The FBI discovered an additional document with confidential markings during a search of former US Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home on Friday as part of an investigation into classified documents.
Pence’s adviser, Devin O’Malley, said the Justice Department had completed “a comprehensive and unrestricted five-hour search” and removed “a classified marked document and six additional pages without such marks that were not discovered in the initial review by the Vice President’s Board.”
Friday’s search was described as consensual and came after a lengthy back and forth between Pence’s legal team and the FBI.
A member of Pence’s legal team was at the house during the search, and the FBI was granted what it described as unlimited access to search classified marked documents, documents that could be classified but unmarked, and any other documents subject to the Presidential Records Act.
O’Malley said Pence has directed his legal team to continue working with the Justice Department and to “be completely transparent until this matter is resolved.”
The former vice president and 2024 prospect was out of state, visiting family in California following the birth of a grandchild.
The Justice Department did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Friday.
Special advice for Biden and Trump
The department is also investigating the discovery of documents with classification marks in President Joe Biden’s Delaware home and his former Washington office, as well as former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate.
Separate special counsels investigated the discovery of documents with classification marks at the Biden home in Delaware and his former Washington office, as well as at the Trump estate in Florida. Officials are trying to determine whether Trump or anyone on his team criminally obstructed the investigation by refusing to hand over documents before the FBI seized them. The FBI recovered more than 100 documents marked classified while serving a search warrant in Mar-a-Lago last August.
In another development of the document, emails released on Friday revealed that after the National Archives learned of the discovery of the classified documents in Biden’s former Washington office, archives officials requested and received documents that they had been shipped to a law firm in Boston by the president’s personal attorney.
No classified documents were believed to be in the Boston records.
An ‘abundance of caution’
The circumstances of the Biden and Pence cases are markedly different from those of Trump.
Pence, according to his attorney, Greg Jacob, has requested a review of documents kept at his home “out of an abundance of caution” amid the uproar over the discovery of classified documents at his home and former private office. When the documents were discovered, Jacob said, they were immediately secured in a locked safe and reported to the National Archives. The FBI agents then collect the documents that had been secured.
The material found in the boxes came primarily from the residence of the Vice President of the Pence Naval Observatory, while other material came from a drawer in the West Wing office.
Pence said he was unaware of the documents that were in his possession.
“Let me be clear: those confidential documents should not have been in my personal residence”,
“We acted above politics and put national interests first,” he said.
The Presidential Records Act states that all records created or received by the president while in office are the property of the United States government and will be managed by the archives at the end of an administration.