Mike Pence in Des Moines, Iowa
Former United States Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he took no classified information with him when he left office.< /p>
Mr. 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 former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.
When asked directly if he kept any classified information on leaving office, Mike Pence replied: no, not to my knowledge.
The disclosure – which would typically be trivial for a former vice president – is significant given that FBI agents took 11 sets of classified documents from the property of his former boss on August 8 while investigating potential violations of three different federal laws. Donald Trump claimed that the documents seized by the agents were all declassified and argued that he would have turned them over if the Justice Department had asked.
Despite the presence of material marked top secret in the government's list of items recovered from Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Pence said: I honestly don't want to pass judgment until I know all the facts.
< p class="e-p">On Friday, Mr. Pence also spoke about Republican Rep. Liz Cheney's primary loss earlier this week to a rival backed by Mr. Trump. Ms. Cheney, who is arguably Mr. Trump's most prominent Republican critic, has called the former president a very serious threat and risk to our republic and has drawn the latter's ire for his role as vice president. Chair of the House of Representatives Committee to Investigate the January 6, 2021 Capitol Uprising.
My reaction was, the people of Wyoming have spoken, said Mr. Pence, who was targeted in the Capitol that day by angry rioters, some of whom shouted Hang Mike Pence. And, you know, I accept their decision on what kind of representation they want on Capitol Hill.
Mr. Pence said he had great respect for Ms. 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, Mike Pence continued. But I was disappointed in the partisan nature of the January 6 commission from the start.
Speaking in more detail about the Mar-a-Lago raid, the former vice president raised the possibility, as he has done before, that the investigation was politically motivated and called Attorney General Merrick Garland to release more details about what led authorities to conduct the search.
The worry felt by millions of Americans will only be resolved with daylight, Mike Pence said on Friday. I know this is unusual in an investigation. But this is an unprecedented action by the Department of Justice, and I believe it deserves unprecedented transparency.
A few days ago, while speaking at a policy breakfast in New Hampshire, Mr. Pence urged his fellow Republicans to stop attacking FBI members about the Mar-a-Lago search. At Wednesday's event, he sought to mitigate some of the growing threats to the FBI from ardent supporters of Donald Trump, who are furious that his home was searched.
The Republican Party is the party of law and order, Pence said Wednesday, adding that the party always stands with those who enforce the law. He said these attacks on the FBI must stop.
Mike Pence was in Iowa on Friday as part of a two-day trip to the state, which is set to host the first Republican presidential caucuses of 2024. Pence said Friday he would make a decision early next year on whether to run for the House- Blanche, a decision which, according to his collaborators, will be independent of what Donald Trump decides to do.
After visiting the Iowa State Fair on Friday afternoon, Mr. Pence also headlined a fundraiser. funds earlier in the day for Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and was due to address a conservative Christian group as well as another Northern Iowa Republican Party fundraising group before leave on Saturday.