Judge: State Department staffer's immunity deal stays sealed

Story highlights

  • Decision by judge paves way for Bryan Pagliano to testify in FOIA lawsuit related to Hillary Clinton's email server
  • Pagliano is expected to invoke the Fifth Amendment

Washington (CNN)A federal judge on Tuesday approved a request by a former State Department IT staffer to conceal the details of his immunity deal with the Justice Department, while also denying the staffer's request to prevent an upcoming deposition from being filmed.

The mixed decision sets the stage for Bryan Pagliano's testimony to go forward in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit related to Hillary Clinton's exclusive use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
    Judicial Watch -- the conservative legal watchdog group suing the State Department in that case -- can now reschedule the deposition, which was originally supposed to take place last week.
    That deposition is not expected to take long. Pagliano's attorney, Mark MacDougall, has indicated his client will invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer any questions.
    Last week, MacDougall asked U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to seal his client's immunity deal, which Sullivan had requested to review ahead of the deposition.
    "Indeed," Sullivan wrote in his order, "the privacy interests at stake are high because the government's criminal investigation through which Mr. Pagliano received limited immunity is ongoing and confidential."
    "Mr. Pagliano's immunity agreement with the government was filed with the court by Mr. Pagliano solely to enable the court to assess the legitimacy of his intent to assert his Fifth Amendment rights in this civil proceeding," he added.