Documents with classified markings were found at former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home last week, officials confirmed Tuesday.
Pence’s team notified the National Archives on Jan. 18 that a small number of documents were “inadvertently boxed and transported” to the former vice president’s home at the end of the last administration. Pence was “unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence,” his lawyer wrote to the Archives.
The findings at Pence’s residence comes as President Biden is facing mounting criticism, which had also come from Pence, over the discovery of classified materials at Biden’s old office at a Washington, D.C., think tank and at his Delaware home.
Greg Jacob, the attorney representing Pence, wrote to the Archives that Pence used outside counsel with experience handling classified documents to review records stored at his personal home after several classified documents were found at Biden’s Delaware home earlier this month.
Lawyers conducting the search found “a small number of documents that could potentially contain sensitive or classified information interspersed throughout the records.”
Pence’s team was unable to provide an exact number of documents recovered or additional descriptions of the materials because they were locked away until they could be turned over to the National Archives.
“Vice President Pence has directed his representatives to work with the National Archives to ensure their prompt and secure return,” Jacobs wrote. “Vice President Pence appreciates the good work of the staff at the National Archives and trusts they will provide proper counsel in response to this letter.”
The findings at Pence’s home make him the third former or current top U.S. official to have had classified materials at his home from his time in office, following Biden and former President Trump. The Presidential Records Act requires presidents and vice presidents to turn documents over to the National Archives for proper preservation.
While Biden and Pence notified the National Archives and turned the materials over, Trump was uncooperative with federal officials after they requested he return documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The fight culminated in an FBI search last August, and the Justice Department has appointed a special counsel to investigate Trump’s handling of classified materials.
Pence was asked in Iowa last summer in the wake of the FBI search whether he had retained classified information upon leaving office.
“No, not to my knowledge,” he said at the time.
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