FBI agents spent hours searching former Vice President Mike Pence’s home on Feb. 10, an adviser confirmed.
The multi-hour search at the Indiana residence took place about three weeks after a legal team engaged by Pence discovered documents with classified markings there.
“The Department of Justice completed a thorough and unrestricted search of five hours and removed 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,” Devin O’Malley, an adviser to Pence, told The Epoch Times in an email.
Pence and his legal team have been fully cooperating with authorities and consented to the search, O’Malley said.
The FBI did not dispute that a search took place but referred a request for comment to the Department of Justice, which did not return inquiries.
A member of Pence’s legal team was present during the search, according to a person familiar with what transpired. Pence and his wife were not present. They are on the West Coast to be with relatives, who welcomed two new children into the world this week.
Department of Justice personnel were allowed to look for materials with classified markings, documents believed to be classified but not marked, and records that may belong with the National Archives and Records Administration under the Presidential Record Act.
The same parameters were applied when FBI agents searched the Delaware home of President Joe Biden after Biden’s team located documents with classified markings both there and at an office that Biden used to use in Washington, according to the source.
The FBI and the White House have confirmed that the search of Biden’s home took place, with the latter saying Biden consented to the search.
Biden described the materials as “stray papers” during an interview with PBS that aired this week. “I don’t know what’s in the documents,” Biden said. “My lawyers have not suggested I ask what documents they were.”
The White House has said some of the documents dated back to the Obama-Biden administration and others were from Biden’s time in the Senate.
The materials found at Pence’s home were from the Trump-Pence administration. Pence, who previously said no classified documents were in his possession, said on Fox News that “during the closing days of the administration, when materials were boxed and assembled, some of which were shipped to our personal residence.”
“Mistakes were made. We were not aware of it at the time until we did the review just a few short weeks ago,” he added. “But I take full responsibility for it, and we’re going to continue to support every appropriate inquiry into it.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Biden appointee, has appointed special counsels to investigate the materials held by Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Trump held materials with classified markings at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida until they were seized by FBI agents executing a search warrant in mid-2022, according to court filings.
Trump has said he declassified the materials before leaving office.
Presidents can declassify materials; vice presidents cannot.
Newly Disclosed Letters
Also on Friday, the Archives released the first set of materials related to correspondence with Biden’s team following the discovery of the classified materials.
The 74-page tranche (pdf) shows the Archives arranging to take possession of the documents.
According to Biden’s lawyers, the first discovery of the files was on Nov. 2, 2022, before the midterm elections.
But the public was not notified until Jan. 9.
White House officials have not said why there was such a long delay in making the finding public.
Pence has said that the files were found at his home on Jan. 16. He notified the Archives through a lawyer on Jan. 18, and made the finding public the following week.
From The Epoch Times