How did Bryan Pagliano, the tech who ran Hillary Clinton’s campaign IT efforts, end up with a political appointment to the State Department’s normally apolitical IT group? According to Reuters, no one who worked with Pagliano ever found out, nor did they know of his moonlighting as the man who maintained Hillary’s personal e-mail server. Those arrangements were made by a very familiar figure in the murky world of Hillary’s State Department — Patrick Kennedy, who oversaw security issues for State, including the security decisions that left the consulate in Benghazi fatally exposed:
Soon after Hillary Clinton’s arrival at the State Department in 2009, officials in the information technology office were baffled when told that a young technician would join them as a political appointee, newly disclosed emails show.
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. …
The newly disclosed emails show Patrick Kennedy, the department’s under secretary for management, oversaw the hiring of Pagliano. But Clinton and the department continued to decline this week to say who, if anyone, in the government was aware of the email arrangement.
“There was no permission to be asked,” Clinton said earlier this month. State Department spokesman John Kirby declined to say whether this was correct, citing the ongoing inquiries.
Isn’t it amazing just how often Patrick Kennedy ends up in the middle of these stories? Let’s not forget that the Accountability Review Board, assembled by State immediately after Benghazi, never bothered to interview Hillary or Kennedy while laying blame for the whole mess on lower-level career staffers at State. The two seem to be quite a pair when it comes to security — and lack thereof — at the State Department.
Why would Kennedy have taken an interest in an IT hire? His brief at State as Undersecretary for Management does include a wide range of responsibilities: “people, resources, budget, facilities, technology, financial operations, consular affairs, logistics, contracting, and security for Department of State operations, and is the Secretary’s principal advisor on management issues.” At that level, however, it seems surpassingly strange that Kennedy would take an interest in hiring one specific IT tech, especially in the context of a political appointment. Apparently, Pagliano’s supervisors and co-workers found it strange as well. Did Kennedy have knowledge of Hillary’s e-mail arrangements, and if he did, why didn’t he enforce proper security — which was definitely within his sphere of responsibility?
Perhaps that’s one of the questions that the FBI is asking Pagliano, now that the Department of Justice has granted him immunity. Another might be whether Hillary lied about the timeline of the use of her secret e-mail server:
The previously undisclosed February 2009 emails between Clinton from her then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, raise new questions about the scope of emails from Clinton’s early days in office that were not handed over to the State Department for recordkeeping and may have been lost entirely.
Clinton’s presidential campaign has previously claimed that the former top diplomat did not use her personal “clintonemail.com” account before March 2009, weeks after she was sworn in as secretary of State.
But on Thursday, the watchdog group Judicial Watch released one message from Feb. 13, 2009, in which Mills communicated with Clinton on the account to discuss the National Security Agency’s (NSA) efforts to produce a secure BlackBerry device for her to use as secretary of State.
The discovery is likely to renew questions about Clinton’s narrative about her use of the private email server, which has come under scrutiny.
Last year, news organizations reported that Obama administration officials had discovered an email chain between Clinton and retired Gen. David Petraeus that began before Clinton entered office and continued through to Feb. 1. The chain of emails began on an earlier email system that Clinton used while serving in the Senate, but was reportedly transferred on to the clintonemail.com server.
If Hillary lied about when she started using the server, what purpose would she have had to do so? Legally, there isn’t much difference between starting its use in February or March. Maybe she just misremembered, but don’t forget that she and her team went through those records with a fine-tooth comb just prior to making the claim that the use started in March — deleting more than 30,000 messages from the system. Perhaps this is nothing, or … perhaps she had hoped to keep some e-mail messages from her first weeks in office from ever coming to the attention of investigators. Given her track record of honesty thus far, the latter seems like a much safer assumption.