Pence documents discovery sparks scrutiny on US classification system – live | US politics

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It started in August when the FBI carried out an unprecedented search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and carted away boxes of what the government revealed were secret materials he should not have left the White House with.

It appeared the former president was in serious legal peril, particularly once it emerged that he’d sidestepped efforts by the National Archives to retrieve the materials, and after attorney general Merrick Garland said special counsel Jack Smith would look into the matter.

But then, in January, it was revealed Joe Biden had found classified documents from his time as vice president at a former office in Washington DC, and later at his home in Delaware. When it was revealed that the White House discovered this just prior to the November midterm elections but didn’t make the news public, Republicans pounced. Earlier this month, Garland announced the appointment of another special counsel, Robert Hur, to handle the investigation into the Biden case.

Then yesterday, news broke that the former vice president under Trump, Mike Pence, also found classified materials in his home in Indiana. That discovery has prompted something of a tonal shift in Washington, with both Democratic and Republican politicians now wondering if there isn’t a larger issue to be addressed with the government’s classification process – or perhaps its procedures for presidential transitions.

Latest secret document discovery amps up scrutiny of US classification system

Good morning, US politics blog readers. If you worked in the White House, it is apparently hard to leave without taking classified documents with you. That’s the lesson a number of lawmakers are drawing from yesterday’s news that former vice-president Mike Pence found government secrets at his home in Indiana. He is now in the same club as Joe Biden and Donald Trump, both of whom were found to have the same sort of material in their personal possession. For Trump and Biden, the matter is seen as a potentially serious legal threat, but the discovery at Pence’s residence has been met with incredulity by congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, several of whom are now asking if the discoveries may not be a sign that it’s time to take a look at how the government manages its secrets.

Here’s what else is happening today:

  • Vice-president Kamala Harris will be in the Capitol to address the House Democratic caucus, and later in the day travel to Monterey Park, California to meet with families of victims of the mass shooting that occurred there.

  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will brief reporters at 1.30pm eastern time.

  • A group of conservative Republican senators will talk to the press about their plans for raising the debt ceiling in the Capitol at 2pm.

Pence documents discovery sparks scrutiny on US classification system – live | US politics

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