Pence Documents Discovery Leads to Investigation of the U.S. Classification System – Live

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It began in August when the FBI conducted an unprecedented search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and took away boxes of what the administration said were classified materials he was not supposed to leave the White House with.

It appeared the former president was in serious legal jeopardy, especially when he was found to have evaded efforts by the National Archives to retrieve the material, and after Attorney General Merrick Garland said special counsel Jack Smith would investigate the matter.

But then, in January, it was revealed Joe Biden had found classified documents from his time as vice president in a former office in Washington DC, and later in his home in Delaware. When it was revealed that the White House found out just before the November midterm elections, but did not make the news public, Republicans caved. Earlier this month, Garland announced the appointment of another special counsel, Robert Hurto handle the investigation into the Biden case.

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News broke yesterday that the former Vice President under Trump, Mike Pence, also found classified material in his Indiana home. That discovery has led to something of a tone shift in Washington, with both Democratic and Republican politicians now wondering if there isn’t a bigger problem to be addressed with the government’s classification process — or perhaps presidential transition procedures.

Key events

Who else has secret documents?

UKTN News reached out to the former president Barack Obamaoffice to see if he intended to look for anything in his possession. “We don’t have anything for you at the moment,” his spokesperson told the network.

In the meantime George W. Bush‘s office said he handed in all his classified stuff when he left the White House.

Donald Trump’s possession of classified documents is just one of the legal problems facing the former president. As the Guardian’s Chris McGreal reports, Trump or his allies could soon be the target of prosecution by a Georgia prosecutor investigating the campaign to overturn the state’s 2020 election results:

An Atlanta district attorney has said “decisions are imminent” on whether to charge Donald Trump with criminal offenses over his attempt to overturn the results of Georgia’s 2020 election.

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But a much-anticipated hearing on Tuesday remained largely undecided after a judge decided not to rule immediately on whether or not to release an investigative report on the actions Trump and his allies have taken to baselessly challenge the legitimacy of the election.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis strongly hinted during the hearing that she could prosecute a former president for the first time in U.S. history. However, she cautioned that revealing the grand jury’s investigation openly could jeopardize a fair trial for “several” defendants.

According to Bloomberg News, several lawyers familiar with the government’s classification system have little regard for it, acknowledging that accidental possession of classified documents is more common than many believe.

Lawyer Kel McClanahan described it as “a screwed up system” while national security expert Bradley Moss said other officials with access to government secrets should start searching their homes. “If I were a government official who had access to classified documents in the past, I would now call my lawyers and tell them to immediately start searching all my stored material.”

McClanahan said “spills,” as the accidental possession of classified material is called, is “so much more common than anyone ever knows,” but usually doesn’t lead to criminal charges.

Former federal prosecutor’s office Kevin O’Brien noted that there were significant differences in how Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Joe Biden dealt with their discoveries of secret materials.

“It also appears that Pence, like Biden, may have been inadvertently involved in this behavior,” he told Bloomberg. “The contrast with Trump, who deliberately removed documents for private reasons and then misled and obstructed the government after it tried to retrieve them, is clear.”

As this UK Time News article points out, Donald Trump, Joe Biden and Mike Pence are far from the first senior government officials to possess classified documents.

Former president Jimmy Carter discovered a few in his home in Georgia:

At least once, former President Jimmy Carter found classified materials at his home in Plains, Georgia, and returned them to the National Archives, according to the same person who spoke of the regular occurrence of mishandled documents. The person gave no details about the timing of the discovery.

A Carter Center official did not provide details when asked about that account of Carter discovering documents in his home after he left office in 1981. It is noteworthy that Carter signed the Presidential Records Act in 1978, but it did not apply to the administration of his effect years later, when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. Before Reagan, presidential records were generally considered the private property of the president individually. Nevertheless, Carter invited federal archivists to help his White House organize his records in preparation for their eventual repository in his presidential library in Georgia.

And the story reminds readers Hillary Clinton was the subject of a lengthy investigation into whether she had violated classification procedures by using a private server to handle her emails as Secretary of State, and that Albert Gonzales also took home classified documents when he was attorney general. It also contains more details about the secret files that may have found their way Mike Penceis home in Indiana:

In Pence’s case, the material found in the boxes came largely from his official residence at the Naval Observatory, where the packing was done by military aides rather than lawyers. Other material came from a West Wing office drawer, according to a Pence aide who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the discovery. The boxes were taped shut and would not have been opened since they were packed, the person said.

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell has new details about the Justice Department’s investigation into classified documents found at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort:

Two documents that Donald Trump’s legal team returned to the Justice Department last year after retrieving them from a private storage facility in Florida as part of an additional material search were flagged as secret-level secret, according to sources familiar with the matter. be with the case.

The material included one document marked secret on the cover and a second document marked secret with its secret attachment removed, one of the sources said.

The two documents were found in sealed boxes that appeared to be unopened from the time they were shipped to the Florida storage facility, near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, from the White House at the end of the Trump administration, the lawyers also told Justice.

Since the two documents were returned as soon as attorneys learned of the discovery, the department is not expected to include them in the broader criminal investigation into Trump’s retention of national security and obstruction of justice information.

It began in August when the FBI conducted an unprecedented search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and took away boxes of what the administration said were classified materials he was not supposed to leave the White House with.

It appeared the former president was in serious legal jeopardy, especially when he was found to have evaded efforts by the National Archives to retrieve the material, and after Attorney General Merrick Garland said special counsel Jack Smith would investigate the matter.

But then, in January, it was revealed Joe Biden had found classified documents from his time as vice president in a former office in Washington DC, and later in his home in Delaware. When it was revealed that the White House found out just before the November midterm elections, but did not make the news public, Republicans caved. Earlier this month, Garland announced the appointment of another special counsel, Robert Hurto handle the investigation into the Biden case.

News broke yesterday that the former Vice President under Trump, Mike Pence, also found classified material in his Indiana home. That discovery has led to something of a tone shift in Washington, with both Democratic and Republican politicians now wondering if there isn’t a bigger problem to be addressed with the government’s classification process — or perhaps presidential transition procedures.

The latest discovery of classified documents bolsters the scrutiny of the US classification system

Good morning, blog readers about American politics. Apparently, if you’ve worked in the White House, it’s hard to leave without taking classified documents with you. That’s the lesson some lawmakers are learning from yesterday’s news about that former vice president Mike Pence found government secrets in his Indiana home. He is now with the same club as Joe Biden and Donald Trump, both of whom turned out to have the same type of material in their personal possession. For Trump and Biden, the case is seen as a potentially serious legal threat, but the discovery at Pence’s residence has been met with disbelief by congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, some of whom are now questioning whether the discoveries might not be a sign that it’s time to take a look at how the government handles its secrets.

Here’s what else is happening today:

  • Vice President Kamala Harris will be at the U.S. Capitol to address the House Democratic caucus, and later in the day will travel to Monterey Park, California, to meet with families of victims of the mass shooting that occurred there.

  • White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will notify reporters at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.

  • A group of conservative Republican senators will talk to the press at 2 p.m. at the Capitol about their plans to raise the debt ceiling.

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