As the Republican vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence vigorously chastised Hillary Clinton for using a personal server to send and receive official e-mails while she was Secretary of State. Not only was the arrangement an attempt to escape public accountability, he said, it also put classified information within dangerous reach of hackers.
Now, come revelations that Pence routinely used a private AOL account to conduct government business while he was governor of Indiana and that the account was hacked last summer, just months before he turned the heat on his Democratic rival over her personal e-mail server. Use of the AOL account for state business came to light in a 2,100-word articlepublished Thursday evening by The IndyStar. The news outlet based its report on e-mails it received under a public records request. State officials declined to release an unspecified number of e-mails because the state considers them confidential and too sensitive to release to the public.
Pence used the account starting in the mid 1990s and continued using it until it was hijacked in 2016, three years into Pence's four-year tenure as governor, the news outlet reported. The hackers who compromised the account used it to send a scam e-mail to Pence's contacts, falsely claiming that the governor and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and in urgent need of financial assistance. Pence then abandoned that account and opened a new AOL account.