FBI to search Mike Pence’s home where classified documents were found, report says
Justice Department officials are in talks to arrange a search of former vice president Mike Pence’s Carmel, Indiana home after his representatives notified the National Archives of classified documents that were inadvertently transferred there when he left office in January 2021.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr Pence’s legal team is working the department to schedule a search.
Last month, Mr Pence said he was ultimately responsible for the presence of documents with classified markings at his home during an appearance at Florida International University.
“Mistakes were made, and I take full responsibility, and I've directed my counsel to work with the National Archive,s with the Department of Justice, and with the Congress to fully cooperate in any investigation,” he said. “Our national security depends on the proper handling of classified and sensitive materials, and I know that when errors are made, it's important that they be resolved swiftly and disclosed”.
Mr Pence added that his “only hope” is that the American people see that he and his attorneys “acted above politics and put the national interest first”.
The FBI and the Justice Department’s National Security Division launched an investigation into how the documents landed in Mr Pence’s home after his representative to the National Archives, Greg Jacob, notified the agency in a letter which stated that a “small number of documents bearing classified markings” had been boxed up and sent to Mr Pence’s home at the end of his term.
The report of a potential search of Mr Pence’s home comes just days after the FBI conducted a search of President Joe Biden’s Rehoboth Beach, Delaware vacation home.
Bob Bauer, the former White House counsel who serves as Mr Biden’s personal attorney, said the Justice Department‘s “planned search” of the beach house took place from 8.30am to 12pm on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, he said the search was being conducted “with the President’s full support and cooperation”.
“Under DOJ’s standard procedures, in the interests of operational security and integrity, it sought to do this work without advance public notice, and we agreed to cooperate,” Mr Bauer said. “The search today is a further step in a thorough and timely DOJ process we will continue to fully support and facilitate”.
In a statement released following the search, Mr Bauer said the Justice Department took “some materials and handwritten notes that appear[ed] to relate” to Mr Biden’s service as vice president, for “further review”. He added that the search of the Rehoboth Beach property, which Mr Biden bought following his departure from government service, was “conducted in coordination and cooperation with the President’s attorneys”.
The Department of Justice is also conducting two other investigations into the presence of classified documents at properties belonging to Mr Biden and former president Donald Trump.
Each of the probes is being overseen by a special prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, and has resulted in FBI searches of the two presidents’ primary residences.
Earlier in January, Mr Biden’s attorney said the president offered the FBI “full access” to his Wilmington, Delaware home, including “personally handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders going back decades”.
Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property was also searched by the FBI pursuant to a warrant issued by a Florida magistrate judge in August.