WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Classified documents have been found in former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home.
- Pence is now the third 2024 presidential candidate to be linked to classified documents, raising questions about potential over-classification.
- Critics called out Republicans for defending Pence and former President Trump while criticizing President Biden, despite certain similarities and contrasts in the cases.
Former Vice President Mike Pence has now become the third 2024 presidential candidate to be linked to classified documents after the recent discovery at his Indiana home.
The recent discovery puts Republicans in a more complicated situation, and it also raises questions about the possibility of over-classification.
Apparently, this type of negligence in handling classified documents is common at the highest levels of government.
Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon (R), who called for a third special counsel to investigate Pence, told NBC News, “We have an epidemic of senior leaders taking classified [documents] home. And we have to say categorically, whether it’s Republican or Democrat, it’s all wrong.”
The day after classified documents were found in President Joe Biden’s former office in Washington, House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) launched an investigation and slammed the president for “potentially violating the law.”
Critics called out Comer for pushing to investigate Biden while dismissing the investigation on former President Donald Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Contrasts were drawn on how Trump attempted to block the search and return of documents while Biden cooperated with the National Archives. Now, Comer praised Pence for his transparency and cooperation with the House committee.
But amid similarities between Biden and Pence’s handling of documents as former vice presidents, some critics have found themselves in an awkward position after previously attacking Biden’s conduct.
On Jan. 9, Oversight Committee member Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) told Fox News that Biden did not have the authority to declassify information as vice president and “conceivably stole those documents.”
Trump’s legal team believes that the discovery of the Pence documents could help Trump’s case since the three cases could make it more difficult for the Justice Department to bring charges.
However, other legal experts said that both Biden and Pence immediately contacted and cooperated with the National Archives and the FBI after the documents were discovered, while Trump allegedly failed to turn over the documents for over a year even after a grand jury subpoena. That ultimately led to the FBI search of Trump’s Florida estate, and that difference could lead to charges of obstruction of justice.