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His birthplace was questioned by racist opponents, his tan suit was ridiculed by ridiculous media pundits, and his legacy was hindered by an obstructionist Congress. Yet Barack Obama was never under investigation for mishandling information that could impact national security, unlike Trump, Biden and former VP Mike Pence.
In the latest turn of events in U.S. politics, the FBI has retrieved classified documents from the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence.
First reported by CNN, the findings came after Pence reportedly asked his lawyer to check his home for any classified documents that might be there. The potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate is cooperating with the Department of Justice and has turned over materials to the FBI, according to multiple sources who spoke with CNN.
The FBI and the Justice Department’s National Security Division are reviewing the documents to determine how they ended up in Pence’s home.
The findings mark the third time a president or vice president has allegedly mishandled classified documents in recent years.
Both President Biden and former President Trump are under investigation by a special counsel of the DOJ to determine how the classified materials wound up in their respective places of residence.
Obama free from Archives investigation
Notably, former President Obama remains the only recent president in the last decade who isn’t under investigation for potentially violating federal secrecy laws.
In August, Republicans blasted the FBI for conducting an unprecedented raid of Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort after they claim Trump refused to cooperate with their search for classified documents.
“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said at the time.
The DOJ ultimately found hundreds of classified materials that Trump was not supposed to take home or that he insufficiently stored at his home.
Months later on Nov. 2, multiple classified documents were found at Biden’s Delaware home and office, according to the Associated Press.
“Since that discovery, the President’s personal attorneys have cooperated with the Archives and the Department of Justice in a process to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are appropriately in the possession of the Archives,” Special Counsel to the President Richard Sauber said in a statement.
As recently as last week, even more documents were found to be mishandled by Biden.
Classified documents take center stage as 2024 looms
Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama has never fumbled the proverbial football, despite the intense criticism he faced as the first Black president of the United States.
Pence’s representative to the Archives Greg Jacob wrote that a “small number of documents bearing classified markings” were accidentally boxed and transported to the vice president’s home, CNN reported.
As Biden, Trump and perhaps Pence prepare for a 2024 presidential run, it’s unclear how the classified documents will be used politically against them.
One thing, however, is certain. President Obama remains free to display a “my name’s Bennet, and I ain’t in it” attitude.
As Democrats and Republicans criticize Biden for his slippery fingers, the way in which presidents and cabinet officials handle classified materials will surely be an important discussion for the foreseeable future.