Mike Pence’s private email account, which he regularly used in his work as governor of Indiana, was hacked last year, according to a new report published by The Indianapolis Star.
The account that was breached was frequently used by then-Gov. Pence to “conduct public business” which included “discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.”
More from the report:
Emails released to The Indianapolis Star in response to a public records request show Pence communicated via his personal AOL account with top advisers on topics ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe. In one email, Pence’s top state homeland security adviser relayed an update from the FBI regarding the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges.
Cybersecurity experts say the emails raise concerns about whether such sensitive information was adequately protected from hackers, given that personal accounts like Pence’s are typically less secure than government email accounts. In fact, Pence’s personal account was hacked last summer.
Donald Trump and Pence spent the entirety of last year’s campaign cycle waging an all-out assault on Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email during her time as the Secretary of State. “Lock her up” was essentially the unofficial campaign slogan of the Trump campaign.
But in this scenario, one of these two personal accounts was actually hacked, and it wasn’t Clinton’s.
As IndyStar reported, “While there has been speculation about whether Clinton’s emails were hacked, Pence’s account was actually compromised last summer by a scammer who sent an email to his contacts claiming Pence and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and in urgent need of money.”
In other words, all of the sensitive information reportedly transmitted via Pence’s private email account was put at risk. There was no evidence, on the other hand, that Clinton’s was breached.
The report continues:
Indiana law requires all records dealing with state business to be retained and available for public information requests. Emails exchanged on state accounts are captured on state servers, which can be searched in response to such requests. But any emails Pence sent from his AOL account to another private account likely would have been hidden from public record searches unless he took steps to make them available.
So, did Pence follow the law in his state and take steps to make all of his emails available to the public? It appears he didn’t.
According to the IndyStar, “There is no indication that Pence took any such steps to preserve his AOL emails” up until the time he left office.
After Trump and Pence – and the media – spent an entire campaign complaining about the non-scandal of Hillary Clinton’s email use, Pence had his own email problems all along.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.