Pence on classified documents: 'Mistakes were made, I am responsible'
The former VP claims he took the decision to undertake a search of his home “out of an abundance of caution."
Former Vice President Mike Pence claimed that the classified files found at his Indiana home were due to a mistake, adding that he takes "full responsibility" for the matter.
“Let me be clear: Those classified documents should not have been in my personal residence,” Pence said at Florida International University, in his first appearance after the discovery.
“Mistakes were made, and I take full responsibility,” he stated.
Pence was discussing his new book “So Help Me God” when he made the statements.
Last year, when asked by The Associated Press if he took classified documents when the left office, the former VP answered, "No, not to my knowledge."
The disclosure is important given that FBI investigators confiscated classified and top secret information from his former boss' Florida house on Aug. 8 while investigating suspected violations of three distinct federal statutes. Former President Donald Trump has claimed that the documents seized by agents were “all declassified".
The recent discovery of the documents in the former Vice President's residence piled on top of already ongoing investigations by the Department of Justice into classified documents in the possession of former US President Donald Trump and sitting US President Joe Biden.
Trump called the search of Mar-a-Lago where the documents were found “one of the most shocking abuses of power by any administration in American history," claiming that the FBI agents planted the files there.
On the other hand, Biden expressed his surprise at the discovery of classified documents at his Delaware home and his previous Washington office, however, he said he had “no regrets” about how the news was informed to the public.
Following the recent incidents with Trump and Biden, Pence said he thought “out of an abundance of caution, it would be appropriate to review (his) personal records," in his Indiana home.
Pence said last Friday that he asked his counsel to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice, National Archives, and Congress on the investigation.
"Our national security depends on the proper handling of classified and sensitive materials, and I know that when errors are made, it's important that they be resolved swiftly and disclosed," he said.
“We acted above politics and put national interests first."
The former vice president hinted at possibly running for the 2024 presidential elections, noting that he has been reflecting on the current issues and challenges, blaming Biden's administration for dismantling accomplishments (made while Pence was VP).
“We are giving powerful considerations on what might be next for us,” Pence said. “I am going to continue to travel all across this country. I am going to continue to listen and to reflect."