It’s the right call, but the timing sure is sus.
File screen image.
CNN reported Friday the Biden Justice Department has informed former Vice President Mike Pence he will not be prosecuted for having classified documents at his Indiana home. The decision comes as Pence is set announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination against his old boss, President Trump, on June 7 in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Justice Department has closed its investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents found at former Vice President Mike Pence’s home and will not bring any charges, according to a letter from the DOJ obtained by CNN.
The decision comes ahead of Pence’s planned announcement next week that he will run for president in 2024. It allows Pence to offer an additional contrast between himself and former President Donald Trump, his political rival who’s under serious investigation by the Justice Department and others.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department’s National Security Division have conducted an investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information,” the Justice Department wrote to Pence’s attorney. “Based on the results of that investigation, no criminal charges will be sought.”
In January, Pence’s attorney found about a dozen documents marked classified in Pence’s Indiana home after the former vice president asked his lawyer to search his records following the disclosure of classified documents in Joe Biden’s possession in Delaware.
Pence turned over the classified records to the FBI following their discovery, and the FBI and Justice Department’s National Security Division launched a review of how they ended up at Pence’s home. Pence has said that he had been unaware the documents were at his home but said that “mistakes were made” and took responsibility for it.
NPR’s Carrie Johnson reported a reaction by a Pence spokesperson, “NPR confirms report by CNN that the Justice Department has closed its investigation of classified documents found at the home of former VP Mike Pence without filing any charges. “We’re pleased but not surprised,” a Pence adviser says”
NPR confirms report by CNN that the Justice Department has closed its investigation of classified documents found at the home of former VP Mike Pence without filing any charges. “We’re pleased but not surprised,” a Pence adviser says.
— Carrie Johnson (@johnson_carrie) June 2, 2023
January 18, 2023
Kate Dillon McClure
Acting Director, White House Liaison Division
National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408-0001
Dear Ms. McClure:
As Vice President Mike Pence’s designated representative to the National Archives, I write to request your assistance with collecting and transferring to the custody of the National Archives an additional set of Vice Presidential records. The additional records appear to be a small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently boxed and transported to the personal home of the former Vice President at the end of the last Administration. Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence. Vice President Pence understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry.
Following press reports of classified documents at the personal home of President Biden, out of an abundance of caution, on Monday, January 16, Vice President Pence engaged outside counsel, with experience in handling classified documents, to review records stored in his
personal home. Counsel identified a small number of documents that could potentially contain sensitive or classified information interspersed throughout the records. Vice President Pence’s counsel, however, is unable to provide an exact description of the folders or briefing materials that may contain sensitive or classified information because counsel did not review the contents of the documents once an indicator of potential classification was identified. Vice President Pence immediately secured those documents in a locked safe pending further direction on proper handling from the National Archives.
Vice President Pence has directed his representatives to work with the National Archives to ensure their prompt and secure return. Vice President Pence appreciates the good work of the staff at the National Archives and trusts they will provide proper counsel in response to this letter.
/s Greg Jacob
Gregory F. Jacob
Pence Vice Presidential records
In a follow-up letter dated January 22, Pence’s attorney said four boxes of non-classified vice-presidential records had also been discovered at Pence’s home and would be taken to the National Archives.
Source material can be found at this site.