Friday, 03 Feb 2023

Pence discovery raises fresh questions over US handling of classified papers

Pence discovery raises fresh questions over US handling of classified papers


Pence discovery raises fresh questions over US handling of classified papers

The discovery of classified documents at the home of former US vice-president Mike Pence, following similar incidents involving Joe Biden and Donald Trump, is bringing new scrutiny to government procedures for handling and securing its most delicate secrets.

The latest revelations have led to calls from politicians and analysts for a tightening of how classified documents are handled at the conclusion of a presidency, and a demand for more oversight of the federal agency responsible for securing and transporting them during the handover.

There are also questions whether the US has a problem with over-classification of materials given the number of documents so far uncovered in the possession of senior current and former elected officials.

In both cases, the politicians insisted they were unaware of the existence of the documents and, immediately upon their discovery, their lawyers contacted the National Archives, which in turn alerted the justice department.

Tobias said the episodes also suggested an issue with how the government decides what should be classified.

Representatives of three living former presidents, Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton, told CNN they handed over all classified documents to the National Archives before leaving the White House, as did the office of the late George HW Bush.

Legal analyst Chris Swecker, a former FBI assistant director, told Fox he was concerned that three current and recent occupants of the White House appeared not to have done so.

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