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Confidential Documents Also Found At Pence’s Home, His Lawyer Says

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Classified documents were found last week at former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana mansion, his lawyers say.

Mr Pence’s attorney, Greg Jacob, told the National Archives that “a small number of documents” held by the FBI were “carelessly boxed up and taken to the former vice president’s home” last Thursday. wrote in a letter. Shared with Associated Press.

He said Pence “was unaware of the existence of classified or classified documents” until last week’s raid, and that he “understands the importance of protecting classified and sensitive information,” adding, ” Proper inquiry.”

The revelations came after the Department of Justice was already investigating the discovery of classified marked documents at the home of President Joe Biden in Delaware and his former Washington office, as well as the residence of former President Donald Trump in Florida. sometimes brought. Democrat Biden has said he wants to run for re-election, and Republican Trump has already announced his candidacy, and Pence could run directly against his former boss Trump in the 2024 race. looking for

The latest discovery spurs Pence, who has previously insisted on following strict protocols when it comes to classified documents, to debate the handling of classified materials by officials who have served at the highest levels of government.

Trump is currently under criminal investigation after nearly 300 classified documents, including those at the top secret level, were found in his Marlago. Officials are trying to determine whether Trump or anyone else should be charged with illegal possession of these records or attempts to obstruct a months-long criminal investigation. He has been the subject of a special counsel investigation after classified documents from his time in Congress and the Obama administration were found in his possession.

Trump, who denies any wrongdoing, responded to the new development on his social media sites, writing, “Mike Pence is an innocent man. He has never done anything willfully dishonest in his life.” No. Leave him alone!!!” Trump and Pence clashed over Pence’s refusal to agree to Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Although a very different case, Pence’s development could strengthen arguments between Trump and Biden, who have tried to downplay the significance of the finds in their homes. to further emphasize Federal Cumbersome System To store and protect the millions of sensitive documents created each year.

Pence’s attorney, Jacob, said in a letter that former Vice President Pence “hired an outside attorney experienced in handling classified documents” to review records held at Pence’s home on January 16. Stated. Documents found at Biden’s home.

Those bearing the Pence Papers classification mark were immediately stored in a locked safe, Jacob said. According to a follow-up letter from the attorney dated Jan. 22, FBI agents visited the official residence at 9:30 p.m. on the night of Jan. 19 to collect sequestered documents. I was in Washington for…

According to the letter, a total of four boxes containing copies of administrative documents were found. Two of them were found to have “a few” documents marked as classified, and two contained “courtesy copies of the Vice President’s papers.” Arrangements have been made to deliver the boxes to the National Archives on Monday.

Congressional leaders were notified of the discovery by Pence’s team on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden made a brief address to reporters on Thursday after the classified documents were found in his Delaware home, defending the administration’s response to the discovery. bottom [DOJ] to obtain documents. ”

The box was not stored in a secure location, was taped shut, and was not believed to have been opened since it was packed, according to Assistant Vice President Pence. The former vice president’s staff also searched the Washington office of his advocacy group last week, but no additional documents were found, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the confidential nature of the investigation.

Most of the materials found in the box were from the Vice President’s Office at the Pence Naval Observatory, and the packaging was not handled by the Vice President’s office or his attorneys. The other documents came from a drawer in the West Wing office, the person said.

The National Archives declined to comment on the discovery. A Justice Department spokesman also declined to comment, and Pence’s attorney did not immediately respond to an email seeking more information.

pence told the Associated Press in August When he left the office, he didn’t bring out any classified information.

When asked directly if he kept such information, he replied, “No, not to my knowledge.”

so Interview with Fox Business of the MonthPence described the “very formal process” his office used to handle confidential information and the steps taken to prevent lawyers from being taken with him.

“Before we leave the White House, my staff attorney will go through all the documents at both the White House and our offices there, as well as the Vice President’s residence, and submit them to the National Archives. We’ve verified the documents we need, confidential documents, they’ve been handed over, so we went through a very careful process in that regard,” Pence said.

On Capitol Hill, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee expressed disbelief at the mishandling of documents by senior US officials.

Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas said classified documents are only taken out of the committee’s office in a locked bag.

“In my view, confidential documents should never be allowed outside of a secure facility,” except by secure transportation between such facilities.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner, a Republican, said he plans to call for a formal intelligence inquiry and damage assessment.

And another candidate for 2024, Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida, said: …that is, every confidential document I’ve ever seen has a big “confidential” on it. ”

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, pointed to broader concerns about the classification system, stating that “there are too many things to decide what is what.” is at a difficult point,” he complained. It’s hard to decide what should be classified and what should be declassified. ”

Meanwhile, some Republicans have demanded searches of former President Barack Obama’s personal records.

A spokesperson for Obama referred to a statement released by the National Archives in 2022 that after he resigned, the agency controlled all his records and said, “The box of presidential records from the Obama administration is gone. I am not aware of that,” he said.

Representatives of former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as former Vice President Dick Cheney, said all their classified records were turned over to NARA as they left the White House.

Mike Pompeo, who has served as Trump’s secretary of state and is considering a 2024 Republican presidential run, told the AP in August that he had not taken any classified material with him since leaving the administration.

However, he told Fox News Channel on Tuesday: You can imagine the notes getting stuck and stuck somewhere. I suspect that’s what happened. ”

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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