Mike Pence’s email scandal is exactly like Hillary’s

Mike Pence chastised Hillary for doing exactly what he did: Using private email to keep the public from seeing his government communications.

Ignore all the talk about how Hillary had a private server, and that makes the Pence scandal different. Look at Mike Pence’s own words during the campaign — the problem according to Pence wasn’t the server, the problem was keeping emails private.

“Hillary Clinton operated in a way to keep her mails… out of the public reach.” — then-VP-candidate Mike Pence.

The core issue, according to Pence, was that Hillary found a way to keep her government email off of public servers, and thus Pence claimed she was per se hiding something.

And that is exactly what Mike Pence did as governor of Indiana. Pence found a way to keep his government email off of public servers, and thus per se was hiding something.

Mike PenceAll of this talk about email servers is a red herring.

And on the classified-argument too, per the Indy Star, Pence is in trouble: “Vice President Mike Pence routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.”

Homeland security issues. Doesn’t get more serious than that.

And on the question of breaking the law, Pence is also in trouble:

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.

Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt, who was appointed by Pence in 2013, said he advises state officials to copy or forward their emails involving state business to their government accounts to ensure the record is preserved on state servers.

But there is no indication that Pence took any such steps to preserve his AOL emails until he was leaving the governor’s office.

Oh, and Pence is refusing to release all the emails. Sound familiar?

So to recap:

1. Private email used to hide public correspondence? Check.

2. Confidential national security information possibly put at risk? Check.

3. Refusal to make those emails public? Check.

4. Possibility of broken laws? Check.

In the end, look no further than Pence’s own words: “Hillary Clinton operated in a way to keep her mails… out of the public reach.”

Still going to tell me that this doesn’t sound an awful lot like what Mike Pence did too?

Well, in all fairness to Mike Pence, there is one major difference between Hillary’s email controversy and Pence’s: Hillary never got hacked. Pence did.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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