Two other witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing appeared before the committee but also invoked their Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer questions.
Combetta and Thornton work for Platte River Networks, the Denver technology company that managed Clinton’s email servers soon after she left the State Department in 2013.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz issued a subpoena to the FBI’s acting assistant director for congressional affairs Jason Herring during Monday’s committee hearing. In a statement delivered the day before the hearing, Pagliano’s lawyers notified the committee that he would not testify, arguing that their client had already testified before another Republican-led committee, and calling the hearing “a transparent effort to publicly harass and humiliate our client for unvarnished political purposes”.
Republicans have assailed Comey’s decision and demanded that the Justice Department open a new investigation into whether Clinton lied during testimony previous year before the House panel investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
The hearing sparked more of the tense exchanges that have become commonplace between Republicans who say they’re determined to get to the bottom of a scandal involving the former secretary of state and Democrats who say it’s an effort to inflict maximum political damage on their party’s presidential nominee. The company has said it cooperated earlier with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies.
The FBI provided the records to Congress last month and warned lawmakers that the documents “contain classified and other sensitive material” and are not to be made public.
One witness, Justin Cooper, a former White House aide to President Bill Clinton, is answering the committee’s questions.
The former Clinton aide chose Tuesday to ignore a congressional subpoena.
But Democrats insist the sole goal of the hearings is to undermine Clinton’s presidential bid. Meyers also said that due to double standards, the rules are different for Clinton and Donald Trump.
After the exchanges in open session, the committee voted to go behind closed doors to further question the agency officials.
Pagliano previously “invoked his Fifth Amendment right more than 125 times in a June 6 deposition”, the Post noted, regarding a lawsuit filed by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, which is seeking Clinton’s emails while she was at the State Department.
“If anybody’s under any illusion I’m going to let go of this and let it just sail off into the sunset, they are very ill-advised”, he said.