Pence will not be charged in DOJ probe of classified documents found at his home


Former US Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the Nixon National Energy Conference at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda, California, on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.
Eric Thayer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

No charges will be filed against former Vice President Mike Pence in the Department of Justice investigation of classified documents found at his Indiana home.

The Justice Department’s national security division told Pence’s attorney in a letter that it was closing its probe and that it would not file charges based on the “results” of its investigation, NBC News reported earlier Friday morning.

A DOJ official, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter, confirmed to CNBC the authenticity of the letter, which was sent Thursday. Another source familiar with the matter, who also requested anonymity to discuss the probe, confirmed that Pence would not face charges. Pence’s attorney did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

The probe’s conclusion comes less than a week before Pence is reportedly set to announce he is running for president. The Republican primary campaign will put Pence in competition with his onetime boss, former President Donald Trump, who is embroiled in a much larger investigation over classified documents that were stored at his resort home Mar-a-Lago after he left office in 2021.

In January, Pence’s lawyer said a “small number” of classified documents had been found at his home in Carmel, Indiana. The lawyer said Pence was unaware that the documents were there, and that he had engaged outside counsel to search his home for such materials “out of an abundance of caution” following the discovery of classified records at President Joe Biden‘s personal home.

Less than a month later, the FBI conducted a five-hour search of Pence’s residence and found an additional classified document.

Trump, meanwhile, faces a federal criminal investigation into the hundreds of classified documents that have been removed from Mar-a-Lago since he left the White House. An FBI search of the Palm Beach, Florida, resort last August turned up more than 100 additional classified records and a slew of other materials taken by the federal agents.

A DOJ special counsel is leading the investigation into those documents, as well as into the possible obstruction of the probe. Trump has denied wrongdoing and publicly claimed he declassified the records on his property. News outlets reported this week that the special counsel obtained an audio tape from 2021 in which Trump acknowledged that a document he kept after his presidency was classified.

In a social media post Friday, Trump said it was “great” that the DOJ was not bringing charges against Pence, but wondered when he, too, will be “fully exonerated.”

“I’m at least as innocent as he is,” Trump wrote of Pence.

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