How does an IT specialist go four years without leaving a single e-mail behind? The State Department may have to answer that question soon. Five months ago, they reported that they could not find any e-mails from Bryan Pagliano when they first began to look into the man who supported Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server, and today announced that nothing has changed:
The State Department has no emails to or from the man believed to have set up and maintained Hillary Clinton’s private email server during the four years she served as secretary, it said on Monday.
The department has found archived emails from the IT specialist, Bryan Pagliano, spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters, from after Clinton left office. It has not found a single email he sent or received from May 1, 2009, to Feb. 1, 2013, however.
“We are continuing to search for Mr. Pagliano’s emails,” Trudeau told reporters on Monday. “We are conducting a thorough search.”
Back in December, before Pagliano got immunity from the Department of Justice, the State Department began looking for his e-mails. Imagine their surprise when they came up empty, at least while Hillary was boss:
In between, the RNC filed a FOIA suit to gain access to Pagliano’s e-mails, so the issue no longer just in the hands of the executive branch. That only matters if the e-mails still exist, of course, and right now it appears that they do not. The Hill notes that there is some question as to whether the Federal Records Act covers communications down to Pagliano’s level, but his communications do not appear to fall into the exemptions of FOIA, either. If the records exist, then they should be subject to disclosure, which is why the RNC’s lawsuit matters. Or at least did when they presumed that Pagliano’s e-mail records still existed.
This brings up more than one question, too. Did the State Department find e-mails from other IT techs in their employ who weren’t involved with Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server? If so, then why are Pagliano’s missing? That would indicate some intent to deceive, although if it was Pagliano who did the erasing totally on his own volition, then it’s a moot point; he already has immunity. If he got ordered to erase his digital trail and was willing to testify to it, then that becomes a problem for somebody else, and would go a long way to proving malign intent in the operation of the secret server.
One thing’s for sure: Pagliano turned out to be a lot better at wiping servers than others on Hillary’s team.
Update: Jeryl Bier notes that one e-mail has been found from Pagliano to Hillary … and it’s as sycophantic as you might expect.