On Monday, January 16, lawyers for Mike Pence discovered documents with classified markings in his home in Indiana. But the people did not hear about it until yesterday afternoon, shortly after noon. That’s when the first reports came out at four different outlets. And what no one seems to want to ask, is: what did Mike Pence have to gain?
The Pence docs reports
All reports of the document finding in the Pence home came out on Tuesday, January 24. The first came from Fox News, at 12:04 p.m. EST. CNN came out with another, but the time stamp is obscure because the article has had an update. However, CNN tweeted the article out at 12:10 p.m., this although they headlined their article “First on CNN.”
NBC then made their own report at 12:32 p.m. Newsmax released their report, based on a report by The Associated Press, at 1:38 p.m. These time stamps matter because the story actually began eight days earlier – on Monday, January 16. The stories appear now because Vice-President Pence saw fit to inform Congress on the matter on January 24.
The document search
The facts, from the four different report, are these. The scandal involving classified documents in President Biden’s personal possession prompted Pence to arrange a search of his own home. Biden had documents at an old Washington office and at his Delaware home. Evidently, Pence remembered that he took documents in boxes out of his White House office two years ago. These boxes went first to his temporary home in Virginia and then to his permanent home in Carmel, Indiana. So on January 16, his lawyers opened those boxes, apparently for the first time since Pence left government. A separate team searched an office Pence also has in Washington, at an organization called Advancing American Freedom.
The Washington team found nothing. But the Indiana team found “a small number” of documents with classified markings in two of four boxes.
Mr. Greg Jacob, a lawyer for Pence, informed the National Archives by letter on January 18 of the find. The Archives notified the FBI, and the FBI sent a team to Indiana to repossess the documents on January 19. Pence was out of his home and in Washington, planning to attend the fiftieth annual March for Life on January 20. CNN says further that on January 23, one of Pence’ lawyers drove the rest of the documents back to Washington for further review by the National Archives. On Tuesday, Pence’ lawyers informed the House Oversight Committee – the event that triggered the reportage.
No one’s accusing Pence
Mr. Jacob’s letter to the Archives informing them of the find, reads in relevant part:
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. Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence. Vice President Pence 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.
Pence had earlier expressed confidence that his staff had made sure that no classified documents remained in his possession.
Some might say that statement was not strictly true, or that his team made a serious oversight.
Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the new Chairman of the Oversight Committee, praised Pence for showing a “transparency” the Biden White House has not shown. More broadly, this event seems to have stunned Members of Congress from both Parties. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, “I don’t understand this.” His colleague Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said,
I don’t believe for a minute that Mike Pence is trying to intentionally compromise national security. But clearly we’ve got a problem here.
President Donald Trump made a more definite statement to support Pence – or was it?
Mike Pence is an innocent man. He never did anything knowingly dishonest in his life. Leave him alone!!!
Twitter was rife with speculation in the hours after those reports came out. “Daily Noah” probably holds the key:
Todd Peterson offered this theory:
Mark Levin suggested the problem is universal:
Two users offered the most pointed speculation of all:
But in all honesty, everyone seems to be drawing conclusions without facts. Not one report will say what information those documents held, or what level of classification they carried. Do Vice-Presidents routinely convey classified documents out of their offices when they leave office? We’ve never heard of that kind of practice before. (And some of the documents Biden held, dated back to his days as a Senator. Senators do not store classified documents in their own offices.)
Until the Archives, or the FBI, says anything further, CNAV will reserve judgment. And even after we hear from them, especially given the history of the FBI, we’d have to treat any information from them as unverified propaganda, and suggest that our readers take it with a grain of salt.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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