Pence takes responsibility for classified documents in the wake of Biden investigation


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Chaos is erupting in Washington as classified documents were found in the home of yet another politician, former Vice President Mike Pence.

Per Pence’s request, attorneys reviewed four boxes of documents in Pence’s Carmel, Indiana home on January 16, and ended up identifying around a dozen documents with classified markings. 

“[Pence] immediately secured those documents in a locked safe pending further direction on proper handling from the National Archives,” Pence’s attorney Greg Jacob wrote to the National Archives. 

Three days later, while on a phone call with Pence’s legal counsel, the Chief Operating Officer suggested that they provide all four boxes of documents to the National Archives so they can confirm the document’s classification. 

However, that same day, the Department of Justice contacted Pence with a request to pick up the classified documents. After the former Vice President agreed, FBI agents from the Indianapolis field office seized some of the documents from the home. 

The [FBI] transfer was facilitated by the Vice President’s personal attorney, who has experience in handling classified documents,” wrote Jacob. 

After the FBI “transfer,” attorneys reconnected with the National Archives about the transfer of the four boxes, and it was decided Pence’s attorneys would transport the documents. On January 23, the four boxes were driven from Pence’s residence to Washington DC and personally delivered to the Archives by Jacob. 

The controversy surrounding Pence’s documents is coming to light in the wake of an investigation into President Joe Biden. Back in November, attorneys found classified documents in Biden’s office at University of Pennsylvania and his Wilmington, DE residence. 

  Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. Attorney John Lausch decided to launch a special investigation. However, the public was not alerted of the news until January. 

“Although it’s kind of shady, it makes sense that nobody knew about the documents until after the Midterm Elections,” said senior Hannah DiGiampietro. 

After the special investigation was launched in early January, the FBI searched Biden’s Delaware home. The search lasted for thirteen hours, and the FBI ended up taking some of the president’s notes and six additional classified documents. 

The notes found spanned all the way from Biden’s time in the Senate, Vice Presidency, and Presidency. 

“I honestly have no idea why [Biden] had so many documents in his possession,” said Mr. Mike Salyers. “We really need to evaluate what we label as classified. If these documents are truly classified, why are politicians allowed to take them home?” question Salyers. 

According to a segment on NPR’s “All Things Considered” podcast, many of the classified documents were mishandled during the Trump-Biden transition. When a president leaves office, all of the White House documents are given to the National Archives, but other agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of State don’t have to turn anything over. 

This leads to mishandling and confusion, as White House officials, who have more training in politics, may not necessarily understand what’s classified as much as a CIA agent, someone who has privacy drilled into them since Day 1. 

“There are probably so many people, including former presidents, who have classified documents. And although they shouldn’t possess them, we can’t really blame them. The government needs to instill rules regarding the ‘checking out’ of documents from the National Archives, and until we hold the government more accountable, there won’t be any change because politicians think this is okay,” said Salyers.