Throughout the course of last year’s election, we heard a LOT about Hillary Clinton’s emails. After much ado, the former Secretary of State was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing with regard to her use of a private email server for work-related matters (which was flagged for potential leaks of classified information) not once, but twice, as new information came to light just days before the election. And yet, it was still a hot-button issue of debate among voters, with buzz surrounding the would-be scandal long after the election had ended.
Another email scandal is now making the rounds, and it’s one that belongs to our current Vice-President, Mike Pence (who was recently welcomed to DC with a rather unexpected gesture).
On Thursday, the VP’s email was hacked, and its contents showed that the former governor of Indiana had also used personal email accounts to conduct state business on several counts.
Though his actions in and of itself were not illegal (and in fact necessary in some cases — Bustle points out that using his public account with regard to campaign endeavors, for instance, was prohibited, making some use of personal emails for work inevitable), the fact that Pence reportedly used a personal AOL account to discuss everything from personal home security to Indiana’s stance on terror attacks with officials has raised some red flags among many. He has since turned his work-related emails over to be archived by the state, where they will be managed according to Indiana’s Access of Public Records Act. Twenty-nine pages of emails were released in total, but current Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb is withholding an “unspecified amount” that the state has deemed “confidential and too sensitive” for public consumption (an alarming statement, to be sure, particularly when considering the manner in which they were sent).
Now, the former governor has spoken out regarding the findings, saying that his own situation cannot be compared to Clinton’s. “There’s no comparison whatsoever,” he said.
According to White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders, that’s because as a governor, he wouldn’t have been dealing with as many sensitive issues as Clinton was. “He’s a governor, which means he wasn’t handling classified information like she was,” she was quoted as saying. Sanders says he also was more compliant with officials with regard to the matter. “He did everything to the letter of the law, he turned all his emails over, unlike Hillary Clinton, who lost 30,000, who knows how many more, on her private server,” Sanders said in a statement. (Sanders is referring to emails Clinton’s team of lawyers refused to turn over due to their “personal and private” nature, with The Washington Post listing the number closer to 31,380 as of 2015).
Still, it seems an ironic turn of events coming from a man who has widely criticized Clinton for what he deemed to be misconduct, with jabs being thrown as recently as his current interview. Pence maintains that Clinton “mishandled information” and “[destroyed] emails when they were requested by the Congress.” In contrast, Pence says he “has fully complied with all Indiana’s laws,” and has had “outside counsel review all of my private email records to identify any emails that ever referenced or mentioned a business-related activity.”
Oof! Watch Pence’s statement in full here.
What do you think about the latest Pence email developments? Sound off over @BritandCo.
(h/t Bustle, photos via Ethan Miller/Getty)