Posted: 3:05 am EDT
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— POLITICO (@politico) September 14, 2015
Two Senate chairmen are pressing the State Department for more information about the staffer who maintained Hillary Clinton’s controversial email server, including requesting an audience with his former supervisor.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asked that Steven Taylor, State’s chief information officer, sit for a closed-door interview about the duties of his former subordinate Bryan Pagliano, according to a letter the senators sent to Secretary of State John Kerry.
Mr. Taylor is a member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor. He has been the Chief Information Officer of the State Department since April 3, 2013. He was previously appointed as Acting CIO on August 1, 2012. Preceding his assignment as CIO, he was the Department’s Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO) and Chief Technology Officer of Operations from June, 2011.
We should note that Secretary Clinton left the State Department on February 1, 2013, two months before Mr. Taylor was appointed CIO. In fact, according to this official biography, prior to his DCIO assignment in 2011, he served as Management Counselor in Cairo and Athens. So we’re guessing that between 2005 to 2011, this poor man was posted overseas and nowhere near the hiring desk when Mr. Pagliano was brought into the IT bureau of the State Department in 2009.
Not that it’s going to matter. The senators will probably drag Mr. Taylor before a closed-door interview still the same. Pagliano joined the State Department in May 2009. Maybe the senators should try the Bureau of Human Resources for their hiring and work duties questions?
Foggy Bottom’s Email Debacle Spreads Beyond Clinton Inner Circle
We don’t think this is going to stop at Mr. Taylor. On September 14, conservative group Judicial Watch has also released a heavily redacted email, obtained through its FOIA lawsuit, between State Department official Eric F. Stein and Margaret P. Grafeld, dated April 21, 2015, with the subject “HRC Emails.” Stein is deputy director of Global Information Systems (GIS) at the State Department and Grafeld is deputy assistant secretary of Global Information Systems (GIS). Stein reports to Grafeld that the “gaps” in Clinton’s emails include:
- Jan. 21 – March 17, 2009 (Received Messages)
- Jan. 21 – April 12, 2009 (Sent Messages)
- Dec. 30, 2012 – Feb. 1, 2013 (Sent Messages)
On September 14, the State Department spox was asked about these gaps during the DPB and he maintained that there is no gap. Here is the exchange:
QUESTION: There was a release today by Judicial Watch from its lawsuit, and it cited several email gaps it claims existed in the former secretary’s list of ledger – full ledger of work-related correspondence.
MR KIRBY: Yep, seen the press report, Brad. We’re not aware of any gaps in the Clinton emails set with the exception of the first few months of her tenure when Secretary Clinton used a different email account that she has already advised she no longer has access to. And as I understand it, Secretary Clinton’s representatives have publicly stated that she used a separate email account in those first few months of her tenure. But beyond that, there’s no gap that we have seen or are aware of in Secretary Clinton’s email messages.
QUESTION: In that early part, you mentioned there was a gap of, I think, one month before – from the first received email to the first sent email. Now, I realize it’s fully possible she didn’t send an email that was work-related in that first month – that first month when she had that account, but is that your understanding or is that still an incomplete – you’re still fully researching all of those emails or unearthing them?
MR KIRBY: I know of no research attempt to deal with those first few months, Brad, because, as I said, former Secretary Clinton’s representatives already indicated that they were aware this gap existed and that she had – no longer had access to them. So it’s difficult if not impossible to do any particular research or forensics to get at those first few months. And as for how many were sent and received in that timeframe, I just don’t know. But this is not something that hasn’t been addressed before by her representatives. And beyond that first couple of months, those first four months, we have seen no gaps.
QUESTION: And in the last part of – in the last part of her tenure, there was what they cited was another gap in January 2013, which I’m guessing you’re saying is not a gap, in fact.
MR KIRBY: That’s correct.
QUESTION: Can you – they produced an email which showed an official saying there’s a gap or listing it as a gap. Do you understand what happened? Were those emails then later recovered or found?
MR KIRBY: Right. So we continue to maintain there’s no gap. I think you’re talking about this period of December 2012 through the end of January 2013.
MR KIRBY: And upon further review – so originally when they all came in, a cursory sort of preliminary look, a very quick look at the documents by an official here at the State Department revealed a potential gap of about a month or so in emails. But in going through them in a more fulsome manner after that, we’ve determined that in fact, there was no gap – that that time period is covered quite well by the emails that have been provided.
QUESTION: So you have emails from that period and —
MR KIRBY: We do.
QUESTION: — when you get to that point, they’ll be public.
MR KIRBY: We do, and I think you will continue to see – and we’ve been roughly rolling these out – roughly temporally and you will see – as we get to the remainder of the tranches, that you will see emails that were sent and received during that December ’12 to January ’13 timeframe.
That’s not going to end there. The “gaps” will be too tantalizing to ignore.
This email released by Judicial Watch also includes a few more names, including Richard C. Visek, the State Department’s Deputy Legal Adviser and also the Designated Agency Ethics Ofﬁcial (DAEO). We suspect that it’s only be a matter of time before the somebodies in Congress would request the official apperance and interview with Margaret P. Grafeld, Eric F. Stein, and heaven knows, who else.