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First CNN: Secret documents found in Pence’s Indiana home

First CNN: Secret documents found in Pence’s Indiana home

First CNN: Secret documents found in Pence’s Indiana home


Washington
CNN

A lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence found about a dozen classified documents at Pence’s Indiana home last week and has turned those classified records over to the FBI, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

The FBI and the Justice Department’s Homeland Security Division have launched an investigation into the documents and how they ended up at Pence’s home in Indiana.

The classified documents were discovered by Pence’s attorney after the discovery of classified materials at Pence’s new home in Carmel, Indiana. found in President Joe Biden’s private office and residence“, informed sources. The news comes after Pence has repeatedly said he does not have any classified documents.

It is not yet known what the documents are related to, their level of sensitivity or classification.

Pence’s team notified congressional leaders and relevant committees of the news on Tuesday.

Pence asked his attorney, who has experience handling classified material, to search his home under caution. Sources said attorney Matt Morgan went through four boxes stored in Pence’s home last week and found a small number of documents with classified information.

Pence’s attorney immediately alerted the National Archives, the sources said. In turn, the Archives reported to the Department of Justice.

Pence’s attorney told CNN that the FBI requested the classified documents later that evening, and that Pence agreed. Agents from the FBI’s Indianapolis office seized the documents from Pence’s home, the lawyer said.

On Monday, Pence’s legal team took the boxes to Washington, D.C., and turned the remaining material over to the archives for review under the Presidential Records Act.

Inside letter Greg Jacobs, a spokesman for Pence’s archives, told the National Archives, obtained by CNN, that “a small number of classified documents” were accidentally boxed up and delivered to the vice president’s home.

“Vice President Pence did not know that classified or classified documents were in his private residence,” Jacobs wrote. “Vice President Pence understands the high importance of protecting classified and classified information and is ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any related inquiries.”

Sources said the classified material was stored in boxes that Pence used to travel to his temporary home in Virginia before he moved to Indiana. Pence’s attorney said the boxes were not in a secure area, but were taped shut and believed to have not been opened since they were returned. Once the classified documents were discovered, sources said they were placed inside a safe at the home.

Pence’s Washington advocacy group Pence’s attorney’s office was also searched and no classified materials or other records were found under the Presidential Records Act.

The news about Pence comes as special counsels are investigating both Biden’s handling of classified documents. former President Donald Trump. The news also comes amid speculation that Pence is poised to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Since the FBI sought classified materials with a search warrant at Trump’s Florida home in August, Pence said he did not keep any classified material after leaving office. “No, not that I know of,” he said said Associated Press in August.

It was Pence in November asked ABC News At his home in Indiana, he revealed whether he had received classified documents from the White House.

“I didn’t,” Pence replied.

“Well, there would be no reason to get classified documents, especially if they were in an unsecured area,” Pence continued. “But I will tell you that there have to be many better ways to solve this problem than to search the private residence of the former president of the United States.”

While Pence’s vice-presidential office has been scrupulous about sorting through and turning over any classified and unclassified material covered by the Presidential Records Act when he leaves office, those classified documents appear to have inadvertently slipped through the process. The materials were packed away from the vice president’s residence, along with Pence’s personal documents, sources told ClNN.

The Vice President’s residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. has, among other security, a secure facility for handling classified materials, and it is common practice for the Vice President to have classified documents available for review.

Some of the boxes at Pence’s Indiana home were packed from the vice president’s residence, and some came from the White House in the final days of the Trump administration, including last-minute items that Pence didn’t make it through the rest of the process. made documents.

The discovery of classified documents at Pence’s residence marks the third time in recent history that classified material has been misappropriated by a president or vice president after leaving office. Both Biden and Trump are now being investigated by separate special counsels for their handling of classified material.

Pence’s discovery of classified documents in the wake of the Trump-Biden controversy suggests a more systemic issue with classified materials and the Presidential Records Act, which requires the release of official White House records to the National Archives, sources familiar with the process said. end of administration.

On Friday, the FBI searched for additional classified materials at Biden’s residence in Wilmington, after an unprecedented search of the president’s home turned up six additional items with classified information. The search comes after Biden’s attorneys discovered classified materials in Wilmington in November following the initial discovery of classified documents in Biden’s private medical examiner’s office.

Biden’s attorneys say they are cooperating fully with the Justice Department, seeking to distance themselves from Trump’s investigation.

The FBI obtained a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in August. Federal investigators took the step because they were concerned that Trump had not turned over all classified materials despite subpoenas and that records at Mar-a-Lago were being moved.

Last week, Pence told Larry Kudlow in a Fox Business interview that he received the President’s daily briefing at the vice president’s residence.

“I would get up early. I would go to the safe and that’s where my military aide would put those classified materials. I would take them out and look at them,” Pence said. “I’d get them a presentation and then, frankly, mostly Larry, I’d send them back to the file that I’d accepted. A military aide collects and then destroys that classified material — the same goes for the materials I receive at the White House.”

Congressional leaders from both parties were shocked by the new revelations that Pence’s home contained classified records.

“I don’t understand it,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin.

“The bottom line is, I don’t know how this happened, we have to get to the bottom of it,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “I don’t believe for one minute that Mike Pence would deliberately try to undermine national security. But clearly we have a problem here.

House Oversight Chairman James Comer, Republican of Kentucky, who is investigating Biden’s classified documents, said in a statement that he had been contacted about classified documents found at Pence’s home.

“He has agreed to fully cooperate with congressional oversight and any questions we have on this matter,” Comer said, adding that Pence’s openness was “in stark contrast” to the Biden administration’s response to Congress regarding classified documents. Comer’s statement did not mention Trump’s classified documents.

However, the former president came to Pence’s defense on Tuesday. “Mike Pence is an innocent man. He had never knowingly acted dishonestly in his life. Leave him alone!!!” Trump wrote about it on his social network page.

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