March 25, 2016

Clinton’s IT Guy Operated With Little Supervision, Report Says

Bryan Pagliano burst onto the national scene last year when it was revealed he helped Secretary Clinton set up the private email server that resided in her Chappaqua basement that she used during her tenure at the State Department.

To avoid testifying before the Benghazi Committee, Pagliano invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and was later granted immunity by federal investigators seeking information about the security of Clinton’s server.

Last night, Reuters reported that his direct supervisors did not know about the private server he set up for Clinton:

The technician, Bryan Pagliano, was running the off-grid email server that Clinton had him set up in her New York home for her work as secretary of state. But even as years passed, Pagliano’s supervisors never learned of his most sensitive task, according to the department and one of his former colleagues.

Pagliano’s immediate supervisors did not know the private server even existed until it was revealed in news reports last year, the colleague said, requesting anonymity because of a department ban on unauthorized interviews. 

Additionally, Pagliano’s appointment as a schedule C employee was an unusual one, creating a very unusual supervisory scenario:

Wisecarver and Swart, who had worked in the department for decades, were soon swapping emails expressing confusion and surprise that a political appointee, a so-called Schedule C employee who is more commonly hired to work in the secretary of state’s offices, should be joining the IT department’s ranks.

Schedule C employees, who help presidential appointees and agency heads make policy, can only report to people appointed by the U.S. president or other senior executive officials. But no one like that worked in the IT office, so Kennedy ended up being Pagliano’s designated supervisor.

The department told Reuters that Pagliano and Kennedy had little contact, and that Kennedy was unaware of the server or his subordinate’s role in running it. Nor did Wisecarver, Pagliano’s day-to-day boss, or Swart know, according to the former colleague, who said the IT office should have been informed.

It’s hard to imagine Pagliano doing anything without the express permission of Secretary Clinton, who employed Pagliano on her Senate campaign and brought him with her to Foggy Bottom.