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Justice Department Closes Investigation Into Pence’s Possession Of Classified Documents

Former Vice President Mike Pence and his advisers are pleased – but not surprised – by the Justice Department’s (DOJ) decision to close its investigation into the possible misuse of classified documents found at Pence’s home in January.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department’s National Security Division have conducted an investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information,” the DOJ informed Pence in a brief letter he received yesterday night. “Based on the results of that investigation, no criminal charges will be sought.”

The investigation concerned the dozen classified documents found by Pence’s attorney earlier this year. Pence requested that his attorney search his documents following the news that President Joe Biden was found to wrongfully possess classified documents at a previously occupied office in Washington and at his home in Delaware.

After the revelation, the former vice president quickly turned over the records to the FBI — claiming that they were “inadvertently boxed and transported” to his home — and the DOJ then launched a review. After the FBI searched Pence’s home in February and found an additional classified document, Pence and his team continued to emphasize their cooperation and transparency.

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It’s a move that Pence’s advisers say stands in stark contrast to former President Donald Trump’s actions. The former president defied a subpoena to turn over the classified documents in his possession at his Florida properties last year, which resulted in a court-authorized FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago resort. More than 100 classified documents were uncovered.

Since then, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s mishandling of documents and potential obstruction has been intensifying. Earlier this week, the investigation reentered headlines after news broke that prosecutors obtained an audio recording where Trump admitted to holding onto a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran.

The DOJ’s decision to close its investigation on Pence comes a week before Pence’s planned presidential campaign launch and offers the former vice president a chance to differentiate himself from Trump, who still faces a looming charging decision.

Viktoria Wulff-Andersen

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