Tags: Pence | Email | Indiana

VP-Elect Pence Fights His Own Email Scandal

Image: VP-Elect Pence Fights His Own Email Scandal

 Mike Pence (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 11:36 AM

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has an email controversy of his own over government transparency concerning an email that he argues is not a matter of public record, The Washington Post reported.

In 2014, the governor of Texas' chief of staff Daniel Hodge sent an email to about 30 state officials, including Pence's chief of staff James Atterholt, urging them to join in a lawsuit against the Obama administration for issuing an executive order protecting 4 million illegal immigrants from deportation.

That email contained an attachment, a document called "white paper," which according to Hodge contains an outline of the legal theories supporting the lawsuit.

William Groth, a Democratic attorney, sued Pence last year for the release of the document. Pence's attorney argued that the document falls under attorney-client privilege, which a Marion County judge who reviewed the document agreed with.

But Groth, who's appealing this ruling in the Indiana Court of Appeals, argues that since the email was distributed to over two-dozen state officials and was written by the attorney representing Texas in the lawsuit, and not Pence's own lawyer, attorney-client privilege does not apply.

According to Pence's attorneys, Groth's appeal would force the court to "intermeddle with government functions reserved to the Governor under Indiana's Constitution," citing an Indiana Supreme Court case on email correspondence.

The court refused to compel the release of a lawmaker's emails with companies that lobbied them, ruling that the judiciary shouldn't meddle with the legislative branch's internal functions.

Groth told the Post that bringing up the separation of powers "would render all of (Pence's) emails undiscoverable,” and that the court's decision would have a "significant impact on the transparency of state government."

"It comes down to this: The court is giving up its ability to check another branch of government, and that should worry people," media law professor Gerry Lanosga of Indiana University told the Indianapolis Star.

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has an email controversy of his own over government transparency concerning an email that he argues is not a matter of public record, The Washington Post reported. In 2014, the governor of Texas' chief of staff Daniel Hodge sent an email to about 30...
Pence, Email, Indiana
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2016-36-17
Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 11:36 AM
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