During a voluntary five-hour search of former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home on Friday, the FBI discovered an additional classified document, according to a Pence adviser.
“The Department of Justice completed a thorough and unrestricted search of five hours and removed one document with classified markings and six additional pages without such markings that were not discovered in the initial review by the vice president’s counsel,” said the adviser, Devin O’Malley.
“The vice president has directed his legal team to continue cooperating with appropriate authorities and to be completely transparent until this matter is resolved,” O’Malley said. He also said Pence and his legal team “agreed to a consensual search of his residence, which occurred today.”
According to a source familiar with the search, the DOJ was granted unrestricted access to Pence’s home, and a member of his legal team was present throughout.
According to the source, the scope of the search included looking for documents that the DOJ believed should have been sent to the National Archives, which could explain why six pages of additional material were taken.
According to the source, Pence and his wife Karen Pence were not at home at the time. According to the source, the former second couple travelled to the West Coast to visit their son and daughter’s military families, who both welcomed a new baby this week — the Pences’ second and third grandchildren.
The search came weeks after Pence reported finding a “small number” of classified documents in his Carmel home, and a day after it was revealed he had been subpoenaed in a separate federal investigation — the special counsel’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s bid to stay in office after the 2020 election, and his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill attack.
According to a Justice Department official, the search was a “consent” search agreed upon by the department and Pence’s lawyers, and no search warrants were issued in advance. According to the official, all of the ground rules for the search were agreed upon during negotiations between the Justice Department and the Pence team.
The other classified documents were discovered at Pence’s house last month, following the discovery of Obama-era classified documents in former Vice President Joe Biden’s possession, as well as an FBI search of Trump’s home after his lawyers claimed he’d returned all documents with classified markings from the White House.
During the August search of Mar-a-Lago, more than 100 such documents were discovered, according to Justice Department officials in court filings.
Pence lawyer Greg Jacob said in a letter to the National Archives last month that they found a “small number” of classified documents at the former vice president’s home after Pence asked “outside counsel” to look for documents after such papers were discovered in Biden’s Delaware home.
The documents were “inadvertently boxed and transported” to Pence’s home at the end of the Trump administration, according to Jacob, and the former vice president was “unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence.”
After the classified documents were discovered on Jan. 16, Pence’s team “immediately” secured them in a locked safe, and FBI agents arrived at Pence’s home a few days later to retrieve them, according to the letter.
“Vice President Pence recognises the critical importance of safeguarding sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to fully cooperate with the National Archives and any appropriate investigation,” he said.
Separately, a source close to the investigation confirmed to NBC News on Thursday that Pence had been subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing the Jan. 6 and Trump classified documents investigations.
According to the source, the subpoena was issued on January 6 and not in connection with the document investigation. Smith and Pence’s spokespeople declined to comment.