Mike Pence has relentlessly called for Hillary Clinton to release her emails during the presidential campaign. Now it seems like he’s the one who has been hiding something in his correspondence.
The Pence administration is going to court to conceal the contents of a particular email sent to the Indiana governor by a political ally. The email was in connection to an immigration lawsuit brought by Texas and Indiana against Obama’s government. Pence hired an outside law firm to handle the case, prompting a local lawyer, William Groth, to state it was waste of taxpayers’ money. Groth demanded Pence reveal his emails so they could find out the exact cost to taxpayers.
Pence revealed 57 emails but many of them were redacted. In one instance, an email received from Texas governor Greg Abbot’s chief of staff Daniel Hodge mentioned a white document, but this was not released by the Pence management.
Pence administration has argued it is not subject to public record requests as “attorney-client” work material and also stated the court cannot question what the government chooses to release or hide under public record laws.
The matter went to trial and an Indiana Supreme Court ruled in Pence’s favor, but now Groth is contesting the case citing the fact the government cannot put itself above the law.
Mike Pence: Hillary can't be president if she wants to shield her emails.— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) November 14, 2016
Also Mike Pence: Can I shield my emails? https://t.co/1Fl5QjkcFF
Well, well, well. Shoe's on the other foot now...— Nancy Staack (@nancystaack) November 14, 2016
What's Mike Pence hiding in his emails? https://t.co/r0JJH0MlMr
The case has gotten particular attention because of Pence’s unceasing demands for Clinton to reveal her 33,000 emails that her legal team claimed were personal and hence subject to deletion. Pence is, in essence, doing the very same thing by arguing his office should be the one to determine which of his emails can be revealed. In light of this, it’s fair to say that it is quite hypocritical of him to harangue Clinton on being able to make the same decision.
It is no secret that various governments, be it federal, state or local, have evaded accountability by finding loopholes in FOIA and public record regulations. Indiana’s ruling that the court cannot interfere in the case is absurd and essentially takes away all the power behind public record laws.
If government officials can get away without revealing anything they don’t want to, where is the oft-touted government transparency in that?