The FBI was searching former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home Friday for any classified documents that might be in the house, a senior law-enforcement official told NBC News.
The move comes weeks after Pence reported finding a “small number” of classified documents in his home in Carmel and a day after it was revealed he had been subpoenaed in a separate federal probe — the special counsel’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s effort to stay in office after the 2020 election and role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
The date of Friday’s search was negotiated between Pence’s team and the Justice Department, the official said.
A Justice Department official said the search was a “consent” search agreed upon by the department and Pence’s lawyers, and there were no search warrants issued in advance. All the ground rules for the search were stipulated to during negotiations between the Justice Department and the Pence team, the official said.
The classified documents were found at Pence’s house last month after the discovery of Obama-era classified documents in the possession of former Vice President Joe Biden, and also following an FBI search of Trump’s home after his lawyers claimed he’d returned all documents with classified markings from the White House.
More than 100 such documents were found during the August search of Mar-a-Lago, Justice Department officials said in court filings.
In a letter to the National Archives last month, Pence lawyer Greg Jacob said they’d found a “small number” of classified documents at the former vice president’s home after Pence asked “outside counsel” to look for documents in the wake of such papers being found in Biden’s Delaware home.
Jacob said the documents had been “inadvertently boxed and transported” to Pence’s home at the end of the Trump administration and that the former vice president “was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence.”
Pence’s team “immediately” secured the classified documents in a locked safe after their Jan. 16 discovery, and FBI agents came to Pence’s home to retrieve the documents a few days later, the letter said.
“Vice President Pence understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry,” he said.
Separately, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to NBC News on Thursday that Pence had been subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing probes into Jan. 6 and the Trump classified documents case.
The source said the subpoena related to Jan. 6 and not the documents investigation. Spokespeople for Smith and Pence declined comment.
Michael Kosnar is a Justice Department producer for the NBC News Washington Bureau.
Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.