The Republican ticket for the 2016 presidential race ran on the premise that its opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, was corrupt. Clinton was characterized as such largely because of her ongoing email controversy, in which the politician used a private email server when conducting official government business.
Now Vice President Mike Pence faces a scandal similar to the one that had people chanting “lock her up” at GOP campaign rallies, and it makes the White House look hypocritical.
The Indianapolis Star reported Friday that Pence routinely used a private email account for public business while serving as Indiana governor and was hacked last summer.
The vice president used his personal AOL account to communicate with top advisers in Indiana politics on matters deemed confidential by the state, according to Tony Cook at the IndyStar.
The Editorial Board believes the inarguable parallels between Pence and Clinton’s email scandals as well as lacking transparency by the former governor make Pence and the current administration undoubtedly hypocritical.
While Pence spent a lot of time criticizing Clinton for increasing her risk of being hacked with a private server, Pence actually was hacked. Specifically, by a scammer who sent a mass email to Pence’s contacts claiming the former governor and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and in desperate need of cash, according to the IndyStar.
Among the 13 boxes of emails Pence’s team turned over to the Indiana Statehouse Friday was information as relatively benign as issues pertaining to the Indiana Governor’s Residence to matters as confidential as security and the Islamic State.
Although Pence claims there is “no comparison” between his case and Clinton’s, the use of a private account to handle confidential government information displays laziness on behalf of the former governor.
Not to mention this practice is much less secure than the appropriate government email accounts.
Indiana law prohibiting government officials from using email accounts has been historically interpreted to mean that state business done through personal emails must be retained for public record. Pence’s personal emails were not immediately caught on state servers to be retained for public record, creating a transparency issue for Hoosiers.
Pence criticized Clinton on the campaign trail for her email use many times over. In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” last year, Pence claimed Clinton was escaping transparency and accountability.
“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,” Pence said in the interview.
Pence did just this by denying Indiana residents timely access to transparent public records by not immediately turning over all emails.
Pence was irresponsible, lazy and not transparent by using a private email account as Indiana governor and his hypocritical actions will taint the current administration’s image as well as leave Hoosiers retroactively questioning his efficacy as governor with this unearthed information.
Any claim by his team that Pence’s activity was justified while not granting Clinton the same courtesy is hypocritical.