hillary clinton aide pleads fifth labott dnt lead_00001203.jpg
LinkedIn/BRYAN PAGLIANO
hillary clinton aide pleads fifth labott dnt lead_00001203.jpg
Now playing
02:13
Aide who set up Clinton's email server pleads the fifth
CNN Illustration/Getty Images
Now playing
00:46
Toobin: Not a good day for the FBI
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 28:  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a keynote address during the 28th Annual Professional Business Women of California conference on March 28, 2017 in San Francisco, California. Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the day-long conference featuring speakers, seminars and panel discussions with industry leaders.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 28: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a keynote address during the 28th Annual Professional Business Women of California conference on March 28, 2017 in San Francisco, California. Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the day-long conference featuring speakers, seminars and panel discussions with industry leaders. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:14
See key moments from the Clinton email scandal (2018)
title:  duration: 00:00:00 site:  author:  published:  intervention: yes description:
The Hill
title: duration: 00:00:00 site: author: published: intervention: yes description:
Now playing
01:53
Sessions: Clinton probe report will reassure US
James Comey Town Hall 4-25-18-2
CNN
James Comey Town Hall 4-25-18-2
Now playing
02:38
Comey: It was a nightmare of a decision
CNN Annotation/White House Photo
Now playing
01:55
Trump adviser pursued Clinton emails on dark web
James Comey Loretta Lynch matter investigation queasy_00000000.jpg
James Comey Loretta Lynch matter investigation queasy_00000000.jpg
Now playing
02:06
Comey: Lynch request gave me queasy feeling
U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he walks with his wife Melania to Marine One while departing from the White House on July 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump is traveling to France where he will meet with President Emmanuel Macron and will attend Bastille Day events on Friday.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he walks with his wife Melania to Marine One while departing from the White House on July 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump is traveling to France where he will meet with President Emmanuel Macron and will attend Bastille Day events on Friday.
Now playing
02:49
The path to Trump's call for Russia to 'find' Clinton emails
Mike Pence defends private email server sot_00000000.jpg
Pool
Mike Pence defends private email server sot_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:00
Pence defends private email use
GOP operative Peter Smith committed suicide at age 81 shortly after describing to the WSJ his efforts online to track down Hillary Clinton's emails, which he believed had been hacked and stolen from her private server.
KTTC, KIMT, Twitter, Legacy.com, Chicago Sun-Times
GOP operative Peter Smith committed suicide at age 81 shortly after describing to the WSJ his efforts online to track down Hillary Clinton's emails, which he believed had been hacked and stolen from her private server.
Now playing
03:14
GOP activist hunted Clinton emails, found dead
cnnee pkg rodriguez clinton global iniciative hillary emails_00002301.jpg
cnnee pkg rodriguez clinton global iniciative hillary emails_00002301.jpg
Now playing
02:47
Hillary Clinton's explanations of her email saga
SOTU Lynch comey letter_00004405.jpg
SOTU Lynch comey letter_00004405.jpg
Now playing
01:42
Lynch: My views on Comey letter were known
hillary clinton
New York Times
hillary clinton
Now playing
02:42
Warrant sheds light on Clinton email probe
US President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrive at a campaign event in Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 5, 2016. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
US President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrive at a campaign event in Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 5, 2016. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:04
Obama: Hillary Clinton was not treated fairly
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27:  FBI Director James Comey waits for the beginning of a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee September 27, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on "Fifteen Years After 9/11: Threats to the Homeland."  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: FBI Director James Comey waits for the beginning of a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee September 27, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on "Fifteen Years After 9/11: Threats to the Homeland." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:32
FBI clears Clinton in email probe
Getty Images
Now playing
01:28
Trump: Clinton is guilty and she knows it
CNN —  

A former State Department employee who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server has informed Congress that he will invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying before the House Select Committee on Benghazi and in response to other Congressional inquiries related to the server.

On Monday, Mark MacDougall, the attorney for former State Department employee Bryan Pagliano, sent a letter to House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy indicating that Pagliano would assert his Fifth Amendment right not to appear before the Select Committee for a deposition on September 10, 2015. A copy of the letter was obtained by CNN.

MacDougall also says that Pagliano would likewise “decline to produce documents that may be responsive to the subpoena.” In the letter, MacDougall defends the decision to invoke the Fifth Amendment by expressing concern about “the current political environment” surrounding Clinton’s email use.

Pagliano is a former IT staffer who worked for Clinton and assisted with her email and server. On August 11, Gowdy issued a subpoena for his deposition. A Democratic committee source says there was “no debate or vote by the select committee” about the decision to issue Pagliano subpoena.

Responding to additional requests regarding Clinton’s private server from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s staff, Pagliano’s legal counsel also said yesterday that “he would plead the 5th to any and all questions if he were compelled to testify” before the Judiciary Committee, according to a spokesman for the senator.

Benghazi panel set to grill top Clinton aides

In a letter to Democratic members of the Select Committee on Benghazi defending Pagliano’s decision, Democratic committee staff wrote “Despite the lack of any evidence of criminal activity, it is understandable that attorneys for Mr. Pagliano have advised him to assert his Congressional right not to testify given the onslaught of reckless accusations of criminal conduct the continue to be made by many Republicans.”

The staff noted that “Although some commentators may use the invocation of the Fifth Amendment privilege to assert that a criminal investigation may now be underway, the assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege does not imply the existence of a criminal investigation.”

Additionally, the Democratic committee staff cited multiple statements from Republican presidential candidates and members of Congress implying the existence of criminal activity or a criminal investigation as proof of the “current political environment” referenced in Pagliano’s letter. Thus far, no criminal investigations or criminal charges have been brought against Clinton over the private server.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Democratic ranking member on the Select Committee, also issued a statement defending of Pagliano’s invocation of the Fifth Amendment, saying, “Although multiple legal experts agree there is no evidence of criminal activity, it is certainly understandable that this witness’ attorneys advised him to assert his Fifth Amendment rights, especially given the onslaught of wild and unsubstantiated accusations by Republican presidential candidates, Members of Congress, and others based on false leaks about the investigation.”

Cummings added, “Their insatiable desire to derail Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign at all costs has real consequences for any serious Congressional effort.”

The Select Committee is also set to interrogate two of Clinton’s top aides from her time as Secretary of State this week: former chief-of-staff Cheryl Mills on Thursday, and former top aide Jake Sullivan on Friday. Questions are expected about the server and internal communications between Clinton’s staff.