Documents marked classified found at Pence's Indiana home, lawyer says
By Fin Gómez, Robert Legare, Melissa Quinn
Washington — A "small number" of documents with classified markings were discovered last week at former Vice President Mike Pence's Indiana home and turned over to the FBI, his lawyer told the National Archives and Records Administration.
In a letter dated Jan. 18, attorney Greg Jacob told an official with the Archives that Pence's counsel conducted a search of the home last week following the discovery of documents marked classified at President Biden's Wilmington, Delaware, house and in his former office at a think tank in Washington, D.C.
"The additional records appear to be a small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently boxed and transported to the personal home of the former Vice President at the end of the last Administration," Jacob wrote to Kate Dillon McClure, acting director of the Archives' White House Liaison Division. "Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence."
CNN was first to report the discovery Tuesday.
Jacob, who served as Pence's top lawyer in the White House, said Pence "engaged outside counsel, with experience in handling classified documents" on Jan. 16 to review records kept in his home in the wake of reports regarding documents marked classified found in Mr. Biden's possession and "out of an abundance of caution." It was during their search that the documents that could "potentially contain sensitive or classified information interspersed throughout the records" were found.
"Vice President Pence's counsel, however, is unable to provide an exact description of the folders or briefing materials that may contain sensitive or classified information because counsel did not review the contents of the documents once an indicator of potential classification was identified," Jacob wrote in the Jan. 18 letter. "Vice President Pence immediately secured those documents in a locked safe pending further direction on proper handling from the National Archives."
In a second letter dated Jan. 22, Jacob said the FBI went to Pence's Indiana home the night of Jan. 19 to collect the documents, and the transfer was facilitated by Pence's personal attorney, who was not named.
Pence has repeatedly been asked whether he believes he had documents bearing classification markings from his tenure as vice president and has denied having any in his possession, including after the seizure of dozens of documents found at former President Donald Trump's residence in Florida.
In an on Jan. 10, Pence said his staff reviewed "all of the materials in our office and in our residence" to make sure there were no sensitive records that left the White House and remained in his possession.
"I remain confident that that was done in a thorough and careful way," the former vice president said.
Fin Gómez is CBS News' political director.
First published on January 24, 2023 / 12:50 PM
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