Now VP-elect Mike Pence is embroiled in his own legal battle over emails

After slamming Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server as Secretary of State, Vice President-elect Mike Pence is now tied up in a battle over transparency in his own email usage.

American broadcaster CNN reported that Pence is currently fighting a legal challenge concerning his decision not to disclose material from a public records request, in a case that could see the Indiana governor withholding all future email communication from public scrutiny.

(Andrew Harnik AP/PA)
Mike Pence and Donald Trump repeatedly used the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's email usage as evidence she could not be trusted during their campaign (Andrew Harnik AP/PA)

Pence's legal team argued that a local state law in Indiana allowing lawmakers to keep their communication records secret should be extended to include his team, but the opposing side have argued that this could set a precedent that allows the governor to keep his official emails under wraps.

Indianapolis lawyer William Groth has brought a legal challenge against the decision, and told the local IndyStar newspaper: "I think governmental transparency is an important concern of anyone who lives in a democracy - the governor cannot put himself above the law."

(Alex Brandon AP/PA)
Mike Pence (far right) sits alongside House Speaker Paul Ryan, the President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania after a meeting in Washington DC (Alex Brandon AP/PA)

The email that Groth originally applied to see dates back to a December 2014 request concerning Pence's decision to hire private lawyers for a joint lawsuit with the Governor of Texas against Barack Obama's decision to relax immigration laws for parents of children born in the United States.

Although Groth eventually saw the transcript of the email itself, he was denied access to its attached document - detailing the costs of hiring the outside team for the lawsuit against Obama's executive action.

(Paul Sancya AP/PA)
Pence is seen as a controversial figure by some, who have fears about his ultra-conservative stance on issues such as abortion (Paul Sancya AP/PA)

Groth told the IndyStar: "I think joining the lawsuit without the attorney general and hiring that firm was a waste of taxpayer dollars and the people have the right to know how much of their money was spent."

The court's original decision decreed that it was not for them to decide whether Pence's office should hand over the paper, which Groth has since challenged on appeal.

The Indiana Court of Appeals is now expected to hear further arguments on November 21.

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