Mike Pence Is in the Clear Over Classified Documents

Justice Department won't file charges after classified material was found at his home
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 2, 2023 10:37 AM CDT
No Charges for Pence Over Classified Documents
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks in Des Moines, Iowa, last month..   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Mike Pence won't face criminal charges related to the discovery of classified documents at his Indiana home. The Department of Justice sent a letter to Pence's attorney on Thursday informing him that, after an investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information, no criminal charges will be sought, per the AP. No evidence ever emerged suggesting that Pence intentionally hid any documents from the government or even knew they were in his home, so there was never an expectation that the former vice president would face charges. But the decision by the government and the timing are nonetheless good news for Pence's political team.

The development comes days before Pence is set to launch his campaign for the Republican nomination for president in Iowa on Wednesday—a race that will put him in direct competition with his old boss, former President Trump. Documents with classified markings were discovered at Pence's home in January after he asked his lawyers to search his vice presidential belongings. The items, which were promptly turned over to the FBI, “were inadvertently boxed and transported” to Pence's home at the end of the last administration, Pence’s lawyer, Greg Jacob, wrote in a letter to the National Archives.

The FBI discovered an additional document with classified markings at the Indiana house during a search the following month. Beyond Pence, Justice Department special counsels are continuing to investigate the handling of classified documents found at homes or offices of both Trump and President Biden, from when he was vice president. The status of the Biden documents investigation is unclear, but the Trump investigation has shown signs of winding down. Prosecutors appear close to a decision on whether to bring criminal charges against the ex-president or anyone else. (A newly surfaced recording may not bode well for Trump on this front.)

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