Federal investigators found one additional document with classified markings during a search of former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home on Friday.
The Justice Department conducted a search of Pence’s home roughly three weeks after his attorney notified the National Archives that they had discovered about a dozen documents with classified markings there. The search was conducted in cooperation with Pence’s team, and it lasted roughly five hours.
Devin O’Malley, a Pence adviser, said investigators 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 vice president has directed his legal team to continue its cooperation with appropriate authorities and to be fully transparent through the conclusion of this matter,” O’Malley said in a statement.
Pence was not present for the search on Friday, but a member of his legal team was. The former vice president and former second lady Karen Pence had traveled to the West Coast for the births of their second and third grandchildren.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) was given unrestricted access to Pence’s home, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The scope of the search included documents with classified markings or potentially classified materials, as well as documents the DOJ believed might be original Presidential Record Act documents. Former presidents and vice presidents are required to turn over materials to the National Archives for proper storage, though they are able to request copies of certain documents.
The terms of the search were the same as the ones applied to the search of President Biden’s home in Delaware and his old office in Washington, D.C., a person familiar told The Hill.
Pence’s lawyer, Greg Jacob, had notified the National Archives on Jan. 18 that a small number of documents with classified markings were found at the former vice president’s Indiana home. Pence was not aware that the documents were in his home, Jacob said.
Officials had searched Pence’s home for classified documents out of an abundance of caution after sensitive government materials were found at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Del., and his office while he worked at the Penn-Biden Center in D.C.
The Pence documents were turned over to federal authorities the next day, along with two other boxes with copies of administration records, Jacob said.
Documents were found at Biden’s old office in November and at his home in December from his time as vice president. While the White House quickly alerted the National Archives and Justice Department, neither discovery was disclosed to the public until they were reported in the media.
Former President Trump was also found to have taken dozens of classified documents to his Florida estate upon leaving office in 2021. The FBI searched his home last August to recover those materials after months of attempting to get them back.
In response to the findings at Biden’s and Trump’s homes, Pence had said he did not take any classified material with him upon leaving office. Days after the discovery at his Indiana home, Pence said “mistakes were made” while packing up materials from his time as vice president, and he vowed to cooperate with federal officials on the matter.
Pence is mulling a potential 2024 presidential bid, making regular trips to early voting states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Source: The Hill