Vice President Mike Pence dismissed any comparison of his private email use as governor of Indiana with the private email use of Hillary Clinton when she served as secretary of state, telling reporters on Friday that he had complied with state laws when using an AOL account to conduct some government business.
"There's no comparison whatsoever between Hillary Clinton's practice — having a private server, misusing classified information, destroying emails when they were requested by the Congress," Pence said during a stop for lunch with House Speaker Paul Ryan at a Wisconsin pub. "We have fully complied with Indiana's laws. We had outside counsel review all of my previous email records to identify any that ever mentioned or referenced state business."
Pence's use of a personal email address during his tenure as governor of the Hoosier State emerged in an Indianapolis Star report published Thursday evening. Since then, the White House has pushed back on any attempt to conflate Pence's practices with the private email use that landed Clinton and her associates under criminal investigation by the FBI when their reliance on a homebrew server came to light in 2015.
After the State Department discovered Clinton's emails had never been archived and asked the former secretary of state to provide copies, Clinton handed over roughly 30,000 emails in late 2014. But she deleted another 30,000 emails her team had deemed personal in nature.
The subsequent FBI investigation determined that thousands of the deleted emails were potentially related to her State Department work, and agents noted that hundreds should have been considered classified at the time were they transmitted through a private server in Clinton's basement.
Pence, by contrast, has said he allowed a third party to determine which emails should remain in private hands and which should be turned over to the state government. Clinton resisted calls to allow a third party to review her email records, eventually using a digital deletion tool called BleachBit to wipe away all traces of undisclosed emails after news of her private server use came to light in March 2015.
The vice president said Friday that he would adhere to federal archival rules in his communications moving forward.
"I'm very confident we are in full compliance with all of Indiana's laws," Pence said. "And in my service as vice president, I will continue that practice."