. for that testimony and other testimony offered in connection with the same investigation. In response to the Court’s Order, Mr. Pagliano has today filed copies of his use immunity agreements with the Government, with a Motion asking the Court to maintain those documents ex parte and under seal.Pagliano is the IT political appointee in the Clinton State Department who reportedly provided support for the Clinton email system.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had issued a court order requiring Pagliano to produce any reported immunity agreement and identify the legal basis for the Fifth Amendment claim he planned to assert in Judicial Watch’s discovery. The order delayed Pagliano’s deposition, which had been scheduled for June 6.
In response to this, we filed an opposition motion to Mr. Pagliano’s attempt to file immunity agreements ex parte and under seal. We also asked the court to deny Pagliano’s effort to avoid videotaping of his deposition, during which he plans to assert his Fifth Amendment right.
Judicial Watch attorneys argued to Judge Sullivan that Pagliano’s immunity agreement should be made publicly available:
Mr. Pagliano’s request to file his immunity agreements ex parte and under seal is unfounded. First, the Court ordered Mr. Pagliano to file a memorandum, along with a copy of his reported immunity agreements. The Court did not order the immunity agreements to be filed ex parte or under seal and could have done so…as this Court has repeatedly emphasized, this case is about the public’s “right to know details related to the creation, purpose, and use of the clintonemail.com system.”The brief also notes that the court can draw adverse inferences from any assertion of the Fifth Amendment in the civil lawsuit and that there is little chance that Pagliano could not answer some, if not all, of Judicial Watch’s questions without having to assert his Fifth Amendment rights.
In yet another development, the Obama administration today filed a “Statement of Interest” supporting continued secrecy of the Pagliano immunity agreements. The government’s brief states that “releasing Mr. Pagliano’s agreements with the United States could prematurely reveal the scope and focus of the pending investigation.”
This discovery arises in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). Judge Sullivan ordered that all deposition transcripts be made publicly available.
It is unfortunate that the public’s right to know is being hampered yet again. These court filings are further evidence of the legal mess caused by Mrs. Clinton’s email system.
Simply put, we need to see Pagliano’s immunity agreements so our attorneys are able to prepare their questions for him – especially if he’s going to assert his Fifth Amendment privilege.
We have faced astonishing roadblocks to getting simple questions answered about the Clinton email system. But, as you will see below, we have persevered and managed to obtain information under oath.
Judical Watch Releases More Testimony From State Department Clinton Email Witnesses
We did take testimony this week from another top aide familiar with Secretary Clinton’s email and BlackBerry: Ambassador Stephen D. Mull, executive secretary of the State Department from June 2010 to October 2012. It was Mull who suggested that Clinton be issued a State Department BlackBerry, which would protect her identity while still being subject to FOIA requests. The transcript of his deposition is available here.
In his testimony, Mull said that he doesn’t remember how or when he first learned about the former secretary of state’s use of the BlackBerry. The Daily Callerreported on the deposition under this headline: “State Dept. Official Who Discussed Hillary’s Private Server Now Says He Can’t Remember Anything About It.”
“Do you know how you learned [about Clinton’s server]?” Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha asked Mull.That line of questioning about a series of August 30, 2011, emails also caught the attention of U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan. Judge Sullivan cited the emails in his Memorandum and Order granting Judicial Watch discovery into the Clinton email matter:
In August 2011 communication difficulties experienced by Secretary Clinton prompted discussion among State Department staff about whether issuing a State Department blackberry might solve the problem…Stephen Mull, Executive Secretary of the State Department at the time, noted that if Secretary Clinton used a State issued BlackBerry, her identity “would be secret” but that the state.gov email account “would be subject to FOIA requests.”…Ms. Abedin responded “let’s discuss the state BlackBerry, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”You may not be shocked to learn that Amb. Mull said he did not recall the circumstances behind the August 2011 email exchange.
Amb. Mull now serves as the State Department’s lead coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation.
We had yet another deposition this past Wednesday. Our attorneys deposed Karin Lang, director of executive secretariat staff and designated representative for the State Department. The Lang transcript is available here. Lang was designated by the State Department as its 30(b)(6) witness. A 30(b)(6) witness is assigned to provide the agency’s testimony on the Clinton email issue.
Lang testified that key State Department federal recordkeeping officials did not know that Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin were using non-state.gov email to conduct government business. She also testified that the State Department could not say whether Clinton or Abedin has turned over all emails in their possession that may be potentially responsive to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of the Information Act (FOIA) request. Lang also said that it would not be reasonable to search all 70,000 State Department email accounts in order to retrieve Clinton’s emails. (Clinton has suggested that the State Department would have many of her emails because she sent most of them to State Department employees on their government accounts.)
Lang also testified that a picture of Mrs. Clinton using a Blackberry spurred a State official to ask again if she was using non-state.gov account. Again, he was told “no.”
Lang signed, under the penalty of perjury, State Department answers to Judicial Watch’s written interrogatories about the Clinton email system and FOIA. The State Department acknowledged in its answers that it “has no method of identifying which State Department officials and employees had and/or used an account on clintonemail.com to conduct official government business.”
Amb. Mull and Ms. Lang are among seven depositions of former Clinton top aides and State Department officials that Judicial Watch has scheduled over the next three weeks. Huma Abedin is scheduled to testify on June 28, and top State Department official Patrick Kennedy on June 29. And we hope the Court will allow us to bring Mr. Pagliano, the Clinton supposed go-to IT expert on her email system, soon (see story above).Sign U
Our investigation into the Clinton emails is receiving national media attention almost daily. See my most recent interview on The Wall Street Journal’s “Opinion Journal. ” And be sure to watch the Fox News Channel this evening for my interview on the O’Reilly Factor in the 8 pm ET hour.
We reported this week in our Corruption Chronicles blog that President Obama lifted sanctions against the Communist state Cuba despite it being an officially-designated terrorist state by his own administration! Here are the startling details:
In a quest to normalize relations Obama lifted sanctions against Cuba and celebrated being the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Communist island since 1928, but the Caribbean nation still appears on a crucial government terrorist list along with the world’s most violent Islamic groups. This contradiction indicates that, when it comes to our bloated government, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.We have previously reported that the terrorist organization Hezbollah established an operational base on Cuba. And earlier this year, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense to obtain records about American POWs during the Vietnam War who may have been held captive by Cuban government or military forces on the island of Cuba. (No records have been found about that issue, believe it or not.)
The Left has always had a soft spot for the anti-American Castro regime, citing socialist fantasy stories about government run health care and education programs that America should import from the murderous communists there. Obama’s ideological fervor led him once again to help a terrorist state. Let’s pray more American innocents don’t pay the price for Obama’s love affair with communist-controlled Cuba.
Until next week...