Pence will not face charges in the classified documents investigation

The Justice Department declined to pursue charges against former Vice President Mike Pence in an investigation into his possession of classified documents at his Indiana home, it told him in a brief letter Thursday night, according to three people familiar with the situation.

63 year old Mr. The news that the lawsuit would be settled came days before Pence announced his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in Iowa.

Mr. A person who read the letter said it was written to Pence’s lawyer. Based on the results of that investigation, “no criminal charges will be sought,” the person said.

The decision served as a reminder of a conspiracy of enormous consequence that remains unresolved as the 2024 election season gets underway.

Most notably, former President Donald J. The criminal investigation into Trump and Mr. It’s whether Trump and his aides have tried to block the investigation, led by special counsel Jack Smith, after repeatedly resisting efforts to withdraw the sensitive government. Documents. President Biden appointed a special counsel, Robert K. Harr was being investigated by Mr. Although Biden has been very cooperative with investigators.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the Pence investigation. However, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Mr. Trump and Mr. Senior law enforcement officials said the case was not taken seriously enough to appoint a special prosecutor, as it did for investigations into Biden.

After the 2020 election Mr. Mr. For Pence, a staple of his long-running presidential campaign, the decision represents bittersweet justice. An embarrassing episode that threatened his reputation.

From the beginning, Mr. Pence and his team cooperated with authorities, Mr. In stark contrast to Trump, he defied a federal subpoena to return items stored at his Florida residence and resort, Mar-a-Lago.

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In January, Mr. A lawyer for Pence voluntarily searched the former vice president’s Carmel, Ind., home for the documents after President Biden’s aides found sensitive material in an office in Washington and at his home in Delaware.

According to one of his aides at the time, Mr. They were “carefully boxed and transported” to Pence’s home and then returned to the National Archives and Records Administration.

After the FBI raided his home in February and found an additional classified document, his advisers continued to urge his cooperation.

“The vice president has directed his legal team to continue to cooperate with the appropriate authorities and to be fully transparent in the outcome of this matter,” said his counsel, Devin O’Malley.

Mr. Pence and Trump are in legal and political trouble as a result of their odd-couple White House partnership.

In April, on January 6, 2021, in the days leading up to the attack on the Capitol, Mr. Mr Trump and his aides have been indicted before a federal grand jury in Washington. Pence testified for more than five hours. He sought to limit his testimony and avoid appearing, citing the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause, arguing that he was protected from legal scrutiny.

Mr. Trump, citing executive privilege, said Mr. Pence tried to avoid discussing their personal interactions.

Mr. It’s not clear what testimony Pence gave. But Mr. Trump with Mr. Prosecutors were certainly curious about Pence’s connections and Trump advisers, including John Eastman. Chance to stay in office.

On January 6, Mr.

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He became the target of Trump loyalists who stormed the Capitol building that day, with some chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” Someone has set up a fake gallows outside the building.

Former Governor of Indiana Mr. Pence faces significant challenges in his bid for the presidency. He is far behind his former boss and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Instead, he is expected to position himself as a “classical conservative” who will return his party to its Reagan-era brand of conservatism. He would appeal to evangelicals, adopt a tough stance in support of a federal abortion ban, and promote free trade and government regulation.

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