Vice President Mike Pence‘s home state of Indiana is shelling out $100,000 for extra lawyers to take on the task of reviewing “a large backlog” of records requests for emails he sent on his private server as governor, Newsweek reports.
Pence’s successor, Eric Holcomb, hired a law firm to deal with the “unusually high” number of requests for records regarding email correspondences from his private and state government accounts.
Through his private email, Pence was in touch with top advisers on issues including terrorism and state security measures. In one email, the Indianapolis Star reports, Indiana’s top homeland security adviser gave Pence an update from the FBI about several men who were arrested on federal terrorism charges.
Just before he joined the Trump campaign, Pence’s private email account was hacked by a phishing campaign — right around the same time other Republican politicians were hacked by Russian intelligence agencies.
The development raises questions of Pence’s hypocrisy regarding comments he’s made about Hillary Clinton’s alleged email issues during her time as Secretary of State. During the 2016 campaign, Pence echoed talking points that slammed Clinton’s reckless regard for national security by sending sensitive government information on an unsecured email server.
In October of 2016, Pence praised the FBI for “reopening” the investigation in Clinton’s email habits.
.@realDonaldTrump and I commend the FBI for reopening an investigation into Clinton's personal email server because no one is above the law.
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 28, 2016
According to Newsweek, Pence’s spokesman Marc Lotter said that Pence’s use of a private email account to conduct government business is different than Clinton’s, since his correspondence took place while he was a state governor and Clinton’s while she was secretary of state.
Speaking to the Indianapolis Star, Justin Cappos, a computer security professor at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, said that any communication by a government official over an unsecured email server should be a cause for concern.
“It’s one thing to have an AOL account and use it to send birthday cards to grandkids,” Cappos 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.”
Featured image via Flickr