MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Likely presidential candidate Scott Walker's spokeswoman blasted Democrat Hillary Clinton on Thursday for using a personal email account during the four years she was secretary of state — even though the Wisconsin governor did something similar when he was Milwaukee County executive.
The State Department is reviewing a huge cache of Clinton's emails for possible release after revelations she conducted official business as secretary of state using a private account. Walker used a private email account to communicate with aides over a secret router system installed in his county executive's office in 2010.
"Hillary Clinton's potential evasion of laws is something she should answer questions about," said Kirsten Kukowski, spokeswoman for Walker's political committee Our American Revival, in an email to The Associated Press. "Wisconsin has a strong open records law with a broad presumption of access to records and the governor has very specific policies in place in his office to assure that the laws are complied with fully."
Before he was governor, Walker's county executive staff set up the secret email system where Walker and others exchanged messages related to government business, campaign fundraising and politics. Two former Walker associates were convicted for campaigning on government time as part of an investigation that ended in 2013.
Tens of thousands of pages of emails collected by prosecutors as part of that investigation have been publicly released since the close of the probe. Walker was never charged or convicted as a result of the investigation.
Walker's staff has said that no such secret network exists in the governor's office. And Walker said last year that when he became governor in 2011 he created a "clear distinction between things that are political and official."
Walker also instituted a policy in his office nearly a year into office, in November 2011, requiring that "any campaign work should be done away from the Capitol or state office building with your own phone, computer, and personal email."
Clinton, in a departure from predecessors, relied exclusively on the private account for emails about government business. The emails were sent from a private computer server using an Internet address that traces back to Clinton's family home in Chappaqua, New York.
On Wednesday, the House committee investigating the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, issued subpoenas for emails from Clinton. Republicans are calling for an investigation.
Liberal groups called Walker a hypocrite for criticizing Clinton — the probable Democratic presidential nominee.
"These cheap, political attacks are ignorant of Governor Walker's record — and reality," said Jessica Mackler, vice president of the liberal group American Bridge 21st Century.
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