But his emails: Mike Pence used an unsecure AOL email account as governor

In the first months of the Trump administration, it’s been said that VP Mike Pence has taken extraordinary steps to keep himself “clean” of scandal, because he wants to have some kind of moral authority for if and when Emperor Baby Fists is impeached. Pence is described by some as a Frank Underwood-esque big-picture guy, someone manipulative and clever and Machiavellian. So which I say… really? I mean, I’m sure Pence seems manipulative and clever to the Trump people, but having seen the way this dude operates, he’s not even half as slick as he thinks he is.

Anyway, Pence was on record throughout the campaign pushing the “BUT HER EMAILS” narrative. To be fair, the media didn’t need much help to push that “Hillary Clinton is corrupt because of her emails, thus false equivalency with Donald Trump” narrative. Still, Pence had a lot of sh-t to say about Hillary’s emails and how they disqualified her and how she was a terrible person because of those g–damn emails. Well, guess what? Pence’s hometown paper, The Indianapolis Star, reports that Pence also used a personal email account while governor of Indiana and that he conducted state business on that AOL account. And the AOL account was hacked. Oh, this is delicious.

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. Emails released to IndyStar 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.

Cyber-security 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. Furthermore, advocates for open government expressed concerns about transparency because personal emails aren’t immediately captured on state servers that are searched in response to public records requests.

Pence’s office in Washington said in a written statement Thursday: “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.”

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office released 29 pages of emails from Pence’s AOL account, but declined to release an unspecified number of others because the state considers them confidential and too sensitive to release to the public. Indiana law does not prohibit public officials from using personal email accounts, although the law is generally interpreted to mean that official business conducted on private email must be retained for public record purposes. Pence’s office said his campaign hired outside counsel as he was departing as governor to review his AOL emails and transfer any involving public business to the state.

Cybersecurity experts say Pence’s emails were likely just as insecure as Clinton’s. 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.

[From The Indy Star]

I would suggest everyone read this Indy Star story, I could only excerpt so much but the Indy Star journalists got the RECEIPTS. They filed FOIA requests, they quoted extensively from Pence’s own statements about Hillary Clinton, and they framed the information in an extremely damning way. Damning doesn’t mean illegal, because apparently Indiana does not have laws in place to ensure government transparency on a state and local level. But still. HIS EMAILS. LOCK HIM UP. BECAUSE OF HIS EMAILS.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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83 Responses to “But his emails: Mike Pence used an unsecure AOL email account as governor”

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  1. Rapunzel says:

    Irony, thy name is Mike Pence.

    • Shambles says:

      Hypocrisy, thy name is Mike Pence, everyone in the Trump campaign, everyone in the Republican Party, James Comey, everyone who voted Trump, and anyone who ever said “lock her up” or “but her emails.”

      This has truly been an eye-opening course in the deep, deep ugliness of the Republican Party in America.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes and yes.

        I also want to know if anyone among his contacts actually believed he was stranded in the Philippines and sent money, lol.

      • Lolo86lf says:

        Double standards, thy name is Mike Pence. Payback is a biatch.

    • Matomeda says:

      Ok I could be all wrong so please, go ahead and have at it! But what I read is that he had an unsecured *email address*. Hillary had a private *server*. As in, she could delete at will and hide anything, but pence couldn’t because aol hosted his stuff and therefore he can’t selectively delete, hide, etc. because it’s not his server. also the mention of national secrets and classified data vs governor-level stuff? That is the defense I read.

      • ol cranky says:

        her private server was more secure than his AOL account so I’d say she was doing more to safeguard sensitive materials then he was but, ya know, IOKIYAR ICIYAD

  2. slowsnow says:

    How a dirty campaign turns on you, part 1134.

  3. Jenns says:

    Here’s a tweet from Pence back in October:

    .@realDonaldTrump and I commend the FBI for reopening an investigation into Clinton’s personal email server because no one is above the law.

    https://twitter.com/mike_pence/status/792150505015377920

    • Coffeejunkie82 says:

      Was reading comments last night about this scandal and it seems some out there feel AOL is totally safe as governor but a private email server isn’t. As a Federal Employee I can tell you AOL is NOT safe or legal to conduct government business on. Cheeto supporters are either extremely ignorant or hypocrites of the worst kind. But hey vagina and boobs are scary and deserve 10 times the blame I suppose.

