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Document with classified markings found during FBI's search of former Vice President Mike Pence's Indiana home

Posted at 11:44 AM, Feb 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-10 18:05:30-05

CARMEL — Federal authorities found a document with classified markings during their search of former Vice President Mike Pence's Indiana home on Friday, according to a DOJ spokesperson.

The consensual search was conducted weeks afterseveral documents with classified markings were turned over from his lawyers.

The DOJ had been in contact with Pence's legal team to schedule the search and Pence's aides agreed to the search.

ABC News has learned after the five hour search, federal agents also found six additional pages without any markings, according a spokesperson for the former VP.

Throughout the search, a lawyer for Pence was present as the Department of Justice investigators were given unrestricted access to the home, according to a person familiar with the search.

Pence and his family were not home.

The FBI declined to comment, referring questions to the DOJ. The DOJ didn't immediately respond to comment, according to ABC.

Pence said hetakes "full responsibility" during an appearance in Florida shortly after news of the documents broke.

“Let me be clear about something: Those classified documents should not have been in my personal residence,” Pence said. “Mistakes were made.”

The discovery made by members of Pence's team in mid-January marked the latest in a string of recoveries of sensitive papers from the homes of current and former top U.S. officials including President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.

WRTV was unable to get close to Pence's Carmel home because Carmel Police Department vehicles blocked all entrances to the neighborhood. WRTV Skycam was able to capture video of what appeared to be a large van and SUV backed up to the former vice president's home.

“The additional records appear to be a small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently boxed and transported to the personal home of the former Vice President at the end of the last Administration," Pence's lawyer, Greg Jacob, told the National Archives in a letter sent last month.

He said that “Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence” and that he "understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry."

VP Spokesperson Devin O'Malley released the following statement to ABC News Friday:

"Following the discovery and disclosure of a small number of potentially classified documents that had inadvertently been transported to his home in Indiana, Vice President Pence and his legal team have fully cooperated with the appropriate authorities and agreed to a consensual search of his residence that took place today. The Department of Justice completed a thorough and unrestricted search of five hours and removed one document with classified markings and six additional pages without such markings that were not discovered in the initial review by the vice president’s counsel. The vice president has directed his legal team to continue its cooperation with appropriate authorities and to be fully transparent through the conclusion of this matter.”

Devin O'Malley

In November, Pence claimed he did not have classified documents when he was asked by ABC News at his Carmel home.

“I did not,” Pence responded.

“Well, there’d be no reason to have classified documents, particularly if they were in an unprotected area,” Pence continued. “But I will tell you that I believe there had to be many better ways to resolve that issue than executing a search warrant at the personal residence of a former president of the United States.”

Pence said he decided to undertake the search of his home “out of an abundance of caution” after recent disclosures by Biden's team that documents were found at his former office and in his Delaware home.

He said he had directed his counsel to work with the National Archives, Department of Justice and Congress and fully cooperate in any investigation.

The former vice president said national security depends on the proper handling of classified documents, but he hopes that people realize that he acted swiftly to correct the error.

“We acted above politics and put national interests first,” he said.