Former VP Pence says he took no classified material with him

When asked directly whether he kept classified information after leaving office, Pence said, “No, not to my knowledge.”

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he did not take any classified information with him when he left office.

Pence made the comment during an interview with The Associated Press in Iowa a week and a half after the FBI seized classified and top secret information during a search of ex-President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

When asked directly whether he kept classified information after leaving office, Pence said, “No, not to my knowledge.”

The disclosure – which would normally go unnoticed by a former vice president – is notable as FBI agents stole 11 sets of classified records from his former boss’s estate on Aug. 8 while investigating possible violations of three separate federal laws. Trump has claimed that the documents seized by agents were “all declassified” and argued he would have turned them over if the Justice Department had asked for them.

Despite the inclusion of material marked “top secret” in the government’s list of items recovered from Mar-a-Lago, Pence said: “I honestly don’t want to prejudge it until we have all the facts.”

Pence on Friday also weighed in on Republican Rep. Liz Cheney’s primary loss to a Trump-backed rival earlier in the week. Cheney, arguably Trump’s most prominent Republican critic, has called the former president “a very serious threat and danger to our republic” and has further vented his ire through her role as vice chair of the House committee investigating January 6, 2021 increased. Uprising in the US Capitol.

“My reaction was that the people of Wyoming spoke up,” said Pence, who was attacked by angry rioters at the Capitol that day, including some chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” “And, you know, I accept your judgment on the kind of representation you want on Capitol Hill.”

Pence said he has “great respect” for Cheney’s father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, who served two terms under President George W. Bush.

“And I appreciate the conservative stance that Congresswoman Cheney has taken over the years,” Pence continued. “But I was disappointed from the outset by the partisan taint of the January 6 committee.”

Speaking further about the Mar-a-Lago raid, the former vice president continued to raise the possibility that the investigation was politically motivated and urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to disclose more details about what authorities are doing to conduct the ordered a search.

“The concern felt by millions of Americans will only be resolved with daylight,” Pence said Friday. “I know that’s not usual in investigations. But this is an unprecedented action by the Justice Department and I think it deserves unprecedented transparency.”

A few days ago, speaking at a political breakfast in New Hampshire, Pence urged his fellow Republicans to stop hitting rank and file members of the FBI over the Mar-a-Lago search. At Wednesday’s event, he attempted to contain some of them increasing threats against the FBI from ardent Trump supporters who are angry that Trump’s house was searched.

“The Republican Party is the law and order party,” Pence said on Wednesday. “Our party stands with the men and women who stand on the thin blue line at the federal, state and local levels, and these attacks on the FBI must stop.”

Pence was in Iowa on Friday as part of a two-day trip to the state, which is set to host the 2024 Republican presidential election. Pence said Friday he would make a decision early next year on whether to run for the White House, a move his advisers said will be independent of Trump’s decisions.

After attending the Iowa State Fair on Friday afternoon, Pence led a fundraiser for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley earlier in the day and was scheduled to speak with a Christian conservative group and a Northern Iowa County Republican Party fundraiser before leaving Saturday. Former VP Pence says he took no classified material with him

Laura Coffey

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