Pence Used Private Email for Public Business, Newspaper Reports

United States Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account for matters of public business as governor of Indianapolis, according to USA media reports.

Back in September, then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence said Hillary Clinton's handling of her emails "disqualify her from serving as president", during an appearance on Meet the Press.

"As Governor, Mr Pence fully complied with IN law regarding email use and retention".

Vice President Pence used a personal AOL email account to conduct official business while he was governor of IN - and the account was hacked, according to reports.

Some may say that Pence and Clinton's private email cases aren't similar, given that Pence was only a governor while Clinton served as Secretary of State.

Public officials are allowed to use personal email accounts under IN law, though the paper notes that the law is "generally interpreted" to require public officials to save any business-related emails IN order to follow open records laws.

However, Clinton is not the only one to commit a grave error when it came to handling confidential information because Pence reportedly used an AOL account to transmit official communications as IN governor. The FBI found no evidence Hillary Clinton's emails were hacked. Pence spokesman Marc Lotter said that any comparison between the two is "absurd", as Pence did not have access to the same level of classified information as Clinton.

Twenty-nine pages of emails from Pence's AOL account were released to the Star by the office of the current governor, Republican Eric Holcomb.

Pence used the account starting in the mid 1990s and continued using it until it was hijacked in 2016, three years into Pence's four-year tenure as governor, the news outlet reported. There were also an unspecified number of emails that weren't released in response to the Indy Star's FOIA request because the state considered them too sensitive to make public, itself a cause for concern for those anxious about just how Pence was using the AOL service.

Counterfeit emails were sent out to all of Pence's contacts claiming he and his wife were attacked in the Philippines and had been robbed. All of the emails made available to the Star came from state servers. His office hired outside counsel to review his AOL emails.

The emails were obtained after a series of public records requests that the Pence administration did not fulfill for almost four months before Pence left office.

Pence is a 1981 Hanover College graduate and he later received a law degree from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.

The Star, quoting cybersecurity experts, said hackers gained access in June to Pence's contacts, making it likely they had access to his inbox and sent messages as well.

Vanessa Coleman

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