FBI’s Wray laments frequency of classified document mishandling
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday lamented the frequent mishandling of classified documents, following the recent discovery of classified materials at former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home.
“We have had, for quite a number of years, any number of mishandling investigations,” Wray said at a press conference on Thursday. “That is unfortunately a regular part of our counterintelligence divisions’, counterintelligence programs’ work.”
The “small number of documents” found at Pence’s home follow a series of classified document discoveries that have plagued President Biden and former President Trump.
“People need to be conscious of the rules regarding classified information and appropriate handling,” Wray added. “Those rules are there for a reason.”
In the wake of the slew of discoveries, the National Archives has reportedly asked former presidents and vice presidents to search their personal records to ensure they do not “inadvertently” contain any presidential records, including classified materials, according to CNN.
Pence’s attorney said in a letter notifying the Archives of the documents’ discovery last week that the former vice president had brought in outside counsel to review his personal records after several classified documents were found at Biden’s Wilmington, Del., home and former Washington, D.C., office.
The White House confirmed this month that several documents with classified markings had been found in November at an office used by Biden for several years after his vice presidency. Additional searches of Biden’s homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Del., turned up several more documents.
Trump has also been plagued with issues over his handling of classified documents, although on a larger scale. Some 300 classified documents were retrieved from the former president’s residence at Mar-a-Lago over the course of last year, about 100 of which were recovered in an FBI search of the property in August.
The Justice Department sought a search warrant for Trump’s property last summer, amid concerns that the former president had failed to turn over all remaining classified materials despite being subpoenaed earlier that year.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed special counsels to lead investigations into both Trump’s and Biden’s handling of classified materials.
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