Vice President-elect Mike Pence is going to court to prevent his emails from being released to the public, the Indianapolis Star reported Monday. He is seeking to prevent a message he received about blocking an executive action on immigration from President Barack Obama.
The email is being sought by a Democratic labor lawyer over Pence's decision to hire outside counsel to fight the Obama administration immigration policy. Pence's efforts have been upheld thus far, but an Indiana Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments in Indianapolis next week.
"It comes down to this — the court is giving up its ability to check another branch of government, and that should worry people," Gerry Lanosga, an Indiana University professor specializing in public records law, told the Indianapolis Star.
The news comes after president-elect Donald Trump and Pence attacked political opponent Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for her use of a private email system while serving as secretary of state. Trump suggested Russian hackers should release emails that Clinton purportedly deleted because they were personal in nature. During the vice-presidential debate, Pence said his military son would be court-martialed if he "handled classified information the way Hillary Clinton did."
Pence's court case in Indiana is a potentially troubling move from the incoming administration that pushed for transparency from Clinton, despite rarely proving transparent themselves. Trump never released his tax returns that could show potential conflicts of interest, has severely limited press access as president-elect and barred major news outlets during his campaign.
While Pence is in court over his emails, Trump is also due in court for fraud allegations involving the defunct Trump University. His lawyers have sought to delay the case until after his January inauguration.