Advisors to former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden He jumped at the news of the discovery of secret documents Indiana home of former Vice President Mike PenceBoth see their own documents as a helpful defense at trial.
Biden’s team has maintained a distinction between him and Trump over the handling of classified documents, and similarities between the Pence and Biden cases helped sharpen that argument in the early fall.
But sources familiar with both cases acknowledged Tuesday new revelations about critical materials found. Pence’s residence serves their purpose.
On the one hand, Trump’s legal team views news of classified documents found at Pence’s home as a positive development for the former president, hoping the discovery, coupled with the special counsel’s investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents, changes the dynamics. A Justice Department investigation into the former president, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Although the circumstances differ in each case, members of Trump’s legal team believe the developments will make it harder for prosecutors to justify bringing criminal charges against any of them, the source said.
Meanwhile, there were Biden officials Relieved by the news, According to sources who told CNN, the Pence news “drops the temperature because it’s a Biden-only story.”
Another source familiar with the investigation compared Pence’s actions in finding classified documents to those taken by Biden. Pence turned over about a dozen documents marked classified Shortly after the FBI found them.
When Biden’s team found classified documents in his Washington, D.C., think tank office in November, they immediately notified the National Archives, which notified the Justice Department, though the discovery was not made public for weeks.
“Pence appears to have followed a very similar initial process to Biden’s in terms of a voluntary review of items and prompt disclosure to the proper authorities when they were discovered, all of which were made public by media reports,” the source said.
The FBI raided Biden’s home months after the first classified material was discovered. Biden’s team found the documents in multiple locations between November and January.
But Trump allies also embraced Pence’s message and believe it further blurs the lines between the three cases.
“They’re all connected in some way right now,” a source familiar with the thinking of Trump’s legal team said, referring to Pence, Biden and Trump.
The Trump team hopes the revelations from Biden and Pence will support their argument that this should not be treated as a criminal matter, but rather an executive review of the White House’s process for handling classified matters overseen by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. .
The special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents is also looking at obstruction of justice. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has begun a review of Pence’s documents and how they ended up at his home in Indiana.
Responding to the discovery of the Pence documents on Tuesday, Trump wrote on TruthSocial: “Mike Pence is an innocent man. He never knowingly did anything dishonest in his life. Leave him alone!!”
Former Trump official says Pence’s classified documents give him Biden’s case
For Biden administration officials and allies who have been besieged over the past few weeks by multiple revelations of classified documents found in Biden’s private office in Washington, D.C., and then at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, Pence’s headline was welcome news — and even quietly celebrated.
As one senior administration official put it: “It’s a Biden-only story so it’s lowering the temperature.”
One hope, the official said, is that the discovery of classified documents at Pence’s home will help underscore that Biden aides are not alone in packing classified documents that should have been transferred to the National Archives.
Another hope: The development could be used by the White House to emphasize that how the situation was handled once the classified documents were discovered is critical — and that the Biden legal team could continue to differ in its handling of the matter. The actions of Trump and his allies.
The White House largely deflected questions about Pence’s message on Tuesday. The decision not to engage publicly in the discovery is related to the White House’s longstanding effort not to engage in ongoing reviews and investigations, an official said, pointing to the need to maintain consistency in that posture.
But there was also a view that there was more value in letting Pence’s development stand alone — a very different tactic than deliberately contradicting Trump’s case.
But it underscored what one official acknowledged as a “helpful example” of another former vice president, who has been dealing with issues that have arisen since leaving office, when he publicly declared he had no classified documents. Possession. Unspoken is the obvious value of the fact that the former vice president served in a Republican administration.
Beyond that, the official added, “we’ll let you make your own decisions about what this means.”
That doesn’t mean officials haven’t been paying attention to developments throughout the day — an effort with a particular interest in Republicans who have led or underwritten the hearings, closely watching Republican responses to Pence’s messages on Capitol Hill. Inside Biden.