United States: confidential documents also found in the home of former Vice President Mike Pence

He had them too. After Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Mike Pence in turn finds himself swept up in the White House Archives case : the former Republican vice-president informed Congress on Tuesday of the discovery of classified documents at his home.

“Mike Pence today informed us of the discovery of classified documents at his Indiana home,” influential Republican House Representative James Comer said in a statement.

The former vice-president of Donald Trump (2017-2021) “agrees to cooperate fully with the investigations of Congress”, added the elected official, who oversees the parliamentary investigation opened after the discovery of files of this nature. with the Democratic President.

Documents “inadvertently transported”

Mike Pence’s lawyer informed the National Archives of the discovery last week of “a small number of documents marked confidential boxed and inadvertently transported to the former vice president’s home at the end of the previous administration”.

Mike Pence “was not aware of their existence” but had ordered a precautionary search of his belongings after the discovery of such documents at Joe Bidenadded Me Greg Jacob in a letter reproduced in the American media.

The ultraconservative who caresses the idea of ​​running for president in 2024“understands the importance of protecting sensitive information” and “immediately put these documents in a safe” pending their transfer to the National Archives, according to his lawyer.

Documents that are prohibited from being kept

In the United States, a 1978 law obliges American presidents and vice-presidents to transmit all their emails, letters and other working documents to the National Archives. Another law, on espionage, prohibits the keeping of documents classified as confidential in unauthorized and unsecured places.

After leaks to the media, the White House acknowledged that such files date from Joe Biden’s vice-presidency, from 2009 to 2017, but also from his long career in the Senate. had been discovered in one of his former offices in Washington and in his family home in Wilmington (Delaware, east).

The case is embarrassing because the Democrats did not hesitate to criticize Donald Trump, the target of a judicial investigation for having kept whole boxes of documents when he left Washington in 2021. To recover them, the federal police had carried out a spectacular search this summer at his Mar-a-Lago residencein Florida.

An independent special prosecutor in charge of the investigation

Anxious to silence suspicions of bias, the Department of Justice on January 13 entrusted the investigations into Joe Biden’s files to an independent special prosecutor, as it had done in November for Donald Trump. Asked by journalists during a press briefing on another subject, Minister Merrick Garland refused on Tuesday to comment on Mike Pence’s file.

Despite these precautions, Republicans continue to criticize the White House’s dribbling communication. The “transparency of Mike Pence contrasts with the attitude of Joe Biden’s collaborators (…), who continue to withhold information”, asserted James Comer in his press release.

At a press conference, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called for “shed light” on this case. “What was a political problem” for the Republicans, then for the Democrats, is now, according to him, “a national security problem for the country”.

As for Donald Trump, he split a message of support for his former vice-president, with whom he is however cold since the attack on the Capitol, two years ago. “Mike Pence is innocent, he has never done anything dishonest in his life. Leave him alone,” the billionaire wrote, who will run for a new term in 2024on his Truth Social network.

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