While serving as Governor of Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence used a private AOL email account to conduct public business, the Indianapolis Star reported.
The information revealed that Pence communicated with top advisers via the email address, discussing sensitive information on homeland security and terrorist attacks. There are 30 emails that have been made public. However, Indiana's current governor, Eric Holcomb, withheld an unspecified number of additional emails stating that they were “confidential.”
In a statement, the Vice President's office said:
Similar to previous governors, during his time as Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence maintained a state email account and a personal email account. As Governor, Mr. Pence fully complied with Indiana law regarding email use and retention. Government emails involving his state and personal accounts are being archived by the state consistent with Indiana law, and are being managed according to Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act.
During the presidential race, Pence was one of many Republicans who criticized Hillary Clinton's use of a private server and email account during her time as Secretary of State.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Deputy White House Press Secretary, said aboard Air Force One that Pence's emails are incomparable to what Hillary Clinton did. She stated:
"There’s light years of difference. Number one, he was a governor, he wasn’t a federal employee, which means the laws are different. It’s subject to Indiana law, not federal law. Second, he’s a governor, which means he wasn’t handling classified info like she was, and third, all of his emails he turned over specifically to be archived; which is why anybody even knows about the account. He did everything to the letter of the law in Indiana, turned all of his emails over, unlike Hillary Clinton who lost at least 30,000, who knows how many more, had a private server, classified information which he didn’t have. That’s apples to oranges comparison.”
Last summer, Pence's AOL account was attacked through email by someone claiming that he and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and needed money. According to CNN, Pence hired a lawyer to review his emails and submit them to the state.