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 it as a helpful defense in their own documents investigation.
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 sees the news of classified documents found at Pence’s home as a positive development for the former president, hoping the discovery, combined with the special counsel’s investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents, will change its 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 anyone, the source said.
Meanwhile, 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 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 recently raided Biden’s home, months after the discovery of the first classified material. 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 a way now,” a source familiar with Trump’s legal team’s thinking said of Pence, Biden and Trump.
The Trump team also hopes that Biden and Pence’s revelations 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 material 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 reviewing 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 associates who have been besieged for 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 were not the only ones responsible for packing classified documents to be turned over 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 was related to the White House’s long-standing effort to stay out of ongoing investigations 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 the careful steering of what one official acknowledged was a “helpful example” of another former vice president dealing with issues that have arisen since leaving office. 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 it’s all about.”
That doesn’t mean officials haven’t been keeping a close eye on developments throughout the day — with a particular interest in Republicans who have led or committed to investigations on Capitol Hill, paying close attention to Republican responses to Pence’s messages. Inside Biden.