One of the main criticisms for Hillary Clinton's race to the White House during the campaign period was her mistake of using a private email server to send and receive sensitive and confidential information instead of a government-secured account. Vice President Mike Pence was one of the loudest voices in criticizing Clinton in 2016 and recommending that the former Secretary of State be made accountable for her actions.
Now it turns out that Pence was equally guilty of the same grave sin, since he had also used a personal email account and is currently in a legal battle to keep much of the contents of his breached email account a secret as he regularly used his personal email for official business as governor of Indiana.
Trump And Pence vs. Clinton
If you could recall, both President Donald Trump and Pence were very vocal about their criticism of Clinton, especially when it came to the email scandal. They even openly tweeted about it and accused Clinton of corruption based on the case, as can be seen below.
Look at the way Crooked Hillary is handling the e-mail case and the total mess she is in. She is unfit to be president. Bad judgement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Nov. 1, 2016
.@realDonaldTrump and I commend the FBI for reopening an investigation into Clinton's personal email server because no one is above the law. — Mike Pence (@mike_pence) Oct. 28, 2016
However, Clinton is not the only one to commit a grave error when it came to handling confidential information because Pence reportedly used an AOL account to transmit official communications as Indiana governor. What's worse is that, when his account was compromised by a scammer in 2016, he just stopped using that account and opened another AOL account.
Trump Should Hold Pence Accountable
Pence once claimed that Clinton should be held accountable since "no one is above the law."
While it is true that Pence did not pay to set up a private server for an email account, cybersecurity experts think that Pence's oversight is equally as bad because using a personal, non-government secured email already made his communications vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks and data breaches. Hence, using a vulnerable communication medium to transmit sensitive and confidential data is just as damaging to national security.
"In this case, you know the email address has been hacked. It would be hypocritical to consider this issue any different than a private email server," WatchGuard Technologies Chief Technology Officer Corey Nachreiner said.
In the case of Pence, his AOL email account had been compromised and his solution was to open a new account on the same server, despite its weak security. In fact, CIA Director John Brennan's AOL account was hacked back in 2014 — two years before Pence's own AOL account was hacked.
On Transparency And Equal Treatment
While everyone was focused on the debates and Clinton's email debacle, Pence's legal team was fighting hard to keep the contents of his compromised account a secret.
"This account was used to handle these messages that are so sensitive they can't be turned over in a records request [...] The Secretary of State would be in possession of secrets that had more of a national impact, but at a lower level, a private email account has the same implications," Justin Cappos, a computer security professor from the New York University's Tandon School of Engineering, said.
Perhaps the bottom line is that both Clinton and Pence used email accounts that are not secured by the government so both of them should be held accountable for their actions, depending on the value of the confidential information that was compromised.