United States Vice President Mike Pence had used his private email account for public business when he was the governor of Indiana, according to a report in The Indianapolis Star. A statement from Pence’s office on Thursday said he had maintained a state email account and a private email account, “similar to previous governors”.
Pence’s personal AOL account was used for communications with his advisers for various issues, including security matters, public records obtained by the newspaper showed. According to the law in Indiana, public officials are allowed to use personal email accounts for state businesses. In the past, Pence has heavily criticised former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for using her personal email during her tenure.
The former governor’s personal email account had also fallen prey to a phishing scheme in June 2016. An email was sent from his account to his contacts falsely claiming that Pence and his wife were attacked in Philippines and had lost their money, bank cards and mobile phones, the newspaper added. Following the incident, Pence had moved to another AOL account, but does not use it anymore since he was sworn-in as vice president.
The statement from Pence’s office said at the end of his term, he had directed an outside counsel to review all of his communications, so that all state-related emails were transferred and properly archived by the state, reported Reuters.
President Trump and Pence had made Hillary Clinton’s use of her personal email one of their poll planks ahead of the presidential elections. In September 2016, Pence had also alleged that Clinton used a private server to keep her emails “out of the public reach, out of public accountability,” reported The New York Times.
However, Pence’s spokesperson Marc Lotter said the comparison between Clinton and the vice president was “absurd”. Lotter said as the governor of Indiana, Pence did not handle “federally classified information”.