US Vice President Mike Pence used his personal email account to conduct public business when he was the Governor of Indiana. He eve used the account to discuss sensitive matters, including issues of national security.
According to public records obtained by the Indianapolis Star, 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.
The spokesperson said that Pence maintained a state email account and a personal email account like previous governors in the state.
At the end of his term, Lotter said, Pence directed outside counsel to review all of his communications to ensure that state-related emails were transferred and properly archived by the state.
As Trump's running mate, Pence had 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 that ‘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.
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.