Pence: 'I Take Responsibility' on Documents

Former vice president concedes classified material shouldn't have been at his home
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2023 4:35 PM CST
Pence Concedes He Shouldn't Have Had Documents
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks Friday at Florida International University in Miami.   (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he takes "full responsibility" after classified documents were found at his Indiana home. In his first public comments since the discovery, Pence said he hadn't been aware that the documents were in his residence but acknowledged his lack of awareness wasn't an excuse, the AP reports. "Let me be clear: Those classified documents should not have been in my personal residence," Pence said at Florida International University, where he was talking about the economy and promoting his new book, So Help Me God. "Mistakes were made, and I take full responsibility."

The discovery made public by Pence's team earlier this week marked the latest in a string of recoveries of sensitive papers that were where they shouldn't have been. The Department of Justice was already investigating the discovery of classified documents in former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort and at President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware and his former Washington office. The discovery at Pence's home came five months after he told the AP that he did not take classified records with him when he left the vice presidency. "No, not to my knowledge," he said when asked if he had retained any such information.

Pence's public acceptance of responsibility over his handling of the documents marks a departure from the reactions of both Trump, his former boss, and Biden in their own cases. Trump denounced the search of Mar-a-Lago as "one of the most shocking abuses of power by any administration in American history" and suggested without evidence that investigators planted the documents. Biden said he was surprised to learn the documents had been found but had "no regrets" about how the public was informed. Pence, who remains estranged from Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol, has said he's considering a 2024 presidential run. (More Mike Pence stories.)

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