With the announcement Wednesday that former Hillary Clinton aide Bryan Pagliano will plead the Fifth Amendment after being subpoenaed by the congressional Benghazi Select Committee, NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd said it shows that Clinton has lost control of the email story and that it could not be a “politically worse outcome” for the Democratic front-runner.
Todd made his comments Friday on Morning Joe.
You cannot come up with a politically worse outcome than suddenly when you realize this email story is no longer in your control. You’re a campaign, and you’ve got former staffers taking the Fifth and you realize somebody has decided what’s in the best interest of Hillary Clinton is not in the best interest of them. Then that’s how stories like this become out of your control, and that’s where you sit there and say you can’t assume anything right now. You can’t assume you know where this ends.
The committee wants to question Pagliano, a former State Department IT staffer who was also the information technology director for Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, because he installed the private server at Clinton’s home, which is at the heart of her email scandal.
Pagliano’s attorney informed Benghazi Committee chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) that his client would plead the Fifth, and asked to be excused from testifying next week.
“While we understand that Mr. Pagliano’s response to this subpoena may be controversial in the current political environment, we hope that members of the Select Committee will respect our client’s right to invoke the protections of the Constitution,” Pagliano’s attorneys wrote. “For these reasons, we respectfully request that the Select Committee excuse Mr. Pagliano from personally appearing on Sept. 10, 2015.”
Clinton has tried to pooh-pooh the email scandal, but as Todd said, she has lost control of the story. Pagliano’s decision to plead the Fifth doesn’t help her, as she tries to convince voters that she didn’t do anything wrong and has nothing to hide.