FBI searches Pence's home for classified materials
Investigators discovered an additional classified document and removed six other pages of records after a five-hour “unrestricted” search of the residence.
FBI investigators discovered an additional classified document and removed six other pages of records from the residence of former Vice President Mike Pence after a five-hour “unrestricted” search of his home, a Pence spokesman said.
“The vice president has directed his legal team to continue its cooperation with appropriate authorities and to be fully transparent through the conclusion of this matter,” said the spokesman, Devin O’Malley.
The FBI arrived at Pence’s home Friday morning for the consensual search, according to a police officer who blocked traffic on the suburban Indianapolis street.
The search, which was voluntarily arranged by Pence with the Justice Department, had been expected for weeks. A Justice Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed late Friday morning that the FBI was conducting a consent-based search. A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to queries from POLITICO on Friday about which DOJ prosecutors are overseeing the inquiry.
According to a person familiar with the events, who provided information on the condition of anonymity to reveal details of the procedure, a member of Pence’s legal team was present for the entirety of the search. The scope of the search included not only classified records but also documents that might be original copies of presidential records that should be returned to the National Archives, the person said.
Matters related to mishandling or disclosure of classified information are typically handled by Justice’s National Security Division, but Attorney General Merrick Garland farmed out inquiries into recent episodes involving President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump to special prosecutors.
Pence has been in California this week for the birth of his granddaughter.
In January, Pence’s lawyer, Greg Jacob, found a dozen classified documents in the home, a revelation he reported in a letter to the National Archives.
Asked by ABC News whether he had taken any classified documents to his home, he responded: “I did not.”
Pence has also received a subpoena from special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to subvert the 2020 election, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Pence was the target of Trump’s last-ditch bid to derail the transfer of power to Joe Biden, leaning on his then-vice president to prevent Congress from counting electoral votes that would affirm Biden’s victory.
The subpoena has the potential to trigger an executive privilege fight if Trump or Pence ask a judge to rule that some or all of their testimony should be off limits to prosecutors and the grand jury in order to protect White House deliberations.
Two of Pence’s top aides — Marc Short and Greg Jacob — have already testified to the grand jury and are the subject of ongoing secret legal proceedings pending before the federal courts related to Trump’s effort to assert privilege over their testimony.
Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.