Vice President Mike Pence faces severe scrutiny after a Thursday report by The Indianapolis Star suggests the former Indiana governor conducted state business using a personal email address.
According to emails The Star obtained through a public records request, Pence used an AOL account to communicate with staff about topics ranging from a broken security gate at his residence, to global terrorism. One email inquired about his effort to bar Syrian refugees from settling in Indiana, while another contained the state’s response to a 2014 shooting at the Canadian parliament.
Indiana’s current governor Eric Holcomb released more than 30 pages of Pence’s email account but withheld others because they contained sensitive information, The Star reports. Several critics are pressing Holcomb for full disclosure, urging him to release the emails, while raising questions about transparency.
Pence’s AOL account was hacked during a trip to the Philippines after a scammer sent an email to his contacts claiming Pence and his wife had lost their cell phones, money and bank information.
After the discovery Pence sent an email to his contacts apologizing for the inconvenience, and then set up a second AOL account.
Cybersecurity experts now question whether the hack supplied confidential information to those responsible for breaking into Pence’s account.
Pence’s office released the following statement on Thursday:
“Similar to previous governors, during his time as Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence maintained a state email account and a personal email account. As Governor, Mr. Pence fully complied with Indiana law regarding email use and retention. Government emails involving his state and personal accounts are being archived by the state consistent with Indiana law, and are being managed according to Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act.”
During the later part of the 2016 election, Pence hammered Hillary Clinton over her private server use while she was Secretary of State.
In a September interview with NBC’s Meet The Press, Pence called Hillary Clinton “the most dishonest candidate for President of the United States since Richard Nixon.”
Then in November he applauded the FBI efforts to re-open of Clinton’s private server usage, saying:
“(the) FBI has reopened the investigation in to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email server. It’s a serious matter. Now we commend the FBI in this case for following the facts because in America, no one is above the law.”
SOURCE: The Indianapolis Star
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