Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones
Well, well, well, it appears Vice President Mike Pence has some explaining to do.
Late Thursday evening, the Indianapolis Star, the VP’s own hometown paper, revealed Pence routinely used a private email account to “conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.”
Through a public records request, the Star found Pence used his personal AOL account to communicate with top advisors on a range of topics, including sensitive FBI information.
Is this starting to sound familiar yet? Here, let Senator Bernie Sanders remind you:
Personal email use became a central focus of the 2016 presidential election, with Donald Trump calling for Hillary Clinton to be prosecuted and jailed for her use of a private server during her tenure as secretary of state. Now, Mike Pence’s own words are coming back to haunt him, too.
Indeed, in October of 2016 Pence sent a supportive tweet to the FBI for reopening the case against Clinton and her private emails. The reopening of the case is widely regarded as the linchpin that helped secure the win for the Trump/Pence ticket.
On the campaign trail, Pence routinely commented on the emails, like when he told NBC’s Meet the Press:
“What’s evident from all of the revelations over the last several weeks is that Hillary Clinton operated in such a way to keep her emails, and particularly her interactions while secretary of state with the Clinton Foundation, out of the public reach, out of public accountability … And with regard to classified information, she either knew or should have known that she was placing classified information in a way that exposed it to being hacked and being made available in the public domain even to enemies of this country.”
However, Pence spokesman Marc Lotter called comparisons between Pence and Clinton "absurd.” Additionally, Pence's office sent a written statement to the Star explaining:
"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.”
Still, Justin Cappos, a computer security professor at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering, warned the Star that any communication by a government official over an unsecured email should alarm us all. “It’s one thing to have an AOL account and use it to send birthday cards to grandkids," he said. "But it’s another thing to use it to send and receive messages that are sensitive and could negatively impact people if that information is public.”
As the Star reported, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Pence’s successor, released more than 30 pages from Pence’s AOL account, but declined to release an unspecified number of emails because the state considered them “confidential and too sensitive to release to the public.”