A month after repeatedly slamming Hillary Clinton’s email habits, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal refused to release his own work emails.
Jindal, a likely 2016 contender, is wrapping up his second and final term as governor of Louisiana. Through his lawyers, the Republican declined to provide a local newspaper with copies of his work emails requested in mid-March, citing the very public record exemptions he helped rewrite in 2009.
“Aside from the obvious reason for excluding security information, these content-based exemptions support the environment of open discussion and full analysis necessary for staff to make recommendations to assist the governor in the usual course of the duties and business of his office,” the governor’s chief lawyer, Thomas Enright, told the Advocate in his denial on Friday.
In 2009, the governor’s office backed a reform of the way public records laws applied to the state’s executive office – opening up the option of releasing more records – but shielding “deliberative” records from ever being released, something his office has routinely used to reject public records requests ever since.
“We are fully following Louisiana law regarding the disclosure of emails that are public records. The Governor uses email sparingly for a very small circle of friends and family, including his wife and kids, and a few of his closest aides. He prefers to conduct most business in meetings or on the phone,” a spokesman for the governor told msnbc by email. “The issue with Hillary Clinton is that she may have broken federal public records law and she risked a breach of national security by conducting state department business on an email server based in her home. We are following our public records law.”
Likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush released his professional emails from his time as the governor of Florida as he began to weigh a presidential bid.
Following criticism that she controlled the server her work email was hosted on during her time as Secretary of State, Clinton announced that she’d hand over all her work emails to the State Department who would later release them.
Jindal – like many Republicans – eviscerated Clinton for controlling her email records.
“I was waiting for her to say, ‘What difference does it make?’” Jindal told the Des Moines Register of the press conference when Clinton explained her decision to use a private email server. “I was kind of surprised she didn’t say that”
“From Benghazi, to this, to the Russia reset, there seems to be a lack of accountability,” he told Buzzfeed. “Just a pattern here where bad things happen on her watch and she doesn’t take responsibility for it.”