Bryan Pagliano, the man who set up Hillary Clinton's private email server, and who cut an immunity deal with the FBI earlier this year in exchange for information about that server, has skipped two subpoenas issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
"Subpoenas are not optional...Mr. Pagliano is a crucial fact witness in this committee's investigation former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's of a private email server to conduct government business...This committee cannot perform its duty…if subpoenas are ignored, so we are left with no choice but to consider this resolution."
The "resolution" Chaffetz speaks of is one in which Pagliano will be held in contempt of Congress. The committee voted along party lines 19-15 to move forward with the resolution Thursday.
Pagliano's attorneys are scoffing at the contempt charge, saying that their client would simply continue to plead the Fifth Amendment as he has done repeatedly.
They have offered a solution, however, saying Pagliano would appear in "Executive Session," behind closed doors, so as not to be videotaped for political gain:
"Your demand under the present circumstances, that Mr. Pagliano again assert his constitutional rights in front of video cameras six weeks before the presidential election, betrays a naked political agenda and furthers no valid legislative aid."
This is all for the election, assert Pagliano's attorneys.
This idea was hear-hear'd by Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who said the Republicans' desire to question Pagliano publicly is "focused exclusively and obsessively on Hillary Clinton, and that is for political reasons."
But other Republicans argue that this is a bedrock issue, regardless of Party.
Congressman John Mica (R-FL) issued a strong rebuke of Pagliano, saying:
You will destroy this committee. You will destroy the congressional oversight process. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican or Democrat…we cannot have people come here and deny the right under the Constitution for us to question them.
Chaffetz agrees, saying he believes such testimony should be open to video recording, and that he would be asking new questions of Pagliano.
Other Democrats, including Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Del. Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, are blasting the resolution as a "waste of time," damaging to the "reputation of [the] committee," and lawfully unnecessary because Pagliano would simply assert his Fifth Amendment rights once again.
There are several ways in which Pagliano could be made to appear, one of which is if the House beings him into custody, but according to Politico, such methods haven't been employed "in about a century."
There's no word yet as to whether this motion will carry on to the House before its recess begins September 30.