F.B.I. Is Searching Pence’s Home in Indiana
The F.B.I. on Friday began searching the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence, after one of his aides found classified documents there last month, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Pence’s aides agreed to the search after discussions with the Justice Department, according to others familiar with the matter.
It came a day after reports that Mr. Pence had received a subpoena from the special counsel investigating former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to cling to power after he lost the 2020 election.
A spokesman for Mr. Pence did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Justice Department also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
After President Biden disclosed that his aides had discovered classified documents from his time as vice president at his home in Wilmington, Del., and a former think tank office in Washington, Mr. Pence’s aides searched his home out of caution.
They found documents with classified markings and notified the Justice Department. The F.B.I. showed up while Mr. Pence was at the March for Life in Washington, Greg Jacob, a former adviser and Mr. Pence’s representative for dealing with records related to the presidency, wrote in a letter to the National Archives.
The disclosure renewed questions about how classified material is handled at the highest echelons of government, with both Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump the subject of special counsel investigations into the matter.
Still, Mr. Trump’s response to the discovery of sensitive government documents at Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence in Florida, stands in stark contrast to that of Mr. Biden or Mr. Pence.
Mr. Trump for months resisted the government’s repeated attempts to retrieve the materials, including by defying a subpoena requesting their return. That prompted the F.B.I. to obtained a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, where agents turned up more classified materials in August.
Mr. Biden, by contrast, has cooperated with the Justice Department and the National Archives since aides found classified documents at his think tank office and his home in Wilmington, where he often spends weekends. The F.B.I. in recent weeks has searched that residence, as well as his vacation home in Rehoboth, Del.
Mr. Pence’s aides have also emphasized cooperation.
Last month, Mr. Jacob disclosed that a “small number of documents” with classified markings had been “inadvertently boxed and transported” to Mr. Pence’s home in Indiana during the waning days of the Trump administration.
“Vice President Pence immediately secured those documents in a locked safe pending further direction on proper handling from the National Archives,” Mr. Jacob wrote.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has declined to say whether the Justice Department’s involvement in the matter signaled an impending criminal investigation that might warrant referral to a special counsel.
Mr. Pence is weighing a bid for the White House in 2024, making him a potential rival to Mr. Trump for the Republican nomination. Mr. Biden has not yet said whether he will run for re-election, but he is widely expected to declare his candidacy for a second term.