(DCWatchdog.com) – Former Vice President Mike Pence declared he accepts “full responsibility” for the classified US government documents found in his home in Indiana last week.
He had claimed multiple times that there were no classified records in his possession after classified documents were found in former President Donald Trump’s home in Florida and both President Joe Biden’s former office in Washington, DC and his home in Delaware.
“Let me be clear about something: Those classified documents should not have been in my personal residence,” Pence told reporters at the end of last week, as cited by Newsmax.
Donald Trump’s vice president was at Florida International University to give a speech on economic freedom and to sign copies of his book, “So Help Me God.”
Pence’s comments at the event were his first public reaction after the discovery of about a dozen classified papers at his Indiana home was announced last week.
The US Justice Department is already investigating Trump and Biden for possessing classified documents. In the latter’s case, the papers date back to his time as Barack Obama’s vice president and his final terms as a US senator.
Last week, US Attorney General declined to say whether he would launch a probe into Mike Pence’s case.
In his remarks, Pence said he decided that “out of an abundance of caution, it would be appropriate to review [his] personal records” at his residence in Carmel, Indiana.
He asked his lawyer Matt Morgan, who has experience with classified papers, to carry out the search, with Pence’s team announcing the discovery earlier last week.
The former vice president also said he instructed his lawyer to fully cooperate with the National Archives, Department of Justice and Congress, and any investigation.
“[A] small number of documents marked classified or sensitive interspersed in my personal papers [was found],” Pence stated.
He added the papers were “immediately” secured, the National Archives and Congress were notified, and the records were handed over to the FBI.
“I was not aware that those classified documents were in our personal residence… Mistakes were made. And I take full responsibility,” Mike Pence said.
He declared that properly handling secret US government papers was vital to national security.
At the same time, he said he hoped the public would realize that he took quick actions to correct the mistake.
“We acted above politics and put national interests first,” Pence stated.
Under the Presidential Records Act of 1978, all classified White House records should be transferred as public property to the National Archives after an administration’s term in office ends.
Former Vice President Mike Pence said that he takes “full responsibility” after classified documents were found at his Indiana home. https://t.co/9PRjyG07pg
“Those classified documents should not have been in my personal residence. Mistakes were made.” pic.twitter.com/6sYFYAMYp4
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) January 29, 2023