EXCLUSIVE: Former President Trump defended former Vice President Pence after it was revealed that categorized data had been found in his Indiana residence, whereas additionally telling Fox Information that though he has been “the most transparent” with the investigation into data discovered at Mar-a-Lago, there are “two sets of justice” in comparison with Biden’s case.
Pence knowledgeable Congress Tuesday that he found paperwork bearing categorized markings in his Carmel, Indiana, residence on Jan. 16 from his time as vp.
“Mike Pence is an innocent man,” Trump posted on his Fact Social Tuesday afternoon, which he additionally referred to in an interview with Fox Information Digital. “He never did anything knowingly dishonest in his life.”
He added: “Leave him alone!!!”
Throughout an unique interview with Fox Information Digital Tuesday, Trump mirrored on the FBI’s unprecedented raid of his Mar-a-Lago residence, after months of discussions with the Nationwide Archives and Data Administration over paperwork from his time on the White Home.
“I’m the one that has been the most transparent,” Trump instructed Fox Information Digital. “We were having productive talks with NARA and DOJ.”
“And then, they came and raided us,” Trump mentioned, referring to the Aug. 8, 2022 early morning FBI raid of his personal residence in Palm Seashore, Florida.
Trump mentioned he and his workforce had been working beneath the Presidential Data Act, which governs the official data of presidents and vice presidents that had been created or acquired. The legislation, which was amended in 2014, modified the authorized possession of the official file of the president from personal to public, and established a brand new construction beneath which presidents, and subsequently NARA, should handle the data of their administrations.
Trump had turned over 15 packing containers to NARA in January 2022 of presidential data. The affidavit supporting the FBI’s warrant for the search acknowledged that the FBI started reviewing these packing containers of data in Could 2022 and recognized categorized data in 14 of the 15 packing containers.
The FBI and the Justice Division mentioned the data in June 2022, and Trump mentioned officers visited the premises.
“When they were down here at Mar-a-Lago, they asked us to put an extra lock on the door and we did,” Trump mentioned, referring to DOJ officers visiting Mar-a-Lago in June 2022.
The affidavit additionally acknowledged that after DOJ officers visited Mar-a-Lago, it was requested that the storage room housing the data be additional secured and that data be preserved.
“I said take whatever you want, take whatever you need,” Trump mentioned, referring to his conversations with officers once they visited Mar-a-Lago.
“My case shouldn’t even be a case,” Trump mentioned. “There was no obstruction—that was the opposite of obstruction.”
“But they raided the house. They did it. That’s just the way they are,” he continued. “There are two sets of justice.”
He added: “The FBI has been so degraded by all of this.”
Lawyer Normal Merrick Garland appointed a particular counsel to research the Mar-a-Lago data in November.
On the time, Pence defended Trump, saying the appointment of a particular counsel to research his former boss was “very troubling” and “sent a divisive message across the country.”
Pence knowledgeable the Nationwide Archives on Jan. 18 of a small variety of probably categorized paperwork present in two small packing containers. One other two packing containers contained copies of vice presidential papers. The Nationwide Archives then knowledgeable the FBI per customary process.
After the paperwork with categorized markings had been found, they had been instantly put right into a secure, in accordance with the Pence workforce.
The paperwork had been collected by the FBI at Pence’s residence in Carmel, Indiana, on Thursday night, Jan. 19. Pence was in Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life when the FBI collected the paperwork.
The Pence workforce mentioned that the choice to go looking the previous vp’s residence and workplace of his political advocacy group, Advancing American Freedom, got here after the preliminary revelations that Biden held categorized data on the Penn Biden Heart assume tank.
Classified records had been discovered contained in the Washington, D.C., places of work of the Penn Biden Heart assume tank on Nov. 2, 2022, however solely disclosed to the general public earlier this month.
A second stash of classified documents was additionally discovered contained in the storage of the president’s residence in Wilmington in December, however revealed to the general public earlier this month, prompting Garland to nominate former U.S. Lawyer Rob Hur to function particular counsel.
Days later, further categorized paperwork had been discovered within the president’s residence in Delaware. The FBI additionally performed a greater than 12-hour search of Biden’s Delaware residence on Friday, seizing further categorized data.
Fox Information’ Kelly Laco contributed to this report.