Former Vice President Mike Pence slammed the “double standard” in how the Justice Department and the national media treated President Biden after the discovery of some classified documents from his time as vice president, compared to the FBI raid at former President Trump’s private residence last year.
Pence told radio host Hugh Hewitt Tuesday that the FBI’s action against Trump was a “massive overreach.”“But having now created that standard and now abandoned that standard when the current president of the United States is found to have had classified documents in his possession after leaving office, I think it just, I have no words right now. It’s just incredibly frustrating to me,” Pence said.
Biden’s attorneys discovered 10 classified documents from his time as vice president in a private office at the Penn Biden Center on Nov. 2, 2022, White House special counsel Richard Sauber revealed Monday. The National Archives was immediately notified of the finding and took possession of the documents on Nov. 3, with the full cooperation of the president’s personal attorneys.
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However, Republicans have compared the situation to how Trump kept hundreds of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida after his presidency. In August 2022, after a month-long dispute over the documents, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago and seized roughly 300 documents with classification markings, including some labeled top secret. Attorney General Merrick Garland personally authorized the seizure.In November, Garland appointed Jack Smith, a career prosecutor, to investigate whether Trump violated federal law when he took classified documents after leaving the White House in early 2021.
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“The decision by the senior leadership of the Justice Department to execute a search warrant against a former president of the United States was wrong. It was an overreach, and I, and as that special counsel goes forward, I’ve said before I hope they take a half-step back and think very deeply before taking any action against a former president of the United States in terms of the message that sends to the world, the message that sends to the people of this country, the divisive nature of that,” said Pence, who is mulling a 2024 bid to challenge Biden for the White House.
“But there’s an old saying in the Bible that what you sow, you reap. And I couldn’t help but think that headline yesterday was an example of the truth of that proverb,” he added.
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The Justice Department is conducting a review of the Biden documents, and U.S. Attorney John Lausch of the Northern District of Illinois has been leading the investigation.
However, Pence questioned why Smith, the special counsel investigating Trump’s documents, was not also instructed to handle Biden’s documents.
“It’s deeply troubling to me,” he told Hewitt.
Pence added that “what they have unleashed now has the threat of coming back on them.”
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“But the willingness of the national media to just turn away and turn a deaf ear to the Biden, to the disclosures that when Vice President Biden left office, he left with classified documents as well, it just shows you, it’s like I said before. If they didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all,” he said.
Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci and Cameron Cawthorne contributed to this report.