      • a reader says:

        As someone with a 20+ year career in IT I guarantee AOL email is not secure.

      • LittlestRoman says:

        It is my observation that Cheeto supporters are both willfully ignorant and breathtakingly hypocritical. I can say that – half of my relatives are Cheeto supporters and I should know!

      • Lightpurple says:

        Many state networks block users from accessing AOL accounts. Other email providers may be blocked as well so government employees aren’t doing private stuff during work time.

    • Angela82 says:

      Hmm so now the deplorables are saying as a state governor and not Federal employee he didn’t have to always use a government address like Feds do. The excuses are endless with these people.

      • Lightpurple says:

        I suspect Indiana laws require the use of a state government address because of public records laws.

  4. ctgirl says:

    The headline here is that he was still using AOL.

    • OhDear says:

      I didn’t know AOL still offered email!

    • Chaine says:

      When someone gives me an AOL email address I’m like, that’s all I need to know about this person to completely peg everything about them…

      • Diana says:

        Word

      • Scarlet Vixen says:

        @Chaine: Don’t hate! I still have an AOL email address and I’m a completely normal and functioning member of society. LoL I’m 37yrs old, and also have gmail and yahoo (and a work outlook account) but keep my 20yr old AOL account for coupons/junk mail. That’s where all my Groupon and Overstock emails go (and dumb joke fwds my 80yr old dad sends me) so they don’t fill up my gmail inbox. :-D

      • EOA says:

        What? That they may be a little bit older? I have had an AOL account for 17 years because at the time, it was a better alternative than Hotmail and I haven’t changed it for personal use because it is too much of a hassle. I am not sure what it “says about me as a person” and frankly, I don’t particularly care.

      • Angela82 says:

        In my experience its mostly older adults who haven’t really had to use computers in their field of work that use AOL, i.e. my 60 yr old parents. However, it is totally unacceptable for government officials and employees to use this type of private email account to conduct business. And the fact these people went after Hillary and yet deflect when its their own a** pisses me off to no end.

      • ctgirl says:

        @Angela82, Pence actually followed Indiana law when this happened. Not quite the same as Hillary.

      • Lightpurple says:

        My aol address was the first one I ever had and I still use it. The idea of transferring contacts and having people change it just strikes me as frustrating. It drives me crazy when people change their email addresses constantly. I have other email address (gmail, verizon) but I don’t use them.

        I only give out my personal email address to friends and family – they don’t get my work address – and I only give my work address to work contacts. I do not want our IT department having access to my personal emails. Anything sent to/from your work address can be seen by your employer AND is possibly discoverable in a lawsuit.

    • TwistBarbie says:

      Betcha anything Kellyanne Conway still uses hotmail

    • Chrissy says:

      Well he would never call himself progressive so I guess it’s fitting.

    • Erinn says:

      THIS.

      I could always tell when a website modification came in from an AOL account it was going to be a doozy. 9/10 times they were the most hideous sites with the worst changes – they’re the folks that slap an image into a word doc, tell you to put it on the site and then are baffled by the lack of quality.

  5. Birdix says:

    Of course he did. But somehow in this crazy world, hypocracy, dishonesty, and even treason don’t matter any more. It’s like football–people will overlook all kinds of things by the players and owners as long as their team wins.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes. The deplorables and even Trump himself only seem to care about the fact that they “won.” Pathetic.

    • Sadezilla says:

      ITA. This won’t make a difference to Trump-Pence supporters, because double standards. I wonder what moderate conservatives think? Assuming there are any left.

  6. RussianBlueCat says:

    That sound you hear is Hilary Clinton laughing. Once Trump declared war on the media and its “fake news” it was only a matter of time before the media would dig up crap to throw at the fan. Up next Trump’s tax returns

  7. Kasia says:

    I know I’m not American and this might be shallow but this guy’s entire aesthetic is “evil (not so) genius.” He’s got a terrible personality obviously but he also just really LOOKS like some second-rate villain, lol. His eyes are shrouded by shadows. If I saw him in the supermarket I would not come near.

  8. ash says:

    i love this slow drip to completely showcasing the illegitimacy of this presidency….

    45′s in trouble and its only going to get worst.

    • Christin says:

      It’s going from tasting bitter to now becoming delicious. Let us savor each crumb. The meaty entree is no doubt on its way.

