The office of Vice President Pence handed over thirteen boxes of emails to the Indiana state government on Thursday to be archived in accordance with state law. The delivery of the emails came in the midst of a controversy about former Governor Pence using a private AOL account to carry on state business.
The emails were turned over pursuant to state transparency requirements that require emails be archived for public review. The emails include government accounts on state government servers and from the former governor’s AOL account that the Indianapolis Star reveal existed this week. While state law in Indiana allows government officials to use private emails for government business, cyber-security experts argue that private accounts are less secure than government accounts. The Star also reported that Governor Pence’s AOL account had been hacked and been used to send out fraudulent solicitations for money.
The revelations of Pence’s private email account has sent the Washington media establishment into a feeding frenzy. Many Democrats have accused Pence and the Republicans of hypocrisy in attacking Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in her capacity as Secretary of State. Vice-President Pence has responded that there is no comparison as no email were destroyed and he was not handling classified information. In a prepared statement released by the Vice-President’s office “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.”
Attorneys for Pence stated that they had tried to deliver the Vice-President’s emails back in January on his last day as governor. However, they were returned due to a lack of clarity as to what to do with them.