NEW YORK (AP) – Documents with classified marks were discovered in the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence last week, his attorney told the National Archives in a letter – the latest in a series of information discoveries reserved in private residences.
The records “appear to be a small number of classified-marked documents that were inadvertently boxed and transported to the former vice president’s personal home at the end of the last administration,” Pence’s attorney Greg Jacob wrote in the letter shared with Pence. The Associated Press.
It said Pence “engaged an outside consultant, experienced in dealing with classified documents, to examine documents stored in his personal home after it became public that documents with classified marks were found in President Joe Biden’s Wilmington residence.
The Justice Department is already using special counsel to investigate the presence of documents with classification marks taken from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate and Biden’s home and former Washington office. The department says about 300 documents marked as classified, including top-secret ones, have been taken from Mar-a-Lago, and officials are trying to determine whether Trump or anyone else should be charged with illegal possession of those documents or attempt to obstruct the months-long criminal investigation.
Pence’s attorney said in his letter that the former vice president “was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents in his personal residence” and “understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and is ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate investigation.
Jacob said Pence immediately secured the documents that were discovered in a locked safe. And according to a follow-up letter from the attorney dated Jan. 22, FBI agents visited Pence’s residence to collect the documents.
A Justice Department spokesman on Tuesday declined to comment, and a lawyer for Pence did not immediately respond to an email requesting processing.
Pence told the Associated Press in August that he did not take any classified information with him when he left office.
When asked directly whether he kept that information, he replied, “No, not to my knowledge.”
In a January interview with Fox Business, Pence described a “very formal process” his office used to handle confidential information, as well as the steps his lawyers took to ensure none was taken with him.
“Before leaving the White House, attorneys on my staff reviewed all documents both in the White House and in our offices there and at the Vice President’s residence to ensure that all documents due for release to the National Archives, including classified documents, they’ve been delivered. So we’ve been through a very careful process to do that,” Pence said.