There is one person in the Trump / Pence Administration whose character has never been in question, and whose integrity has remained intact: the Vice President of the United States. Many conservatives who had qualms about Trump still voted for the ticket because of Mike Pence, who has impeccable conservative credentials on social, fiscal, and national security issues. During his twelve year tenure in Congress and his term in the Indiana Governor’s Mansion, Pence lived-up to his self-description of being “a Christian, Conservative, Republican…in that order.” The Vice President has been a dependable lieutenant in the new Administration, who works well with Congress, the press, and conservative activists.
It is because of the Vice President’s reputation that liberals are now seeking to impugn his integrity. One of the lead stories on network news this weekend is that the Vice President, as Governor of Indiana, used a private AOL email account. This revelation is pointed-to as evidence that Pence was a lying hypocrite when he called-out former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for using private email servers to convey classified information. The problem with that narrative is that there is simply no comparison. Being Governor of Indiana and Secretary of State of the United States are not comparable roles. Indiana law does not prohibit the use of private email while an official is in office, so long as private emails pertinent to state business are archived, and the Governor of Indiana is not receiving national security briefings. Governor Pence did use a private AOL account he obtained in the 1990s, alongside an official state email address, and he had both archived per state law.
Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was given top-secret security clearance and was routinely provided briefings by U.S. intelligence services. From information on CIA assets in the field, to international accords, Secretary Clinton’s electronic correspondence was far more sensitive than information being emailed by an Indiana Governor. Information provided to the Secretary of State is so sensitive that its transmission over non-governmental, non-secured servers is expressly prohibited by federal law. Furthermore, Secretary Clinton sent and received emails on her private servers that contained information about an Iranian nuclear scientist who was working for the CIA. Not long after those emails were discovered, this CIA asset was executed by the Iranian regime.
Governor Mike Pence’s private email usage as Governor of Indiana was both lawful and appropriate given the nature of the information he communicated electronically. Secretary Clinton’s messages were, by comparison, highly classified, by nature sensitive, and the transmission of such information over private servers was expressly illegal. By trying to compare the two, the liberal media is seeking to sully the reputation of the Vice President, while redeeming the reputation of the former Secretary of State. Suggesting that the practices of these two are essentially the same is fundamentally dishonest, and can serve no purpose other than painting Pence as a hypocrite.
Since President Donald Trump has elected not to receive the CIA-led Presidential Daily Briefing, Vice President Pence is receiving the briefing instead. Surely these non-stories about his email usage as Governor of Indiana are designed to undermine his credibility with regard to national security. Unless the Vice President starts emailing intelligence over his AOL account, I think this entire story is much to do about nothing, except for making Pence look worse and Hillary look better.