Indiana forking over $100,000 to search through Pence’s private AOL account to find state business emails
The personal AOL email account that Vice President Mike Pence used to conduct official state business as governor is costing the State of Indiana $100,000 to clear a backlog of public records requests.
The Associated Press obtained ‘documents’ from Indiana that show Pence’s handpicked successor, Governor Eric Holcomb, contracted with Shelbyville law firm McNeely Stephenson to handle fifty pending public requests.
“One factor that has exacerbated the delay is a lack of digital access to Pence’s emails,” AP reported. “Thirteen boxes containing paper copies of the emails were turned over to the governor’s office earlier this year, but a review is ongoing and there may be more records that have yet to be turned over.”
Last spring, Pence’s AOL account was compromised by a “phishing” scheme.
“Pence’s contacts were sent an email falsely claiming that the governor and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and needed money,” the AP recalled. “The hacking of Pence’s private emails led some to raise questions of hypocrisy after he frequently attacked Clinton on the campaign trail, arguing that she could have jeopardized national security if her emails got into the wrong hands.”
After the hacking of then-Governor Pence’s AOL account last spring, Governor Pence upgraded to a different AOL email address.
Pence spokesman Marc Lotter has claimed that Pence stopped using AOL, once known as America On Line, since being sworn in as vice-president.
There was not a response from Pence’s office to the Associated Press’s request for comment on the $100,000 legal bill.