The House oversight committee voted Thursday to recommend holding the former State Department IT specialist who set up Hillary Clinton’s private server in contempt of Congress, after he again ignored a subpoena to appear before the panel.
The resolution to hold Bryan Pagliano in contempt goes next to the full House, which would ultimately decide whether to hold the controversial figure in the Clinton email case in contempt.
“Subpoenas are not optional,” committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said. “This committee cannot operate, it cannot perform its duty … if subpoenas are ignored.”
Chaffetz swiftly moved to consider the contempt resolution after issuing a subpoena for Pagliano to appear Thursday, following a no-show earlier this month. He said the committee was “left with no choice” when Pagliano skipped again.
It’s unclear when and whether the full House would vote on the measure, which cleared the committee on a 19-15 vote.
Majority Republicans, though, were accused of partisanship by Democrats and Pagliano’s attorneys.
“This is nothing but a blatantly partisan Republican attack” on Clinton, said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the top Democrat on the committee.
He read a letter from Pagliano’s legal counsel reiterating that Pagliano plans to continue to assert his Fifth Amendment rights not to answer questions. Further, the letter said the subpoena serves no valid legislative purpose and is for a political agenda, according to Cummings.
The move comes after Pagliano earlier ignored a subpoena to appear before the same committee on Sept. 13. Other tech experts who helped maintain the system did attend the hearing but asserted their Fifth Amendment right not to testify.
At the time, Chaffetz vowed the committee would pursue a “full range of options” to address Pagliano’s “failure” to attend.
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SOURCE: Fox News