|January 26, 2023|
Classified documents found at former VP Mike Pence's Indiana home
A handful of classified documents were found at former Vice President Mike Pence's home in Indiana and the FBI retrieved them last week, a representative for Pence wrote to the National Archives in letters this month.
Pence’s lawyer characterized the documents as “a small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently transported to the personal home of the former vice president at the end of the last administration.” He said they were found Jan. 16 and placed in a secure safe until they could be returned to proper authorities.
This is the latest in a series of discoveries involving classified documents, a widening issue that underscores what security analysts have told USA TODAY: The U.S. system of safeguarding classified presidential documents is in urgent need of improvement, especially during the critical period when one administration hands over the White House keys to another.
What Pence said in the past
Last year, Pence repeatedly denied any knowledge of classified documents at his home. In August, when The Associated Press asked Pence if he took any classified documents to his home, he responded, “No, not to my knowledge.” In November, Pence told ABC News, “There’d be no reason to have classified documents, particularly if they were in an unprotected area.”
The Jan. 18 letter from Pence’s lawyer said the former vice president was “unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence” and that he “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.”
The Department of Justice “requested direct possession” of the documents on the evening of Jan. 19, and FBI agents collected the documents from a safe in Pence’s home that night, according a letter dated Sunday.
Garland declined comment, as did the National Archives. Pence’s lawyer was out of the office. (Source: USA Today)
Story Date: January 25, 2023