Classified documents at Pence’s home, too, his lawyer says
Documents with classified markings were discovered in former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana residence last week, his lawyer said, the latest recovery of papers meant to be treated with utmost sensitivity from the homes of current and former top U.S. officials.
“A small number of documents,” taken into FBI custody last Thursday, “were inadvertently boxed and transported” to the former vice president’s home at the end of the last administration, Pence’s lawyer, Greg Jacob, wrote in a letter to the National Archives shared with The Associated Press.
He said Pence had been “unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence” until a search last week and that he “understands the high imporTrump tance of protecting sensitive and classified information” and stands ready to cooperate with “any appropriate inquiry.”
The revelation came as the Department of Justice was already investigating the discovery of documents with classification markings in President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware and his former Washington office as well as former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach estate. Democrat Biden has indicated he will seek reelection, Republican Trump is already a declared candidate, and
Pence has been exploring a possible 2024 campaign that would put him in direct competition against Trump, his former boss.
The newest discovery thrusts Pence, who had previously insisted that he followed stringent protocols regarding classified documents, into the debate over the handling of secret materials by officials who have served in the highest ranks of government.
is currently under criminal investigation after roughly 300 documents with classified markings, including at the top-secret level, were discovered at his Mar-a-Lago club and residence. Officials are trying to determine whether Trump or anyone else should be charged with illegal possession of those records or with trying to obstruct the months-long criminal investigation. Biden is also subject to a special-counsel investigation after classified documents — from his time as a senator and later as vice president in the Obama administration — were found at his properties.
Pence’s lawyer, Jacob, said in his letter that the former vice president had “engaged outside counsel, with experience in handling classified documents” to review records stored at his home on Jan. 16 “out of an abundance of caution” amid the uproar over the discovery of documents at Biden’s home.