Last week, classified documents were found at the residence of former United States Vice President Mike Pence in Indiana. The documents were promptly turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by Pence's lawyer, according to letters obtained by Reuters.
Retrieval of Documents by the FBI
On January 18th, attorney Greg Jacob sent a letter to the National Archives informing them of the documents' discovery. In a follow-up letter dated January 22nd, he informed the Archives that the FBI had come to Pence's residence to retrieve the classified materials.
The lawyer stated that Pence had hired him as a precautionary measure following news of similar discoveries at the home of President Joe Biden.
Handling of Classified Materials
In his letter, Jacob stated that a small number of documents were found to potentially contain sensitive or classified information, according to Reuters.
He added that Pence had immediately secured the documents in a locked safe and was awaiting further direction from the National Archives on their proper handling. Furthermore, the lawyer stated that he did not review the contents of the documents once they were determined to be marked classified.
"Counsel identified a small number of documents that could potentially contain sensitive or classified information interspersed throughout the records," Jacob wrote in the letter. "Vice President Pence immediately secured those documents in a locked safe pending further direction on proper handling from the National Archives," he said.
Pence's counsel did not review the contents of the documents once they were determined to be marked classified, the letter said.
Justice Department Investigation
In another letter, Jacob alleged that the Justice Department had bypassed standard procedures by requesting direct possession of the documents at Pence's residence.
The discovery of classified documents at both Pence and Biden's residences, along with former President Donald Trump's refusal to hand over documents, has led to a special counsel investigation by the Justice Department into the improper handling of classified materials.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is a critic of President Biden and an ally of former President Trump, commented on the situation stating, "But clearly we have a problem here. So hopefully when this is all said and done, maybe we're overclassifying things, that may be part of the problem." he added, "What became a political problem for Republicans is now a national security problem for the country."
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