Email #94, Subject: “doesn’t smell right”?

Last July you said that the FBI’s conclusion that Hillary Clinton’s private-server emails involved no crime “doesn’t smell right.”

You personally told the FBI director: “None should be above the law and the American people need to know that federal law enforcement is taking this misconduct seriously.”

You intensified your remarks in September: “We, as Congress and the American people, are troubled how such gross negligence is not punished, and why there seems to be a different standard for the well-connected.”

I assume these American principles of fairness apply to the even more “well-connected.”

USA Today reported last Friday: “Vice President Mike Pence routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.”

Pence’s use of his account raises the identical issue of security as Clinton’s: “While there has been speculation about whether Clinton’s emails were hacked, Pence’s account was actually compromised last summer.”

Pence also “declined to release an unspecified number of emails because the state considers them confidential and too sensitive to release to the public.” The explanation itself confirms that he was using the unsecure email server for inappropriate content.

Because Pence’s personal email account was through AOL, USA Today also interviewed a chief technology officer of a computer security company whe said: “It would be hypocritical to consider this issue any different than a private email server.”

You were a vehement critic of Secretary Clinton, demanding punishment even after the FBI concluded she committed no crime. Given the extraordinary parallels between Clinton’s and Pence’s use of unsecure private email accounts for sensitive government content, I assume you will be pursing an investigation of the Vice President with equal vehemence.

Anything less would not “smell right.” It would show that you hold members of your own party to “a different standard.”  It would show that you believe the Vice President is “above the law” and that you don’t take “misconduct seriously.”

I look forward to your next press release announcing your demand for an investigation into the Vice President’s emails.

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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