Special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered one document bearing classification markings during a search of the Carmel, Indiana, home of former vice president Mike Pence on Friday, a spokesperson for Mr Pence has said.
In a statement, Pence adviser and spokesperson Devin O’Malley said the Department of Justice “completed a thorough and unrestricted search of five hours” at Mr Pence’s home.
Mr O’Malley said agents took possession of “one document with classified markings and six additional pages without such markings that were not discovered in the initial review by the vice president’s counsel”.
“The vice president has directed his legal team to continue its cooperation with appropriate authorities and to be fully transparent through the conclusion of this matter,” he added.
The search, which was conducted with the permission of the former vice president, was carried out as part of a Department of Justice probe into how classified documents from the Trump administration ended up there at the end of his term.
According to local television station WHTM, agents arrived at Mr Pence’s home at approximately 8.45 am local time.
Attorneys for the former vice president had been in talks to arrange a voluntary search of his home after his representatives notified the National Archives of classified documents that were inadvertently transferred there when he left office in January 2021.
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 FBI agents at Mr Pence’s home comes just several weeks 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 1 February. Earlier that day, he said the search was being conducted “with the President’s full support and cooperation”.
Former president Donald Trump has also seen FBI agents search his home for classified materials after the execution of a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago property on 8 August of last year.
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