After the surprising revelation on Thursday, March 3, that Vice President Mike Pence used his personal home-based AOL email address to conduct government business and interact with homeland security representatives and speak about sensitive security matters, Pence released to the state 13 boxes of emails. His representatives also indicated that more emails were forthcoming.
A spokesperson for the current governor, Eric Holcomb, told the media that Pence’s contacts informed them that the state had in its public records “a lot” of these emails already on file, but no one has yet confirmed these claims. In Indiana, no law prevents state employees from using personal email accounts to contact government accounts and conduct business. Pence saved government data on private AOL servers during the nearly four years that he was the governor of Indiana.
One concern so far is that the state doesn’t currently have all of Pence’s emails because he apparently hid his use of his private email account and failed to hand over the records when he left office. Marc Lotter, a spokesperson for Pence, implied Friday that this has been a case of miscommunication. He claimed that Pence’s lawyers attempted to hand over all of the records on January 9, but Holcomb’s people were unable to give them guidance on where to take the records.
Pence’s critics were quick to point out that his staff should have already known where to take the records. They noted that if the records had been previously printed and prepared, then the vice president’s lawyers should have been able to take all of the emails to Indiana state offices on Thursday after the story broke. Since many of the emails were confidential in nature, those emails are currently unavailable to the public. Some are also supposedly still being reviewed by Pence’s lawyers.