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Justice Department won't seek criminal charges for classified docs found at former VP Mike Pence's Indiana home

The FBI discovered documents with classified markings at Pence ’s Carmel, Indiana home in January and February.

CARMEL, Ind. — The Department of Justice has closed its investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents found at former Vice President Mike Pence's Indiana home.

The DOJ sent a letter to Pence's attorney Thursday informing him that, after an investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information, no criminal charges will be sought.

A Justice Department official confirmed the authenticity of the letter to Pence's lawyer.

The former vice president and Indiana governor is launching his widely expected campaign for the Republican nomination for president in Iowa next week.

Pence will hold a kickoff event in Des Moines on June 7, the date of his 64th birthday, according to two people familiar with his plans who spoke on condition of anonymity to share details ahead of the official announcement. He'll also release a video message as part of the launch.

The FBI discovered documents with classified markings at Pence ’s Carmel, Indiana home in January and February.

Pence is the third current or former top U.S. official, joining former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, to have their homes scoured by FBI agents for classified records. The willingness of Pence and Biden to permit the FBI to search their homes, and to present themselves as fully cooperative, reflects a desire by both to avoid the drama that enveloped Trump last year and resulted in the Justice Department having to get a warrant to inspect his Florida property.

The FBI had already taken possession of what Pence’s lawyer previously described as a "small number of documents" that had been “inadvertently boxed and transported” to Pence's Indiana home at the end of the Trump administration.

Pence, according to his lawyer Greg Jacob, had requested a review by his attorneys of records stored at his home “out of an abundance of caution” during the uproar over the discovery of classified documents at Biden's home and former private office. When the Pence documents were discovered, Jacob said, they were secured in a locked safe and reported to the National Archives. FBI agents then collected them.

Material found in the boxes came mostly from the Naval Observatory residence where Pence lived while he was vice president. Other material came from a West Wing office drawer.

Pence has said he was unaware the documents had been in his possession.

“Let me be clear: Those classified documents should not have been in my personal residence,” Pence said recently at Florida International University. “Mistakes were made, and I take full responsibility.”

“We acted above politics and put national interests first," he said.

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