Congressional investigators have revealed that Tom Perez, the newly elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee, frequently used his personal email account to conduct business when he was a lawyer at the Department of Justice (DOJ) during the Obama administration.
A Thursday report citing that Vice President Mike Pence used a personal email account while he was governor of Indiana has Democrats and the media racing to label Pence as a hypocrite for criticizing Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign over her use of an unsecured private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
Paul Begala, a long-serving Clinton advisor, claimed to be “sickened” by the “staggering” hypocrisy, while reporters questioned whether Pence had gained any “sympathy” for Clinton’s handling of her emails.
Pence asserted that there is “no comparison whatsoever” between his actions and Clinton’s. According to Pence’s office, the comparison is “absurd” since it was legal for him to use the account, which was a commercial AOL account versus a private server, and he was not sending or receiving classified information.
The Daily Caller points out that Clinton’s email transgressions would be more suitably compared to those of new DNC Chairman Tom Perez.
Beginning in 2009 Perez used his personal email account to conduct DOJ business 1,200 times, according to congressional investigators. In a le tter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the DOJ admitted that Perez had violated the Federal Records Act a minimum of 34 times.
The investigation found that Perez “likely violated both the spirit and letter of the Federal Records Act.”
A subpoena was issued for the 1,200 emails by Republican representative Darrell Issa of California, who was the chairman of the committee during the investigation. Perez ignored the subpoena.
The investigation was initiated as a result of a deal that Perez negotiated at the DOJ with the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, in which he used his personal email account to communicate with lawyers for St. Paul. Investigators obtained one of those emails and subsequently issued the subpoena.
Perez claimed to have no recollection of using his personal email while facilitating the deal.
“It appears that your use of your personal, non-official email account to conduct official department business has been frequent and routine,” Issa wrote to Perez.
Perez was urged to respond to the subpoena by the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
The investigation further revealed that Perez used his personal email account to contact organizations such as Planned Parenthood, The New York Times, and Talking Points Memo.
Despite Perez’s choice to ignore the subpoena from Congress, Perez was confirmed as Labor Secretary in 2013. Perez had been expected to follow Eric Holder as attorney general, but the subpoena was cited as a reason that he was not nominated for the post.
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