A “small number” of classified documents were found in former US vice president Mike Pence's Indiana home last week, his lawyer has said, in the latest twist in a growing scandal over the retention of secret files by former and current high-level officials.
Mr Pence's lawyer, Greg Jacob, told the National Archives in a letter that the documents had been accidentally moved to Mr Pence's home at the end of his four-year term.
“The additional records appear to be a small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently boxed and transported to the personal home of the former vice president at the end of the last administration,” Mr Jacob wrote.
He said Mr Pence had been unaware of the “existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence” and that he “understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to co-operate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry”.
Mr Pence told The Associated Press in August that he did not take any classified information with him when he left office.
Asked directly if he had retained any classified information upon leaving office, he said: “No, not to my knowledge.”
The latest discovery of confidential documents comes after classified information was found at the home of former president Donald Trump and President Joe Biden's house in Delaware.
In both cases, an independent special counsel has launched an investigation into the handling of the documents.
Mr Biden's legal team said it had found classified documents dating back to his time as vice president at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, as well as in an office in Washington.
Last year, authorities said Mr Trump had held on to hundreds of government documents after his presidency ended in January 2021 and the National Archives and Records Administration had been trying to retrieve them.
Mr Trump and his team, who have not co-operated with investigators, could face charges related to breaching the Espionage Act, which prohibits gathering and disseminating sensitive government documents, as well as obstruction of justice.