Image source: The Hill
Mike Pence: Over a dozen pieces of classified documents were discovered at the former vice president’s Indiana home last week by a lawyer working on his behalf.
People familiar with the matter claim that the attorney gave the FBI the papers.
Since then, the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the FBI have taken it upon themselves to review the information.
They are also looking into how the files ended up at Mike Pence’s house in Indiana.
The classified papers were found at Pence’s Carmel, Indiana, residence.
It comes after the discovery of confidential documents in President Joe Biden’s residence and office.
Mike Pence argued strenuously that he possessed any classified data before the information was discovered.
The contents of the documents and their level of confidentiality are not yet disclosed.
When Pence’s staff heard about the documents on Tuesday night, they immediately informed the appropriate congressional leaders and committees.
Out of a sense of prudence, the former vice president requested that his lawyer, who was familiar with confidential information, visit his home.
Lawyer Matt Morgan allegedly found a few papers marked “classified” last week while going through four boxes at Pence’s house.
They advised the National Archives of their discoveries, who subsequently informed the Justice Department.
When the FBI sought to relocate the records that evening, Mike Pence reportedly consented, according to his attorney.
On Monday, his legal team returned the boxes to Washington, DC, and gave them to the Archives for examination in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.
According to a letter by Greg Jacob, Mike Pence’s representative at the Archives, a small collection of documents were unintentionally packaged and shipped to Pence’s residence.
“Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence,” wrote Jacobs.
“Vice President Pence understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry.”
According to sources, Pence’s temporary house in Virginia is where the packages holding the sensitive documents were held before being shipped to Indiana.
The boxes were taped, even though they weren’t kept in a safe place.
According to Pence’s attorney, there was no sign that the things had been opened.
The documents were kept in a safe inside the residence when they were discovered.
The former Vice President’s advocacy organization’s Washington, DC, headquarters, according to the lawyer, are the subject of an investigation.
However, no additional records could be found.
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Biden and Trump
The investigation on Joe Biden and Donald Trump was the same that resulted in the revelation of Mike Pence’s possession of sensitive documents.
Rumors that he is getting ready to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 coincide with the statement.
In August 2022, the FBI filed a search warrant and examined Trump’s Florida home.
Vice President Mike Pence asserted that he didn’t have any classified information at that time.
“No, not to my knowledge,” said Pence.
He was again questioned about whether or not he had carried any documents home in November.
He claimed not to have.
“Well, there’d be no reason to have classified documents, particularly if they were in an unprotected area,” Pence explained.
“But I will tell you that I believe there had to be many better ways to resolve that issue than executive a search warrant at the personal residence of a former president of the United States.”
VP residence and White House boxes
When Mike Pence declared his departure as vice president, the process was drawn out.
They went through every single Presidential Records Act-covered document, both classified and unclassified, and turned it in.
The procedure was avoided since the vast bulk of the papers and Pence’s personal files were located apart from his home.
He maintains a secure area at his home near the US Naval Observatory in Washington where he processes sensitive information.
As the Trump administration drew to a close, some boxes at the Indiana residence were packed from the vice president’s residence, while others arrived from the White House.
Effect on Biden situation
The documents discovered at Mike Pence’s residence mark the third instance of a president or vice president hoarding classified material inappropriately after leaving office.
The mishandling of classified documents by Biden and Trump is currently under investigation by special counsels.
A source claims that Pence’s most recent discoveries point to a structural issue with the Presidential Records Act and classified materials.
The FBI searched Biden’s Wilmington home on Friday in search of further important documents..
When Biden’s attorneys discovered classified info in his private office in November 2022, they conducted the search.
The defense team for Biden highlighted that they are working with the Justice Department and attempting to distinguish their client’s position from that of Trump.
The news from Tuesday is good for Biden’s allies and government officials.
“It turns down the temperature on this being a Biden-only story,” said one official.
They expressed anticipation that the Mike Pence records would show that Biden’s staffers weren’t the only ones to improperly pack sensitive information.