      • RussianBlueCat says:

        Just wait until some dirt comes out about shady deals the Trump family is arranging, blind trust be dammed. Then there is also Melania Trump and her modelling career when she first came to the US, his tax returns….The media smells blood in the water and are circling this administration. Get your popcorn ready for the show

      • Christin says:

        There are so many trails for journalists to follow, and for leakers to leak. I hope every question is eventually answered about shady deals, immigration, financial obligations and everything between.

    • Merry says:

      Me too. They never know when the next bomb is coming, it must be driving them mad with paranoia. Love it. Drip on!

      • brincalhona says:

        There were plenty of stories in the run-up to the election and Trump still won. I can’t help thinking that nothing is going to get him and the rest of the scurf ousted. What’s it going to take?

  9. Ginger Gal says:

    lock him up!

  10. Kaye says:

    really over old white men who think the rules do not apply to them. really effing over them.

    To be clear: i have been for a VERY long time, but this is just—

    RAGE.

  11. lower-case deb says:

    AOL?
    haven’t we like moved away from it, like a millenia ago?
    i was so relieved when i went a few months without receiving one of those CDs through the mails. it was like a new era had dawned.

    we talked about Hillary’s emails,
    and we talked about Trump’s old Samsung phone.
    Pence was like trying to one-up them all… will he be first in line to purchase the relaunched Nokia candybar phone?

    • Sophia's Side eye says:

      I was fixing up an older laptop not long ago. It had the AOL app and that sh-t was like a virus, constantly popping up a sign in screen like it was part of th OS! It was so hard to get rid of I had to use and outside app to get it all the way gone.

  12. grabbyhands says:

    I want to feel buoyed by this, but it just depresses me.

    Pence, like Sessions, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The republicans have the numbers to quash any investigation, and they will. And the orange faithful base won’t care.

    The most anyone is going to get out of Pence (MAYBE) is some vague, “It doesn’t matter what I did, but it won’t happen again and anyway, liberals hacked my account to make me look bad and THAT is the real problem here”.

    • NotSoSocialButterfy says:

      Sadly, I fully agree with you. The only reaction I can muster is, “Color me shocked.”

    • holly hobby says:

      If history is accurate (Watergate) those cheap pols will buckle and appoint an independent team to look into this if there’s enough pressure from the press and constituents. That idiot Chaffetz was already calling for good ole boy Jeff to recuse himself. Just wait the more things are revealed the faster these idiots will flip flop.

    • pinetree13 says:

      I agree. The republicans own your country now and almost half your populace is happy with that.

  13. Christin says:

    But it wasn’t against the law, is apparently the defense. Oh, the irony indeed.

    The saying older and wiser folks told me is to give people enough rope and they’ll handle the rest themselves. It may take awhile, but it does typically happen.

  14. Who says says:

    When Pence was Governor of Indiana he wanted to take Federal money for AIDS outreach programs and use it for Conversion Therapy on LGBT community. He is just a snake in a different skin then Trump.

  15. Who says says:

    When Pence was Governor of Indiana he wanted to use Federal money for AIDS outreach programs and use it for conversion therapy on LGBT community. He is a snake, just in a different skin then Trump.

  16. Lyla says:

    Lock him up! Lock him up!

    • maria says:

      Yep!

      But Trump and his supporters think it was okay because you know, it’s Pence and not Clinton.

    • Beth says:

      This was the big thing Trump supporters hated Hillary for. Lots are pissed because he didn’t go through with the “lock her up!!” promise he made. Will they care about Pence committing this terrible, dishonest, shameful “crime”? I hope so. Lock him up! Lock him up!!!

      • LittlestRoman says:

        Sadly, I think we all know it wasn’t about the email server. Just like their obstruction of every single Obama policy had nothing to do with the policies themselves. I mean, the ACA was basically cribbed from Romney’s Massachusetts plan. If real people’s lives weren’t involved, this whole farce would be hysterical. “I see nussing! I hear nussing! I know nussing!”

  17. Layla says:

    How long before Ryan becomes President?

  18. Whyme says:

    Oh so that’s why Trump said he wasn’t going to go after Hillary. It makes sense now.

  19. Mikasa says:

    Maybe it’s really true. The GOP tries to get rid of Trump and his people and replace them with Ryan & co.

