In a move that has been called by General Colin Powell “a stupid witch hunt”, House Republicans voted to hold Hillary Clinton’s former tech expert in contempt of Congress on Thursday after sending armed federal marshals to serve him a subpoena last week.
Bryan Pagliano, the tech aide, had worked with Clinton on her home email setup and at the State Department, but he asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he was called to testify before the Benghazi Committee last year, according to The Huffington Post.
But Pagliano did cooperate with the FBI. Since then, the FBI and the Justice Department have decided that Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state did not merit prosecution.
However, that hasn’t deterred Republicans in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from continuing their senseless quest to damage Clinton’s reputation and help Donald Trump in the November elections.
When Republicans subpoenaed Pagliano last week, his lawyers said he would again assert his Fifth Amendment rights. That prompted Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) to dispatch the armed marshals with a fresh subpoena, the Post revealed Friday.
Chaffetz defended his decision saying it was necessary to send armed U.S. marshals to personally serve Pagliano “to clear up any ambiguity created by Mr. Pagliano’s six lawyers about whether they would confirm service of the prior subpoenas.”
Democrats were clearly frustrated with the exercise.
In the video below, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) blasts house republicans, arguing that their actions went “well beyond frivolous, political grandstanding.”
“The committee could have sent a staffer in a coat and tie, but they sent federal marshals with guns,” Cummings said. “This served no purpose but to harass and intimidate Mr. Pagliano. The chairman ordered this action in secret, without even notifying Democratic committee members of his plan. No consultation, no debate, no vote.”
“I suppose Republicans could argue that since Hillary Clinton is running for president, the American people should know everything they can before entering the voting booth,” Cummings said. “If so, then where is our investigation of Donald Trump? His potentially fraudulent business practices? His campaign’s potential connections to Russian hackers? His charitable foundation’s illegal campaign donations, pay-for-play schemes, and payments to settle corporate debts?”
Via The Huffington Post:
H/T: The Huffington Post.