Mike Pence, the former vice president under Donald Trump, is assisting the FBI in turning over secret files after it was revealed that there were records at his house.
Former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana residence has been found to contain classified information, the latest in a series of discoveries that have brought attention to the handling of sensitive materials by top-level American politicians.
Investigations into their handling of confidential materials have recently focused on US President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump, who Pence served. Greg Jacob, Pence’s attorney, disclosed on Tuesday that the former vice president and governor of Indiana had been working with the FBI to hand over the secret documents.
Jacob acknowledged the presence of sensitive documents in Pence’s Indiana home in a letter to the US National Archives last week, claiming that Pence was “unaware” of their presence.
Pence “understands the great value of protecting sensitive and secret information and stands ready and eager to fully cooperate with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry,” Jacob wrote in the letter.
The extra documents “appears to be a small number of documents with classified markings that were accidentally packaged and carried to the personal residence of the former Vice President at the end of the past Administration,” the official said.
When Pence departed office in January 2021, he claimed to have left no classified materials behind, according to the news agency The Associated Press. He answered, “Not that I know of.”
The disclosure came after secret materials were found in Biden’s Delaware home and the president’s offices at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, DC. These records were created during Biden’s tenure as Barack Obama’s vice president.
A special counsel named Robert Hur to look into how Biden handled the materials was appointed by US Attorney General Merrick Garland on January 12. Richard Sauber, the president’s special counsel, defined the quantity of documents involved as a “minimal number” and stated that the White House will cooperate with the investigation.
More secret documents were discovered during a 13-hour search of Biden’s Delaware residence on January 20th, including some from his service as a US senator.
Jacob, Pence’s attorney, suggested that the Biden case motivated Pence to examine the materials he already had.
Pence “engaged outside counsel, with experience handling secret materials, to evaluate papers housed in his own home after it became known that documents with classified markings were found in President Joe Biden’s Wilmington household,” Jacob added.
A continued probe into Trump’s preservation of sensitive data at his Florida home Mar-a-Lago is another context for Tuesday’s revelation.
In August, FBI agents conducted a search of the Florida estate and discovered approximately 33 containers containing 11,000 documents, of which approximately 184 had classified markings.
The US Department of Justice had issued a subpoena in May demanding the return of the classified documents and related presidential records.
The search was described by Trump as a “assault,” but he insisted he was working with authorities. The investigation into Trump’s handling of the materials will be headed by Jack Smith, a different special counsel who was appointed by Attorney General Garland.
If criminal charges will be filed in the investigation for either illegal possession of the records or for obstructing justice, officials have not yet made that decision.
Trump stood up for Pence on Tuesday, despite hostilities between the two Republicans over the former vice president’s refusal to take part in a scheme to annul the 2020 election.
In a social media post, Trump stated that Mike Pence was a good man. “In his entire life, he never committed an act of willful dishonesty. Don’t bother him!