Former Vice President Mike Pence.
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Mike Pence says he didn’t take any classified documents with him upon leaving office last year.
“No, not to my knowledge,” he said told The Associated Press during a Friday interview in Iowa.
Pence has called for “unprecedented transparency” into the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday said he didn’t take any classified documents with him after leaving office in January 2021, according to The Associated Press.
Pence made the remarks during an interview with the news organization nearly two weeks after former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida was raided by the FBI, where federal officials retrieved several boxes of classified and top secret materials.
Last week’s release of the search warrant and property list revealed that agents were looking for documents connected to potential violations of the Espionage Act, which bars the unauthorized removal of defense-related information that could aid a foreign government. Trump is also being investigated for potential obstruction of justice violations.
When Pence — who served as Trump’s No. 2 — was asked if he kept any classified information upon leaving the Naval Observatory, he told the news organization that he had not done so.
“No, not to my knowledge,” he said during the interview.
Pence also added that he did not want to rush to any judgment regarding the search.
“I honestly don’t want to prejudge it before until we know all the facts,” he said.
The former vice president conducted the interview in Iowa — a key early presidential nominating state — where he would have to garner significant inroads among the state’s conservative voters in the event that Trump chooses to launch a third presidential bid.
Pence has not yet announced a 2024 presidential campaign, but has been traveling the country since leaving office, giving speeches to conservative groups and speaking out against the policies of the Biden administration.
When asked about Rep. Liz Cheney’s GOP primary loss to Harriet Hageman in Wyoming — where she suffered a considerable erosion of support among conservatives connected to her vocal criticism of Trump — the former vice president said he respected the will of the voters.
“My reaction was, the people of Wyoming have spoken,” he told The Associated Press. “And, you know, I accept their judgment about the kind of representation they want on Capitol Hill.”
“I appreciate the conservative stance Congresswoman Cheney has taken over the years. But I’ve been disappointed in the partisan taint of the Jan. 6 committee from early on,” he added, repeating a popular refrain from Republicans regarding the House panel probing the Capitol riot.
Aides to the former vice president said the committee reached out to his legal team asking if he would be willing to testify before the panel.
And Pence said he would give “due consideration” to making an appearance before the panel, but expressed some concerns about the situation.
“Beyond my concerns about the partisan nature of the Jan. 6 committee, there are profound constitutional issues that have to be considered,” he told the news organization. “No vice president has ever been summoned to testify before the Congress of the United States.”
The former vice president then continued to raise questions about the “unprecedented” move by the Department of Justice to search the residence of a former president.
“The concern that millions of Americans felt is only going to be resolved with daylight,” he said. “I know that’s not customary in an investigation. But this is unprecedented action by the Justice Department, and I think it merits an unprecedented transparency.”