On Friday, March 3, 2017, a passenger aboard an American Airlines’ flight posted a photo online of Hillary Clinton who happened to also be traveling on the same plane. By Saturday, the image drew worldwide praise from Clinton supporters and critics of Vice President Mike Pence because it aptly displayed the irony of the situation. It showed Clinton holding her cellphone in her hands while distracted by a headline on a USA Today newspaper: “Pence used personal email in office.”
On the presidential campaign trail, Pence heavily criticized Clinton for discussing government topics as Secretary of State via a private email account and server. He and Donald Trump both demanded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department go after Clinton for breaking the law claiming that “no one is above the law.” They claimed that Clinton’s actions made it possible for hackers and state actors to access classified sensitive information, but no federal laws existed that stated Clinton couldn’t use her personal account. The FBI failed to prove during two separate investigations that Clinton’s account was ever hacked. In fact, the so-called WikiLeaks “Clinton emails” are only about or from Clinton. They were taken from John Podesta’s personal Gmail account and not hacked directly from her account.
Trump used the scandal to convince his supporters that Clinton was a criminal and incompetent. The words “Lock her up!” along with imprisonment signs were common themes during his campaign. Yet, now Trump is facing the fact that his vice president was apparently even more “extremely careless” with sensitive government data since Pence’s personal AOL account was actually hacked last summer. Critics wonder when the president plans to start asking the FBI and Justice to investigate Pence and “Lock him up!” even though Pence claims that he broke no actual laws.