DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence mentioned Friday he took no categorized info with him when he left workplace.
The disclosure — which might usually be trivial for a former vice chairman — is notable provided that FBI brokers seized categorized and top-secret info from his former boss’s Florida property on August 8 whereas he was investigating potential violations of three completely different federal legal guidelines. Former President Donald Trump claimed the paperwork seized by officers have been “all declassified”.
Pence, who was requested straight if he retained categorized info upon leaving workplace, advised The Related Press in an interview, “No, to not my data.”
Regardless of the inclusion of fabric marked “high secret” within the authorities’s checklist of things recovered from Mar-a-Lago, Pence mentioned, “Truthfully, I don’t wish to prejudge till I do know all of the details.”
Pence was in Iowa on Friday as a part of a two-day journey to the state, which is internet hosting the primary Republican presidential caucuses. It comes as the previous vice chairman has made stops in different early voting states as he takes steps to stage a White Home marketing campaign in 2024.
Pence additionally weighed in on US Republican Liz Cheney’s major loss earlier within the week to a Trump-backed rival. Cheney, who’s arguably Trump’s most outstanding Republican critic, referred to as the previous president “a really severe risk and threat to our republic” and additional ratcheted up his anger over his function as vice chairman of the Home committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol.
“My response was that the folks of Wyoming spoke up,” mentioned Pence, who was focused within the Capitol that day by indignant rioters, a few of whom chanted “Grasp Mike Pence!” “And, you understand, I settle for their judgment on what sort of illustration they need on Capitol Hill.”
Pence mentioned he had “nice respect” for Cheney’s father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, who served two phrases underneath President George W. Bush.
“And I recognize the conservative stance that Congresswoman Cheney has taken over time,” Pence continued. “However I used to be disillusioned within the partisan smearing of the January 6 committee from the beginning.”
Pence’s aides mentioned the committee reached out to his authorized workforce months in the past to see if he can be keen to testify. Though Pence mentioned he would give “due consideration” to the cooperation, he was adamant that the historic nature of such involvement wanted to be justified and agreed upon.
“Past my considerations concerning the partisan nature of the Jan. 6 committee, there are deep constitutional points that should be thought of,” he mentioned. “No vice chairman has ever been referred to as to testify earlier than the US Congress.”
Talking in additional element concerning the Mar-a-Lago raid, the previous vice chairman raised the chance, as he has up to now, that the investigation was politically motivated and referred to as on Legal professional Normal Merrick Garland to launch extra particulars about what led authorities to conduct the search. .
“The nervousness felt by hundreds of thousands of Individuals will solely be resolved with the sunshine of day,” Pence mentioned on Friday. “I do know that isn’t regular in an investigation. However that is an unprecedented motion by the Division of Justice, and I believe it deserves unprecedented transparency. »
The Jan. 6 rebellion marked the primary in a sequence of public pauses between Trump and his pious former No. 2. However Pence has been cautious to not alienate Republicans who’ve backed Trump however could search one other candidate within the 2024 election. Regardless of his reluctance to criticize the previous president, Pence has sometimes spoken out towards Trump, criticizing the assault on the US Capitol and extra lately urging fellow Republicans to cease attacking the FBI over the Mar-a-Lago search.
“The Republican Get together is the occasion of regulation and order,” Pence mentioned Wednesday at a coverage breakfast in New Hampshire. “Our occasion stands with the women and men who stand on the skinny blue line on the federal, state and native ranges, and these assaults on the FBI should cease.”
Pence mentioned Friday he would decide early subsequent yr on whether or not to run for the White Home, a call his aides say shall be impartial of what Trump decides to do.
After visiting the Iowa State Honest on Friday afternoon, Pence additionally headlined a fundraiser earlier within the day for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and was scheduled to talk to a conservative Christian group and fundraiser. of the Northern Iowa Republican Get together earlier than leaving on Saturday.
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