WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence revealed on Tuesday that he discovered documents classified as classified at his home, the latest twist in a growing scandal over politicians’ handling of local secrets. most sensitive in the country.
Pence, seen as an outside bet for the presidency in 2024, asked his attorney to notify the National Archives last week of a ‘small number’ of documents that were ‘inadvertently boxed’ and transported to his home. in Indiana as he leaves office in 2021.
He informed the Republican-led House Oversight Committee of the cache on Tuesday, according to Speaker James Comer, who said in a statement. Under had agreed to “cooperate fully with Congressional oversight and any questions we have about it.”
It was not immediately clear what information the documents contained or the classification level assigned to them.
The discovery follows revelations about classified documents discovered in President Joe Biden’s private office and residence, and claims that Biden’s predecessor, Donald Asset obstructed justice over an FBI investigation into a much larger stash of government secrets found in his home.
“Former Vice President Pence’s transparency stands in stark contrast to Biden’s White House staff who continue to hide information from Congress and the American people,” Comer added, without mentioning the Trump case.
Pence had asked his attorney to search his home out of “an excess of caution,” CNN reported, citing unnamed sources, and the attorney began going through four boxes stored at Pence’s home last week.
“Mike Pence is an innocent man. He has never knowingly done anything dishonest in his life. Leave him alone!!!” Trump posted on his Truth Social platform.
The development came as Republicans stepped up their investigation into classified documents in the possession of Biden, who himself was vice president under Barack Obama when they were kicked out of the White House.
Documents were discovered in a private think tank office where the president worked in Washington in early November, in the president’s garage in Wilmington, Delaware, on December 20, and in his personal library on January 12. Justice Department officials found six other classified documents during a search of the Delaware home last week.
Comer asked the Washington think tank for all of its security-related communications by Feb. 1, as well as a list of employees and others with key card access and a log of Biden’s visitors.
Government officials can be prosecuted for civil or criminal offenses for mishandling classified documents. But sitting presidents cannot be indicted thanks to Justice Department policy.
Justice Department special advocates Robert Hur and Jack Smith are conducting criminal investigations into the Biden and Trump documents, respectively.
Republicans have added the scandal to their growing pile of investigations into the Biden administration and accuse the federal government of holding Trump higher than his successor.
The White House, however, tried to draw a contrast between the Biden and Trump cases, pointing out that the president’s alleged conduct is significantly less egregious than the actions of which Trump is accused.
“We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his attorneys acted quickly upon discovery of this error,” Richard Sauber, the president’s special counsel, said in a statement at the time. scandal erupted.
Trump is accused of resisting repeated efforts by the Justice Department and the National Archives to retrieve hundreds of classified documents he was accumulating at his South Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago.
The standoff led to a raid of the seaside mansion and club by the FBI, which suspected obstruction of justice, in August last year.
The sheer volume of documents recovered from Trump and their sensitivity — they included signals intelligence and information provided by human sources — account for the FBI’s more urgent response to the case, the Biden administration said.
But Republicans seized on Biden’s remarks to CBS in September that Trump’s hoarding of presidential records was “totally irresponsible” to accuse the White House of hypocrisy.
The Justice Department will have to demonstrate why charges might be warranted in one case and not the others if Trump ends up being the only former senior politician being prosecuted.
In modern-day Washington, virtually any investigation of a politician is viewed through a partisan lens, and Trump regularly sparks outrage among his supporters by denouncing investigations against him as a witch hunt.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, who was giving a press conference on a separate issue, declined to comment on Pence’s papers, declining to reveal whether he plans to appoint a third special counsel for the case.

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