Why Trump, Pence Face Very Different Outcomes in Classified Documents Probe

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling

Former President Donald Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, will likely face different fates for their mishandling of classified documents. 

The Justice Department said it has closed its investigation into Pence and will not seek charges against him, CNN reports

On Thursday, the DOJ sent a letter to Pence’s lawyer informing him that he won’t be charged. 

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department’s National Security Division have conducted an investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information,” the Justice Department wrote to Pence’s attorney. “Based on the results of that investigation, no criminal charges will be sought.”

Meanwhile, the federal grand jury investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents is expected to meet again this week after a hiatus, NBC News reports

Special counsel Jack Smith, which is leading the Trump investigation, and his team of prosecutors have presented evidence and witness testimony to the grand jury. 

Whether prosecutors are close to seeking an indictment is not yet clear. 

So why are the cases headed in different directions? Unlike Trump, Pence was unaware the documents were at his home and cooperated fully, according to his attorney Greg Jacob. When the National Archives and Records Administration said Pence likely had records in his possession, Jacob said the former vice president was “really and willing to cooperate fully.”

By contrast, Trump dragged his feet on returning the material and kept some of the records after saying he had turned over all the information. 

During a search of his Mar-a-Lago residence, the FBI found more than 100 classified documents. 

Prosecutors are also reviewing evidence that suggests Trump and his team tried to obstruct the government investigation. 

Despite the differences in the cases, Trump wrote on Truth Social that he should face a similar outcome as Pence. 

“When am I going to be fully exonerated,” Trump wrote. “I’m at least as innocent as he is.”

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