Classified documents have been found in possession of former Vice President Mike Pence. Pence’s lawyer discovered a dozen classified documents in the politician’s Indiana residence last week. The material has been turned over to the FBI, which, together with the Justice Department’s National Security, has launched an investigation into how and why the classified documents were located in Pence’s home.
The contents of such documents or their level of sensitivity remain unclear.
Multiple sets of classified documents have been found in the possession of high-office holders, such as ex-President Donald Trump and current head of state, Joe Biden. This reveals a clear breach in regulations that require classified material to be stored securely. According to the Presidential Records Act, White House records are meant to be kept in the National Archives once an administration ends.
Pence’s representative, Greg Jacob, said in a letter that a “small number of documents bearing classified markings” were “inadvertently boxed and transported” to the former Vice-president’s home at the end of Trump’s presidency.
“Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence,” reads the letter. “Vice President Pence understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry.”
According to Jacob, Pence asked for help from specialists in handling classified information after a set of classified documents were found in President Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington DC and his residence in Delaware.
Following the news, former President Trump defended Pence on the Truth Social, claiming Pence is an “innocent man.”
Trump said that Pence “never did anything knowingly dishonest in his life. Leave him alone!!!”
According to CNN who first reported the disovery, the classified material found in Mike Pence’s possession was stored in boxes that went first to his temporary residence in Virginia and were later transported to Indiana. Pence’s lawyer said that although the boxes were not located in a secure area, they were taped up and did not appear to have been opened since they were packed. Sources revealed that once the classified documents were found, they were placed inside a safe in the house.
Vice Presidnet Mike Pence has repeatedly declared over the last months that he did not believe he was in possession of any classified material.
Biden’s administration is being accused of a lack of transparency regarding revealing information about the mishandling of classified documents.
During today’s press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to answer any questions surrounding the investigations on the documents found in Biden or Pence’s possession.
Concerns over how classified material is handled within the American government have arisen, as one journalist asked if the documents found in Pence’s residence suggest a larger problem relating to the improper management of classified information.
“Not something I can comment on from here,” replied Jean-Pierre. “I am going to refer you to the White House Counsel’s office.”