By Julian Hattem – 11/25/15 04:26 PM EST
Sen. Chuck Grassley appears to be worried that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is coordinating the legal defense of her unusual email system with former aides and outside companies.
According to an invoice from September, the Colorado-based firm that handled Clinton’s private email server billed her for “legal defense” and “PR” related to the device. The company reportedly billed $22,000 for the two line items.“The invoice raises questions as to whether Secretary Clinton has similar arrangements with other people or entities associated with her email server,” Grassley (R-Iowa), who leads the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to lawyers for Clinton and her former top State Department aides on Wednesday.
“In light of this, it is important for the committee to know whether Secretary Clinton and her attorneys are providing financial support, legal support, or other coordination to those associates of hers who are involved in congressional committee and federal law enforcement inquiries relating to her email server.
“In particular, the committee needs to know whether the parties involved have participated in any third-party fee arrangements or joint defense agreements,” he added, warning that those arrangements could pose a conflict of interest.
Grassley noted that Bryan Pagliano, the former State Department employee who helped set up and maintain Clinton’s server, has discussed legal immunity in exchange for testimony about Clinton and her former advisers.
As such, his participation in possible joint legal arrangements “would raise substantial concerns,” Grassley warned.
The Judiciary Committee chairman has been a thorn in Clinton’s side with his probe into the Democratic presidential front-runner’s unusual email arrangement, which he has insisted is not political. Grassley has also taken a critical eye to the uncommon work situation of Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin, who was allowed to work for a private company while being employed at the State Department.
The focus has earned criticism from Senate Democrats, yet Grassley has shown no signs of letting up his push.