FBI raids former US vice-president’s home
FBI agents searched the Carmel, Indiana home of former US Vice-President Mike Pence on Friday, reportedly in search of any more classified documents beyond the “small number” previously disclosed by his lawyers. The search comes a day after Pence was subpoenaed by special counsel in an investigation of former President Donald Trump.
Special counsel Jack Smith is looking for testimony from Pence in the probe of Trump’s conduct after the 2020 presidential election. The ruling Democrats have accused Trump of seeking to “overturn the results” of the vote and inciting the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol.
The classified documents search appears to be a separate matter, however. Last month, Pence’s lawyers volunteered that some documents with classification marks had been found at his home. The revelation came amid a series of reports that classified files from Joe Biden’s term as vice president to Barack Obama (2009-2017) were found at his home in Delaware and at a Pennsylvania think tank.
Attorney Greg Jacob wrote to the National Archives that Pence had hired “outside counsel” to search for such documents and that the former VP had been “unaware” that a few papers had been “inadvertently boxed and transported” to Carmel at the end of the Trump administration.
The documents were “immediately” secured in a locked safe on January 16, and the FBI came to collect them several days later, Jacob’s letter said.
Dozens of FBI agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August 2022, looking for classified documents the National Archives claimed had not been turned over. Trump insisted that he had declassified all the papers while in office. As president, he had the authority to do so – while Biden and Pence did not.
Both Biden and Trump are currently under special counsel investigation over the classification matter, complicating their 2024 presidential bids. Pence has also signaled he would run for the Republican nomination next year.