The State Department said today it can’t find Bryan Pagliano’s emails from the time he served as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s senior information technology staffer during her tenure there.
Pagliano would have been required to turn over any official communications from his work account before he left the government. State Department officials say he had an official email account, but that they can't find any of those records he would have turned over and continue to search for them.
“The Department has searched for Mr. Pagliano’s email pst file and has not located one that covers the time period of Secretary Clinton’s tenure,” State Department spokesman Elizabeth Trudeau said today, referencing a file format that holds email.
“To be clear, the Department does have records related to Mr. Pagliano and we are working with Congress and [Freedom of Information Act] requesters to provide relevant material. The Department has located a pst from Mr. Pagliano’s recent work at the Department as a contractor, but the files are from after Secretary Clinton left the Department," Trudeau added.
After this story was posted, Trudeau reached out to ABC News, amending her previous statement to say that despite the absence of his original pst file, some small amount of Pagliano’s email has been recovered, suggesting they were gleaned from other email accounts.
This statement about Pagliano’s email comes in response to a FOIA request-turned-lawsuit by the Republican National Committee, which wants the State Department to turn over all his emails as well as Clinton’s text and Blackberry Messenger communications. In a court filing today, the RNC said the State Department has told them there are no documents responsive to either of those requests.
Pagliano was responsible for setting up the now-infamous private server in the basement of the Clinton's home in Chappaqua, New York. He has since become a key witness in the FBI inquiry into the handling of sensitive material on that server and has been granted immunity by the Justice Department in exchange for his cooperation.
“It’s hard to believe that an IT staffer who set up Hillary Clinton’s reckless email server never sent or received a single work-related email in the four years he worked at the State Department," the RNC's Deputy Communications Director, Raj Shah, said in a statement to ABC News. "Such records might shed light on his role in setting up Clinton’s server, and why he was granted immunity by the FBI. But it seems that his emails were either destroyed or never turned over, adding yet another layer to the secrecy surrounding his role.”
The State Department also pointed out that the Politico newspaper has previously reported that Pagliano’s emails were unavailable.
It's unclear why the State Department does not have his email records for the time her served as her IT director or whether or not he purposefully withheld them.
When Clinton's emails were published on the State Department's public reading room, only one email of his surfaced. It was a happy birthday message from his private email account to hers. She forwarded it to another staffer instructing him to "pls respond."
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.