  20. lucy2 says:

    It’s bad enough that they kept hammering Clinton with this when all investigations cleared her, but to have done the same thing himself…I just can’t stand the hypocrisy.

    Keep up the good work, journalists. Drip drip drip.

  21. Prairiegirl says:

    #LockHimUp

  22. robyn says:

    No surprise that the Republican Party is filled to the brim with hypocrites. The email thing was overblown so don’t care about Pence or Hillary’s email or her private server for that matter since it supposedly didn’t get hacked the way the DNC did. I always understood that Hillary’s so-called disregard for security was fake news and that when you boil it down there were less than a handful of lower case “c’s” for confidential that previously were not marked confidential that amounted to nothing but a gigantic never-ending taking point for the Republicans.

  23. homeslice says:

    I hate these people so much…that’s all I got.

  24. Megan2 says:

    You guys…
    … something is really bothering me lately.

    We are less than two months in to Trump’s presidency… a phrase which just made me vomit quite a lot into my own mouth. And ALLLLLLLLLLLL of this damning information WITH EVIDENCE is pouring out through staffer leaks, intelligence reports, and the media. Less than two months, and here we are…

    Can I just say that I am super f*cking bothered that what can apparently be done in less than two months couldn’t be done over the entire year-long campaign, when the Orange Buffoon and his gibbering pack of sh*t-monkey supporters were out there, screaming for Hillary to go to prison and whingeing about “rigged” elections and polls? I mean seriously… where were the staffers and the intelligence agents and the g*damned media back when it would have made an ounce of a difference? Because right now, I truly don’t believe anything will change anything. The republicans will continue to grift and lie and collude as a way to hang onto their power, and nobody will be held accountable… which they should have been, before ever being allowed near the seats of power.

    I’m just… I’m glad this coming out now, I’m glad people are starting to learn the truth and we are making progress towards figuring out exactly what happened. But, I’m upset that this couldn’t have been done before Orange Hitler’s rise to power because now, no matter how much information comes out over the next 4 years, we are all still pretty f*cked.

    I am going to drink SO much wine tonight, and not think about politics for the entire weekend. I need a break from this sh*t show.

    • Shambles says:

      I hear you, 1000%.

      But I think there’s a couple reasons that this didn’t come out before the election.

      1. The full scope of the corruption and collusion wasn’t apparent yet

      2. No one took them seriously enough to see them as a real threat until they’d won and it was too late

      3. It would have been seen as a partisan effort to sway the election in Hillary’s favor, which would have only hurt her chances even more. She already had so much going against her

      Sadly I think it had to be this way. I’m holding on to hope that, in the end, this will be a good thing. When it all goes down in flames, I think a lot of the slimy, corrupt republicans will burn down too.

      • Megan2 says:

        I think you’re probably right Shambles. In all honesty, I don’t think even I really realized what a threat Trump was until the election; I couldn’t believe that anyone other than Nazis and the KKK would take him seriously. Because seriously… in this day and age… who thought we would be run by Nazis and KKK??? Waking up the morning after the election was the most surreal feeling in the world… so I can understand how it could have happened.

        All that to say, if/when it does go down in flames, I will bring some gasoline and few bottles of wine to the party with the rest of you. It helps me that others are still holding out hope, so thank you! :-)

    • Erica_V says:

      While impeachment would make me thrilled it sort of just feels like another punch in the face for Hillary. She worked SO hard, lost and in a few months her opponent will probably be out anyway.

      I think I’ll only be happy if this all ends with Trump in a jail cell. He shouldn’t get to ruin Hillary’s shot, ruin our country AND walk away from it all and go back to his “millions”.

  25. Alexandria says:

    He won’t care cos the deplorables don’t care about FACTS. They don’t care if 45 shoots a man on a NY street. The problem lies with these Americans. And people like Sarandon.

  26. Annetommy says:

    What a ridiculous article! Pence’s use of email is TOTALLY different to Hillary’s because…well, ummmm….eerrrr…..it’s not the same because….it’s just not the same…so there.

  27. Vox says:

    He didn’t break any laws though? I get that he’s a hypocrite for criticising Hilary for being hacked when he’s been hacked due to his own laxness but he didn’t actually do anything he could be prosecuted for, whereas Hilary did.

    For what it’s worth I despise Pence and loathe Trump, and I convinced my fiance and his brother to vote Hilary so I’m not against her at all. She should have won, emails or no.