Bryan Pagliano, a State Department employee hired by Hillary Clinton to work on her controversial private email server, appeared before the House Benghazi Select Committee last week.

Pagliano’s lawyer warned that he would be invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self- incrimination, even though he has been offered immunity (if only he would shed light on Clinton’s email server).

At best, his choice to use the Fifth Amendment does not look good.

The appearances of witnesses close to Hillary Clinton will lead up to the testimony of the former secretary of state herself on October 22.

The document and email trail is essential to permit investigators to ask the right questions.

One of those questions will certainly relate to the treatment of classified information, which Clinton avers she never sent or received on her one and only email account.

Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., is working his way through the long list of first-hand witnesses to events on the tragic night of September 11-12, 2012, when the U.S. Benghazi consulate came under terrorist attack. Among recent witnesses have been depositions of Clinton’s chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and her long-time personal aides Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan.

In an interview with The Washington Examiner, Gowdy defended the Committee’s record by saying it was the Benghazi Select Committee staff that first noticed, in August last year, Clinton’s email coming from her private account. Gowdy told the Examiner,

“So what I will take credit for is we did something none of these other exhaustive congressional investigations were able to do, which is uncover this unique email arrangement. … Seven congressional investigations into Benghazi and not a one of them bothered to ask for her emails?”

As a former prosecutor, Gowdy knows how to run an investigation from the bottom up, starting with eyewitnesses on the ground in Libya and building up to Washington officials.

In addition Gowdy, noted:

We’ve interviewed eyewitnesses that were never interviewed before, to say nothing of the secretary of state. Literally people on the ground in Benghazi the night of the attacks had not been interviewed by the previous committees that allegedly looked into this.

The Select Committee has also found that a key recommendation made by the Department of State Accountability Review Board (the creation of an assistant secretary of state with direct responsibility for embassy security) has yet to be accomplished.

Even before the Committee’s final report has seen the light of day, the Benghazi Select Committee has justified its existence by uncovering facts and blowing away smokescreens.

It deserves continued support for its true service to the American public.