The FBI searched former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home Friday as part of a classified records probe, according to two people familiar with the search. The people were not authorized to discuss the law enforcement action and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The search followed the discovery of documents with classified markings by attorneys last month.
The FBI had already taken possession of what Pence’s lawyer described to the National Archives as a “small number of documents” that had been “inadvertently boxed and transported” to Pence’s Indiana home at the end of the Trump administration.
The search Friday was described as consensual and came after an extensive back-and-forth between Pence’s legal team and the FBI. A member of Pence’s legal team was at the home and expected the search to take several hours, according to one of the people familiar with the discussions. That person added that the FBI was being given unrestricted access to the home.
The former vice president and potential 2024 candidate was out of the state, visiting family in California after the birth of a grandchild. The Justice Department did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday.
The department is also investigating the discovery of documents with classification markings at President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware and his former Washington office, as well as former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate. Officials are also trying to determine whether Trump or anyone on his team criminally obstructed the probe as they refused to turn over the documents.
Pence’s case is very different from Trump’s. Pence, according to his lawyer, Greg Jacob, requested a review of records stored at his home “out of an abundance of caution” during the uproar over the discovery of classified documents at 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. FBI agents then collect the documents that had been secured.
Material found in the boxes came mostly from Pence’s Naval Observatory vice presidential residence, while other material came from a West Wing office drawer.
Pence has said he was unaware the documents had been in his possession. “Let me be clear: Those classified documents should not have been in my personal residence,” Pence said at Florida International University last week. “Mistakes were made, and I take full responsibility.” Pence said: “We acted above politics and put national interests first.”
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