BY RICK MORAN
Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.
First Trump, then Biden, and now former Vice President Mike Pence have discovered classified documents in their possession long after their terms in office had ended.
It ain’t rocket science, guys. A document marked “Top Secret,” “Secret,” “Confidential,” “Restricted,” or “Official” can’t be stuffed in a briefcase and taken home. The procedures for handling classified documents are clear, concise, and straightforward. There is no wiggle room. And there are no exceptions for violating the law.
No wonder the Russians and Chinese have most of our secrets.
For our VIPs: The Inevitable Stalemate Over Classified Documents
Now we learn that former Vice President Mike Pence discovered classified documents at his Indiana home. The discovery came about as a result of a search of Pence’s Indiana home and his office at the political advocacy group Advancing American Freedom, following the Biden document imbroglio.
According to his team, Pence informed the National Archives on Jan. 18 of a small number of potential classified documents found in two small boxes. Another two boxes contained copies of vice presidential papers. The National Archives then informed the FBI per standard procedure.
Pence attorney Greg Jacob wrote on Jan. 18 Acting Director Kate Dillon McClure of the White House Liaison Division National Archives and Records Administration to inform her of the papers “containing classified markings.”
After the documents with classified markings were discovered, they were immediately put into a safe, according to the Pence team.
The documents were collected by the FBI at Pence’s home in Carmel, Indiana, on Thursday evening, Jan. 19. Pence was in Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life when the FBI collected the documents.
It’s not like these guys were fleeing a coup d’etat in the dead of night, leaving Washington with only the clothes are their backs. They all had a couple of months to prepare for their departure, so why these searches couldn’t have been conducted between the election and the inauguration of the next president doesn’t make sense.
Ultimately, the searches should have been unnecessary. Whether the marked documents were taken to make an officeholder’s memoirs more authentic or whether they thought it was really cool to possess important, secret documents to show their friends after they were out of office is immaterial. It’s mind-blowing that no matter the reason, these documents were negligently mishandled, and the primaries involved — Pence, Trump, and Biden — should all be punished.
BY STEVE BYAS
Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.
Greg Jacob, the custodian of Pence’s White House records, has revealed that former Vice President Mike Pence had a small number of classified documents at his home in Indiana, and after Pence notified the National Archives, FBI agents were sent to retrieve them on January 19.
Pence had previously said that he had not brought classified documents home with him after leaving the vice presidency.
“The transfer was facilitated by the Vice President’s personal attorney, who has experience in handling classified documents,” wrote Jacob in a letter to the National Archives on January 22.
Pence notified the National Archives that he had found the documents at his residence on January 16. According to Jacob, Pence had been unaware of the documents being at his house until then. But after he heard of the discovery of classified documents at President Joe Biden’s personal residence, Pence sought the assistance of personal counsel to make sure no such documents existed at his home, as well. It was not revealed what the subject matter of the classified documents in Pence’s possession was.
It is also not clear what was in the classified documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence, but press reports have indicated that documents in possession of President Biden from his days as vice president include documents having to do with Ukraine. Biden famously was taped bragging to the Council on Foreign Relations that he had gotten a prosecutor in Ukraine fired — a prosecutor, it should be noted, who was investigating a company in Ukraine connected to his son, Hunter. Hunter Biden was reportedly making about $50,000 per month while sitting on the board of Ukrainian energy concern Burisma Holdings.
“This discovery by Pence’s attorney is a very interesting reinforcement of the contrast between how Biden & Pence are properly cooperating and returning documents versus Trump stealing them, hiding them, and obstructing justice into their return,” said David Brock, president of the Biden-allied group Facts First USA. Brock’s caustic remarks no doubt are a signal as to how the Left will spin the Pence revelations to help Biden and hurt Trump.
On the other hand, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, Representative James Comer (R-Ky.), showed no immediate indication that he would back off his investigations in the aftermath of the Pence revelations.
“Former Vice President Mike Pence reached out today about classified documents found at his home in Indiana,” Comer said. “He has agreed to fully cooperate with congressional oversight and any questions we have about the matter. Former Vice President Pence’s transparency stands in stark contrast to Biden's White House staff who continue to withhold information from Congress and the American people.”
Representative Mike Turner (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he planned to “ask for the same intelligence review and damage assessment” that he had requested regarding Biden, “to see if there are any national security concerns.”
Jacob appeared to stress Pence’s cooperation in his letter to the National Archives. “I expressed to you my expectation that the substantial majority of the documents in the four boxes would, upon examination, be found to be personal copies of other records that were previously transmitted to the Archives.”
“All of the documents within the boxes, and within the sealed envelopes, remain in the exact place and order in which they were discovered on January 16. The Vice President is not waiving any privileges pertaining to the clearly labeled materials.”
Pence asked for help “after it became public that documents with classified markings were found in President Joe Biden’s Wilmington residence.”
Meanwhile, six more classified documents were found during the search of President Biden’s home in Delaware on Friday.
After the Pence revelations, commentators such as Clay Travis and Buck Sexton (who took over the national radio show of the late Rush Limbaugh) speculated that former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush might also be in possession of classified documents.
Regardless, the revelation of documents in the possession of former vice presidents Biden and Pence raises other questions. First, could the National Archives have really been unaware of such documents in the hands of Biden and Pence from their days in the vice-presidential office, but then have so much supposed concern about classified documents at the Florida home of former President Trump? After all, whatever documents were at Trump’s home, they were clearly more safely secured than whatever documents Biden had at his home — in the garage, of all places! It is hard to imagine that the average person would put sensitive and important documents of his own in the garage rather than in a safe.
In addition to that, as a former president, Trump could have declassified — and he has claimed he did — those documents before he left office and before he took them to Mar-a-Lago. On the other hand, neither Pence nor Biden had any legal authority to take possession of classified documents, let alone declassify them.
The Pence revelations — coupled with the Biden revelations — demonstrate the rank hypocrisy of the Left with their cheering on a high-profile raid on Trump’s private residence and their general defense of Biden. And then there is the hypocrisy of Biden himself, who told 60 Minutes that Trump’s possession of classified documents was “irresponsible.” Despite that, Biden has expressed that he has no regrets about his own keeping of documents.
There is no doubt that the U.S. government over-classifies documents. However, there are still times when documents need to remain classified for the protection of the country. But Biden still possesses documents from the time he was in the U.S. Senate!
The Pence revelations will no doubt take some of the heat off Biden, but considering that nothing was done to Hillary Clinton and her 30,000 government emails that she hosted on a private server — many of which she simply deleted from her laptop — one can safely predict that nothing will be done to either Pence or Biden over their carelessness.
Surely, one would hope there will be some reform to the entire process of the transfer of classified documents once a person leaves public office — or in the case of Hillary Clinton, while in office — but don’t count on it. Not unless it would give the Left some benefit.