Teams for both Trump and Biden used Pence’s leak of sensitive documents as a justification. Former vice president Mike Pence’s Indiana home was searched for sensitive documents. President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden’s advisers seized on the revelation as a possible defense in their document investigations.
The similarities between the Pence and Biden cases have helped sharpen Biden’s team’s argument in the first fallout by showing how different their handling of secret documents was from Trump’s.
On Tuesday, though, Pence’s camp received some welcome support from insiders who said that additional information regarding sensitive papers uncovered at Pence’s residence bolstered their case.
Trump’s legal team, according to a source familiar with the matter, sees the discovery of classified documents at Pence’s home as good news for the former president because they believe it, along with the ongoing special counsel investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents, changes the dynamics of the Justice Department’s investigation into the former president.
Although each case is unique, Trump’s legal team members believe these developments will make it more difficult for prosecutors to justify bringing criminal charges against any of them, according to the source.
Pence’s response to the revelation of the classified documents was compared by another person familiar with the investigation to that of Vice President Joe Biden. Pence promptly handed over a group of roughly a dozen secret documents to the FBI.
Although the discovery was kept private for weeks, in November, Biden’s crew discovered secret materials at his Washington, DC, think tank office and quickly contacted the National Archives, which notified the Justice Department.
Similarly to former Vice President Joe Biden, “it looks Pence had followed a very similar starting approach to Biden in terms of a voluntary examination of papers and swift submission to the relevant authorities when they were located,” the source added.
Months after the initial discovery of classified materials, the FBI searched Biden’s house. During November and January, Biden’s team found documents in several different places.
The Pence announcement was welcomed by Trump supporters, who think it further muddies the waters between the three cases.
A source acquainted with Trump’s legal team’s reasoning explained, “They are all now tied in a way.” This was about Pence, Biden, and Trump.
According to the source, Trump’s team thinks the revelations about Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Biden lend credence to their claim that the investigation should not be treated as a criminal matter but rather as an administrative review of the White House’s process for handling classified material under the supervision of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Concerning Trump’s handling of secret documents, the special counsel investigation also considers the possibility of obstruction of justice. In the meantime, the Justice Department has begun investigating how the documents belonging to Vice President Pence came to be in his Indiana home.
On Tuesday, in response to the release of the Pence records, Trump posted on Truth Social, “Mike Pence is an innocent man.” Since the beginning of his existence, he has never intentionally done anything dishonest. Don’t bother him!!
The Pence headline was excellent news for Biden administration staffers and allies who have been under assault for weeks due to the multiple exposures of sensitive materials found at Biden’s private office in Washington, DC, and then his house in Wilmington, Delaware.
“It brings down the thermostat on this being a Biden-only narrative,” said one senior administration official.
That Biden’s staff wasn’t alone in mistakenly storing classified materials that needed to be turned over to the National Archives was a desire expressed by the person who discovered the records at Pence’s house.
Furthermore, the White House may utilize this new information to continue differentiating the activities of Trump and his associates from those of Biden’s legal staff regarding handling sensitive data.
On Tuesday, the White House mostly ignored reporters’ requests for comment on the Pence story. One individual explained that sticking to the White House’s long-standing policy of not commenting on open reviews and investigations was a factor in the decision to keep quiet about the discovery.
A counterargument to the strategy of drawing explicit parallels to Trump’s situation was that letting the Pence development stand independently was more effective.
The fact that another former vice president, who appeared to be grappling with challenges stemming from the transition out of the office and publicly asserted no understanding that classified information was in his possession, serves as a “useful model” of navigating this situation is notable. The apparent benefit of the former vice president’s time spent in a Republican administration was glossed over.
We’ll let you guys draw the inferences about what this all signifies,” the official said.
That didn’t mean they weren’t keeping a careful eye on things as the day progressed; they were especially interested in how Republicans on Capitol Hill reacted to the Pence news, as some had led or committed to investigating Biden.