MIAMI (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday he would take “full responsibility” after classified documents were found at his home in Indiana.
In his first public comment after the discovery, Pence said he didn’t know the documents were in his residence, but admitted that lack of awareness is no excuse.
“These confidential documents should never have been in my private home,” Pence said while speaking economics and promoting his new book, “So Help Me God,” at Florida International University. , and I take full responsibility. “
The discovery, made public by Pence’s team earlier this week, was the latest in a series of recoveries of classified documents from the homes of current and former senior U.S. officials. Investigating classified documents found at the Largo resort and at President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware and his former office in Washington.
Pence’s public acknowledgment of responsibility for handling the documents marks a departure from how Trump, his former boss, and Biden reacted in their respective cases. Trump has denounced the Mar-a-Lago search as “one of the most shocking abuses of power by any administration in American history,” without evidence that investigators may have planted the documents. Biden said he was surprised to learn the documents had been found, but “has no regrets” about how the public was informed.
The documents were found in Pence’s home five months after Pence told The Associated Press he didn’t have classified records with him when he stepped down as vice president. “No, not to my knowledge,” he said when asked if he kept such information.
Given that FBI agents seized classified and classified information from Trump’s Florida estate on Aug. 8 while investigating possible violations of three different federal laws, the former Vice President The normally unremarkable comment was notable at the time. Mr Trump claimed that the documents seized by his agents were “all declassified”.
Pence said he decided to conduct a search of the home “out of caution” after Biden’s team recently revealed documents were found in his former office and his home in Delaware.
He said he has directed his legal team to work with the National Archives, the Justice Department, and Congress to cooperate fully with any investigation.
The former vice president said national security hinges on the proper handling of classified documents, but he hopes people will realize that he acted quickly to right the wrong.
“We have acted over politics and put the national interest first,” he said.
Pence, who remains estranged from Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol uprising, is considering a 2024 White House challenge to his former boss, who announced his campaign in November. Biden has announced his intention to seek re-election in 2024, but has yet to formally start his campaign.
Pence said he was pondering the challenges facing the country, referring to a possible White House bid. highlighted the problem of
“We are taking strong consideration of what happens next,” he said. “I will continue to travel around the country. I will continue to listen and reflect,” he said.
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