Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition

New classified document is found in Pence’s home

Discovery from FBI search is the second involving former VP

- By Jill Colvin and Eric Tucker

WASHINGTON — The FBI discovered an additional document with classified markings at former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home during a search Friday, following the discovery by his lawyers last month of sensitive government documents there.

Pence adviser Devin O’Malley said the Department of Justice completed “a thorough and unrestrict­ed search of five hours” and removed “one document with classified markings and six additional pages without such markings that were not discovered in the initial review by the vice president’s counsel.”

The search, described as consensual after negotiatio­ns between Pence’s representa­tives and the Justice Department, comes after he was subpoenaed in a separate investigat­ion into efforts by former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election and as Pence contemplat­es a Republican bid for the White House in 2024.

Pence is now the third current or former top U.S. official, joining Trump and President Joe Biden, to have their homes scoured by FBI agents for classified records. The willingnes­s of Pence and Biden to permit the FBI to search their homes, and to present themselves as fully cooperativ­e, reflects a desire by both to avoid the drama that enveloped Trump last year and resulted in the DOJ having to get a warrant to inspect his Florida property.

Police blocked the road outside Pence’s neighborho­od in Carmel, north of Indianapol­is, on Friday afternoon as the FBI was inside the home. They were seen leaving shortly after 2 p.m.

Pence and his wife, Karen, were visiting family on the West Coast following the birth of their second and third grandchild­ren.

A member of Pence’s legal team was at the home during the search and the FBI was given what was described as unrestrict­ed access to search for documents with classified markings, documents that could be classified but without markings and any other documents subject to the Presidenti­al Records Act.

O’Malley said Pence has directed his legal team to continue to cooperate with the Justice Department and “to be fully transparen­t through the conclusion of this matter.”

The FBI had already taken possession of what Pence’s lawyer previously described as a “small number of documents” that had been “inadverten­tly boxed and transporte­d” to Pence’s Indiana home at the end of the Trump administra­tion.

The DOJ did not immediatel­y return a call seeking comment.

Separate special counsels have been investigat­ing the discovery of documents with classifica­tion markings at Biden’s home in Delaware and his former Washington office, as well as Trump’s Florida estate. Officials are trying to determine whether Trump or anyone on his team criminally obstructed the probe in refusing to turn over the documents before the FBI seizure. The FBI recovered over 100 documents marked classified while serving a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago last August.

The circumstan­ces of the Biden and Pence cases are markedly different from that of Trump.

Pence, according to his lawyer Greg Jacob, had requested a review by his attorneys of records stored at his home “out of an abundance of caution” during the uproar over the discovery of classified documents at Biden’s home and former private office. When the Pence documents were discovered Jan. 16 among four boxes that had been transferre­d to Pence’s home during the transition, Jacob said, they were secured in a locked safe and reported to the National Archives. FBI agents then collected them.

Material found in the boxes came mostly from the Naval Observator­y residence where Pence lived while he was vice president. Other material came from a West Wing office drawer.

Pence has said he was unaware the documents had been in his possession.

“Let me be clear: Those classified documents should not have been in my personal residence,” Pence said recently at Florida Internatio­nal University. “Mistakes were made, and I take full responsibi­lity.”

The National Archives last month asked former U.S. presidents and vice presidents to recheck their personal records for any classified documents following news of the Biden and Pence discoverie­s.

The Presidenti­al Records Act states that any records created or received by the president while in office are the property of the U.S. government and will be managed by the Archives at the end of an administra­tion.

 ?? MICHAEL CONROY/AP ?? A police vehicle stands Friday in the vicinity of former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home. The FBI searched the home as part of a classified records probe.
MICHAEL CONROY/AP A police vehicle stands Friday in the vicinity of former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home. The FBI searched the home as part of a classified records probe.

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