Friday, after Pence’s attorney Greg Jacobs had told the National Archives that materials with classified markings had been found at the residence, the domestic intelligence agency conducted a voluntary search of Pence’s Indiana home. The FBI was given access to the documents.
Let me be clear: I should not have let those secret documents in my own house, Pence stated last week at Florida International University. There were errors, and I accept full responsibility.
According to Pence’s attorneys, a “limited number” of secret documents were “accidentally packaged and moved” to his residence during his tenure as vice president had ended.
Friday’s raid took place after communication between the FBI and Pence’s lawyers, who said they expected the search to take several hours.
The search came as former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden were also facing investigations over their retention of classified documents during periods when they were no longer in office.
Biden served as a member of the US Senate, then as vice president during the Obama administration, before being elected president in 2020. Classified documents from those previous roles were discovered in Biden’s Delaware home, as well as an office he used at a Washington, DC, think tank.
While the documents have become a political issue for Biden, the White House has sought to contrast Biden’s cooperation with the response of former President Trump, who is alleged to have resisted handing over classified documents stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Investigators are working to determine whether Trump or his legal team obstructed a federal probe by withholding the materials. Special counsel Jack Smith is leading the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents, while a second special counsel, Robert Hur, has been appointed to look into Biden.
Pence is seen as a potential Republican candidate for the 2024 election, which could pit him against his former boss Trump who has already announced his candidacy and the current president, who has yet to declare whether he is running for reelection.
Some of the documents recovered at Pence’s house reportedly came from his office drawer at the White House. Others were from the home of the vice president in the Naval Observatory.
However, Pence said that, in turning the documents over to authorities, he had “acted above politics and put national interests first”.