Washington — A “small” number of classified documents were found last week at the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence and turned over to FBI, his lawyer said to the National Archives and Records Administration.
In a letter dated January 18, Greg Jacob stated to an official with Archives that an aide to Pence searched his Wilmington, Delaware home following the discovery of classified documents. Also, he said that the former office at a Washington, D.C. think tank and President Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home were also found.
Jacob wrote to Kate Dillon McClure (acting director of Archives’ White House Liaison) that “the additional records appear to consist of a small number documents bearing classified markings which were inadvertently packaged and transported to his personal home at the end of last Administration.” “Vice President Pence did not know that sensitive or classified documents were at his private residence.”
Two people familiarized with the matter said that Matt Morgan, Pence’s longtime aide, found the documents. CNN reported the discovery Tuesday.
Jacob was Pence’s top legal counsel in the White House. He said that Pence “engaged an outside counsel with experience in handling classified document” Jan. 16, to review records in his home. This was in response to reports about documents classified being found in Mr. Biden’s possession. The documents that could potentially contain classified or sensitive information were discovered during the search.
Jacob wrote that Vice President Pence’s counsel was unable to give a precise description of the briefing materials or folders that could contain sensitive or classified information. Jacob explained this in a Jan. 18 letter. Jacob also stated that counsel didn’t review the contents of documents after an indicator of possible classification was identified. “Vice President Pence immediately placed those documents in a locked safe until further instructions from the National Archives.”
Jacob stated in a second dated January 22 that the FBI visited Pence’s Indiana home on Jan. 19, to collect the documents. The transfer was assisted by Pence’s personal attorney who was not identified.
Jacob informed Jay Bosanko that two additional boxes contained “courtesy copies”, which were papers from Vice President Pence.
Jacob stated that Pence offered to turn the four boxes over to the Archives to have them reviewed to make sure they didn’t contain original documents that could be considered presidential records.
Jacob made arrangements to deliver the boxes on Monday morning.
Pence was repeatedly asked if he believed he had documents with classification markings from his tenure in the vice presidency. He has consistently denied that he did not have any, even after the seizure dozens of sensitive documents from Donald Trump’s Florida residence.
Pence stated in anthat his staff had reviewed all of the materials in his office and at his residence to ensure there weren’t any sensitive records that had left the White House.
The former vice president stated, “I am confident that it was done in an a thorough and meticulous way.”
In an interview with ABC News, Pence was asked if he had ever taken sensitive documents.
“Let’s ask you: As we sit here in our home office in Indiana, did any classified documents from the White House come with you?” Pence was questioned by ABC’s David Muir.
Pence responded, “I didn’t,”
This discovery comes after the matter involving classified documents found in Mr. Biden’s and Trump’s possessions, which led Attorney General Merrick Garland appointing separate special counsels to oversee the Justice Department investigations.
In the case of Mr. Biden, his personal lawyers found between 25 and 30 documents bearing classified markings that date back to his time as senator and vice president. They were located at his former office at Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement and at his Wilmington home.
The records were turned over to the Justice Department by Richard Sauber, Mr. Biden’s special counsel. He stated in a Jan. 12, statement, that the documents had been “inadvertently lost.” According to Bob Bauer, the personal attorney for Mr. Biden, the FBI searched the President’s Delaware residence last Friday and found six items with classified markings.
Afterof the Archives to recover records taken by Trump from the White House at his end, more than 300 documents bearing classification markings were found at Trump’s South Florida property, Mar-a-Lago.
More than 180 records with classification markings were among the 300 records. They were found in boxes that the Archives from Mar-a-Lago retrieved in January 2022. In June, Trump’s lawyers requested that all documents with classification markings be turned over to the Justice Department.
Mar-a-Lago was then seized with more than 100 classified documents. The FBI carried out a court-approved search on the premises on Aug. 8.
Trump claimed that he had declassified the records prior to his departure from office and that he considered the documents “personal” as per the Presidential Records Act, and that he could keep them.
Prosecutors have stated that he is being investigated for mishandling classified documents and possible obstruction of the investigation.
Robert Costa contributed reporting.