Pence: ‘I take full responsibility’ for classified documents ending up at Indiana home
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday said he takes “full responsibility” for classified documents ending up at his home in Indiana and pledged to cooperate with any investigation into how it happened.
“During the closing days of administration, when materials were boxed and assembled, some of which were shipped to our personal residence, mistakes were made,” Pence told Fox News in his first public comments since his office disclosed earlier this week that classified records were found at his residence.
“We were not aware of it at the time until we did the review just a few short weeks ago,” he continued. “But I take full responsibility for it, and we’re going to continue to support every appropriate inquiry into it.”
Pence said he’s “very confident” that he and his team were “very careful and cautious” handling classified materials during his time in Congress and as vice president.
Pence’s team disclosed Tuesday that his attorneys conducted a search of his Indiana home out of an abundance of caution following news that classified documents were found at President Biden’s Delaware home and a former Washington, D.C., office he used after leaving the White House in 2017.
Greg Jacob, an attorney representing Pence, wrote to the National Archives on Jan. 18 to notify it that Pence had directed a search two days earlier that turned up two boxes with some materials bearing classified markings.
FBI officials took possession of those two boxes on Jan. 19, as well as two other boxes with copies of administration records, Jacob said. He wrote that the documents with classified markings were “inadvertently boxed and transported” to Pence’s home, and that Pence was not aware of them until they were found earlier this month.
The discovery came after Pence had repeatedly denied having classified materials in his possession as he criticized Biden over the classified documents being found at his home and office.
Pence had advocated for a special counsel to be appointed in Biden’s case after one was announced to oversee an investigation into former President Trump’s possible mishandling of classified information.
Asked Friday if he believes a third special counsel is needed to oversee his own handling of classified documents, Pence deferred to the Justice Department and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“And, again, I — this was an unfortunate development,” Pence said. “And I think it’s important that our office simply cooperate fully in any investigation by either the Department of Justice, the Archives, or the Congress of the United States, and we’re determined to do that.”
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