Those in the GOP presidential field are noticeably quiet regarding the email flap of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, possibly because they have their own complicated histories with email privacy, Politico reported
At least a half dozen 2016 prospects have faced criticism over their email practices, some of whom were similarly targeted for avoiding official email as a way of evading public scrutiny.
"My approach as chief of staff was to try to minimize [email], period, and certainly minimize email exchanges with the governor," Ray Sullivan, who worked for former Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry, told Politico.
He acknowledged that his policy was out of concern for the public implications of emails being released.
"Look, when you're in the heat of decision-making, in the heat of crisis communications or natural or manmade disaster situations, it is easy to be really blunt, or use shorthand, or use language that can be misconstrued, or could offend people," he said, according to Politico.
In some cases, political aides have deliberately tried to avoid leaving a public trail by setting up private Internet networks, Politico said.
In Wisconsin, two former staffers of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker were charged for using private accounts for official business during Walker's tenure as Milwaukee County executive.
In New Jersey, texts and emails between Gov. Chris Christie's aides became central to the George Washington Bridge controversy, resulting in subpoenas for the communications as the case was investigated.
"It's very distracting," Ryan Williams, a staffer for 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney at the time when the governor faced scrutiny for erasing emails from the server before he left office. "The media becomes very interested in this type of story, given reporters' focus on transparency."
Meanwhile, as the controversy surrounding Clinton's use of private email escalated, she issued a statement saying, "I want the public to see my email."
But some commentators have noted that Clinton's staff has pre-selected the 55,000 pages of emails that her team turned over to the State Department last year, leaving in question what's contained in the balance and whether they will ever be disclosed.
"This is basically going to be the honor system," said ABC's Jonathan Karl
. He pointed out that the emails the State Department could release are those that she and her team reviewed and selected.
"The bottom line is, people will have to trust that she has turned over all relevant official documents to the State Department."
On Wednesday a congressional committee that is investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks
subpoenaed all of Clinton's emails related to Libya.
The breadth of the request was intended to uncover whether Clinton released all of the correspondence about the attacks beyond the 900 pages of emails that the department already turned over to the committee.
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