CNN broke a bombshell story Tuesday morning that Donald Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence had been keeping classified documents at his private Indiana home. The story comes on the heels of Joe Biden having retained documents with classified markings during his time as vice president between 2013-2016.
CNN reported that, like in Biden’s situation, a lawyer made the discovery. As of this writing, about a dozen documents have been recovered and handed over to the FBI. CNN wrote:
A lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence discovered about a dozen documents marked as classified at Pence’s Indiana home last week, and he has turned those classified records over to the FBI, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
The FBI and the Justice Department’s National Security Division have launched a review of the documents and how they ended up in Pence’s house in Indiana.
The classified documents were discovered at Pence’s new home in Carmel, Indiana, by a lawyer for Pence in the wake of the revelations about classified material discovered in President Joe Biden’s private office and residence, the sources said. The discovery comes after Pence has repeatedly said he did not have any classified documents in his possession.
While the details of documents are unknown at this time, including how they found their way to the former vice president’s home and what information they contain, Pence has indicated he is cooperating with the appropriate authorities to be transparent.
Pence also said he would notify Congress of the situation some time on Tuesday.
Trump’s former running mate said the discovery of the documents began after he asked lawyers to search his home “out of an abundance of caution,” CNN reported. Lawyers evidently went through several boxes and uncovered the classified documents in the process.
“Pence asked his lawyer to conduct the search of his home out of an abundance of caution, and the attorney began going through four boxes stored at Pence’s house last week, finding a small number of documents with classified markings,” CNN said in reference to a source close to the matter.
“Pence’s lawyer immediately alerted the National Archives, the sources said. In turn, the Archives informed the Justice Department,” CNN wrote.
Once the discovery was made, Pence contacted the FBI and they requested to immediately pick up the any documents with classified markings. CNN continued:
A lawyer for Pence told CNN that the FBI requested to pick up the documents with classified markings that evening, and Pence agreed. Agents from the FBI’s field office in Indianapolis picked up the documents from Pence’s home, the lawyer said.
A representative for Mike Pence suggested the documents had been inadvertently boxed and shipped to Pence’s Indiana home.
“Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence,” representative Greg Jacob wrote to the National Archives. “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.”
Already in the past few weeks, Joe Biden has faced intense scrutiny over his own mishandling of sensitive information. Rumors have swirled that the former vice president used his connections to the intelligence community to provide business opportunities both to himself and his son Hunter.
More documents continue to be uncovered in Biden’s situation.
As for Pence, it remains to be seen if more classified documents will be found. Perhaps a larger question at this point is how many other current and former elected officials are in a similar situation.
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