Staffer Who Set Up Clinton Server Gets Immunity

That's bad news for Clinton, says one legal scholar
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2016 4:02 AM CST

(Newser) – The former State Department staffer who in 2009 set up Hillary Clinton's private email server has been granted immunity in the investigation into whether classified information was mishandled, the Washington Post reports. Bryan Pagliano, who pleaded the Fifth before a congressional panel in September, will now cooperate with the FBI, a senior law enforcement official says. That's bad news for Clinton, legal scholar Jonathan Turley tweets, saying the "DOJ does not give immunity without something valuable from a potential target like Bryan Pagliano. The situation just got more precarious." The Clinton campaign had encouraged Pagliano to testify before Congress, the Post notes. A Clinton spokesman says he is "pleased" that Pagliano is now cooperating.

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Though the Clinton camp has characterized the inquiry as a security review, officials close to the case say authorities are seeking to determine potential damage that could have resulted from classified information in the emails being exposed. "There was wrongdoing," says a former senior law enforcement official. "But was it criminal wrongdoing?" The Clinton rep says the former secretary of state has been cooperating with investigators. Clinton has since acknowledged she should have used two email addresses—one for personal use and one for State Department business. She says "not doing so was a mistake." A former federal prosecutor tells the Post that the upcoming election—and the possible perception of trying to influence it—creates an added wrinkle to the inquiry and any action that may result. "The timing is terrible whether you do it before or after," he says. (Read more Hillary Clinton stories.)

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