US Vice President Pence used private email account to conduct state business

Pence communicated with advisers through his personal AOL account on homeland security matters, a media report said.

Published: 03rd March 2017 11:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd March 2017 11:50 AM   |  A+A-

US Vice President Mike Pence pauses while speaking before administering the oath of office to Energy Secretary Rick Perry in the White House Complex in Washington. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON: Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account to conduct public business as Indiana's governor, according to public records obtained by the Indianapolis Star.

The newspaper reported Thursday that emails provided through a public records request show that Pence communicated with advisers through his personal AOL account on homeland security matters and security at the governor's residence during his four years as governor.

The governor also faced email security issues. Pence's AOL account was subjected to a phishing scheme last spring, before he was chosen by Donald Trump to join the GOP presidential ticket. Pence's contacts were sent an email falsely claiming that the governor and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and needed money.

The governor moved to a different AOL account with additional security measures, Pence spokesman Marc Lotter said, but has since stopped using the new personal account since he was sworn-in as vice president.

Lotter said Pence "maintained a state email account and a personal email account" like previous governors in the state. At the end of his term Pence directed outside counsel to review all of his communications to ensure that state-related emails were transferred and properly archived by the state, the spokesman said.

As Trump's running mate, Pence frequently criticized rival Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as President Barack Obama's secretary of state, accusing her of purposely keeping her emails out of public reach and shielding her from scrutiny.

Lotter said "the comparison is absurd" because Clinton had set up a private server in her home at the start of her tenure at the State Department and, unlike Clinton, Pence did not handle any classified material as Indiana's governor.

The newspaper reported that the office of Pence's successor, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, released more than 30 pages from Pence's AOL account, but declined to release an unspecified number of emails because they were considered confidential.

Public officials are not barred from using personal email accounts under Indiana law, but the law is interpreted to mean that any official business conducted on private email must be retained to comply with public record laws.

The state requires all records pertaining to state business to be retained and available for public information requests. Emails involving state email accounts are captured on the state's servers, but any emails that Pence may have sent from his AOL account to another private account would need to be retained.

At the end of his term, Pence hired the Indianapolis law firm of Barnes & Thornburg to conduct a review of all of his communications and that review is still ongoing, Lotter said. Any correspondence between Pence's AOL account and any aides using a state email account would have been automatically archived, he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp