Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks during an event to promote his new book at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank on October 19, 2022 in Washington, DC.
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Lawyers for former Vice President Mike Pence said a “small number” of classified documents were found at his home in Carmel, Indiana last week.
Pence’s lawyers notified the National Archives and Records Administration of the discovery on Wednesday, according to a letter obtained by CNBC.
The classified documents were discovered on Jan. 16 after Pence had outside counsel with experience handling classified documents search his own home and records “out of an abundance of caution,” following the news that classified documents were found at President Joe Biden’s home and office, an attorney for Pence told the Archives. The discovery, which was reported earlier by CNN, came after Pence said on several occasions he did not have any classified documents.
Gregory Jacob, an attorney at O’Melveny tasked with handling Pence’s records, said in letter sent Sunday to the National Archives that the Justice Department sent FBI agents to Pence’s home at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday to retrieve the documents, which were being stored in a safe, while he was in Washington, DC for the March for Life.
Read Jacob’s letters to the National Archives here:
Congressional leaders were informed of the discovery on Tuesday by Pence’s team.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed two separate special counsels to investigate Biden and former President Donald Trump for their handling of classified materials.
The White House disclosed on Jan. 9 that documents were found at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC on Nov. 2 by personal attorneys for Biden. The attorneys then notified the National Archives, leading to an investigation by the Justice Department. Additional documents were later found by Biden’s attorneys at his home in Wilmington, Del. on Dec. 20, prompting a search of the home by FBI agents on Friday.
The FBI and Justice Department didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Biden told reporters in Mexico City on Jan. 10 he was “surprised” by the discovery of the documents.
In an interview with CBS News on Jan. 10, before the documents were found at his home, that he was “confident” there were no classified materials in his possession from his White House tenure.
“Our staff reviewed all of the materials in our office and in our residence to ensure that there were no classified materials that left the White House or remained in our possession,” Pence said. “I remain confident that that was done in a thorough and careful way. Clearly, in the waning days of the Trump-Pence administration, that process was not properly executed by staff around the president of the United States.”
Pence told Fox Business on Jan. 12, before classified documents were found at his own home, the situation was a “very serious matter.”
“The handling of classified materials and the nation’s secret is a very serious matter and as a former vice president of the United States, I can speak from personal experience about the attention that ought to be paid to those materials when you’re in office and after you leave office,” he told FOX Business. “And clearly that did not take place in this case.”
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C., told reporters Tuesday the United States could be over-classifying information. Graham also said he believed the documents crisis was now moving beyond politics.
“What became a political problem for Republicans has now become a national security problem for the country,” Graham said at a news conference on Capitol Hill.