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- Three potential frontrunner candidates for president are embroiled in classified documents controversies.
- Classified documents were found in the homes of Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and Mike Pence.
- Only Trump has declared a run for president, but Biden and Pence are expected to soon.
Three of the leading contenders for president in 2024 are embroiled in classified documents controversies.
Former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden, and former Vice President Mike Pence each improperly stored classified documents.
In 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a warrant and searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, recovering tens of thousands of government documents, hundreds of which were classified. The Mar-a-Lago raid occurred six months after the National Archives and Records Administration first said the former president had brought home documents to the Florida resort.
Trump has claimed that the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago, though his legal team has yet to provide any evidence to support him. He also recently said that the FBI only found folders labeled classified that were actually empty, but photos released by the Justice Department appear to refute the claim.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland assigned Jack Smith as a special counsel to investigate Trump’s handling of confidential documents in November.
In a shot at Trump, Biden wondered aloud in September 2022 “how that could possibly happen, how anyone could be that irresponsible.”
Less than two months later, Biden’s attorneys informed him that he made a similar error: While vacating an office he used at the Penn Biden Center, his team discovered about 10 classified documents that simply weren’t allowed to be there.
The finding led Garland to appoint US Attorney John Lausch to hold a preliminary investigation into Biden’s handling of confidential documents.
In December 2022, Biden’s attorney alerted Lausch that Biden’s team found more classified documents near the garage of the president’s Wilmington, Delaware home. This prompted Lausch to push Garland to appoint Robert Hur as a special counsel to investigate the mishandling of any classified information by Biden.
After conducting a search of Biden’s Wilmington home, federal investigators then found six more classified documents stemming from Biden’s time in the Senate and as vice president.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that an attorney to former Vice President Mike Pence recently found close to a dozen documents marked as classified at Pence’s home in Carmel, Indiana.
According to the report, Pence asked his attorney to search his home for confidential documents “out of an abundance of caution” following the revelations about documents being found in Biden’s home. After going through four boxes at his home, they found the small tranche of classified documents and alerted NARA.
In November 2022, Trump announced that he’s again running for president, becoming the first major candidate to declare.
“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” the former president said.
And while Biden has yet to officially declare to run for president in 2024, it appears likely he will in the coming months — recent reports have said Biden will wait to announce his entry into the presidential race sometime in February following his State of the Union address.
Pence also hasn’t declared yet, but has stayed in the national political spotlight since leaving office— the former vice president made multiple appearances with GOP candidates across the country in 2022 and has told reporters that he and his family are giving the possibility of a presidential run “prayerful consideration.”