EXCLUSIVE: Former President Trump defended former Vice President Pence after it was revealed that classified records were discovered at his Indiana home, also telling Fox News that while he has been “the most transparent” with the investigation of the records found in Mar- a-Lago, there are “two sets of fairness” compared to the Biden case.
Pence informed Congress Tuesday that he discovered documents with classified markings at his Carmel, Indiana, home on Jan. 16 from his time as vice president.
“Mike Pence is an innocent man,” Trump posted on his Truth Social Tuesday afternoon, which he also referred to in an interview with Fox News Digital. “He never knowingly did anything dishonest in his life.”
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE DISCOVERS CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS IN AN INDIANA HOUSE
And he added: “Leave him alone!!!”
During an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital on Tuesday, Trump reflected on the unprecedented FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago home, after months of discussions with the National Archives and Records Administration over documents from his time at the White House.
“I am the one that has been the most transparent,” Trump told Fox News Digital. “We had productive discussions with NARA and DOJ.”
“And then, they came and raided us,” Trump said, referring to the early morning FBI raid on August 8, 2022, of his private residence in Palm Beach, Florida.
PENCE CALLS THE APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE TRUMP ‘VERY CONCERNING’
Trump said that he and his team were operating under the Presidential Records Act, which governs the official records of presidents and vice presidents that are created or received. The law, which was amended in 2014, changed the legal ownership of the president’s official record from private to public and established a new structure under which presidents, and later NARA, must manage the records of their administrations.
Trump had delivered 15 boxes to NARA in January 2022 from presidential records. The affidavit supporting the FBI’s search warrant indicated that the FBI began reviewing those boxes of records in May 2022 and identified classified records in 14 of the 15 boxes.
The FBI and the Justice Department discussed the records in June 2022, and Trump said officials visited the facility.
“When they were here at Mar-a-Lago, they asked us to put an extra lock on the door and we did,” Trump said, referring to Justice Department officials who visited Mar-a-Lago in June 2022.
The affidavit also indicated that after Justice Department officials visited Mar-a-Lago, it was requested that the storage room that housed the records be further secured and that the records be preserved.
“I said take what you want, take what you need,” Trump said, referring to his conversations with officials when they visited Mar-a-Lago.
“My case shouldn’t even be a case,” Trump said. “There was no obstruction, that was the opposite of obstruction.”
“But they raided the house. They did it. That’s how they are,” she continued. “There are two sets of justice.”
He added: “The FBI has been so demeaned by all of this.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special attorney to investigate the Mar-a-Lago records in November.
At the time, Pence defended Trump, calling the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate his former boss “very concerning” and “sending a divisive message across the country.”
FBI SAID IT HAD ‘PROBABLE CAUSE’ TO BELIEVE ADDITIONAL CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS REMAINED AT MAR-A-LAGO, AFFIDAVIT SAYS
Pence informed the National Archives on January 18 of a small number of potentially classified documents found in two small boxes. Two other boxes contained copies of the vice-presidency’s documents. The National Archives then informed the FBI under standard procedure.
After the documents with classified markings were discovered, they were immediately placed in a safe, according to Pence’s team.
The FBI collected the documents at Pence’s home in Carmel, Indiana, on Thursday night, January 19. Pence was in Washington, DC for the annual March for Life when the FBI collected the documents.
Pence’s team said the decision to search the home and office of the former vice president of his political advocacy group, Advancing American Freedom, came after initial revelations that Biden had classified records at the Penn Biden Center think tank.
DOJ INFISCATES MORE CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS FROM BIDEN’S WILMINGTON HOUSE AFTER 12-HOUR FBI SEARCH
The classified records were found inside the Washington, DC, offices of the Penn Biden Center think tank on November 2, 2022, but were only released to the public earlier this month.
BIDEN AND HUNTER MAKE PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY AS FIRST FATHER-SON DUO UNDER SEPARATE INVESTIGATIONS
A second cache of classified documents was also found inside the garage of the president’s home in Wilmington in December but revealed to the public earlier this month, prompting Garland to appoint former federal prosecutor Rob Hur as special counsel.
Days later, additional classified documents were found at the president’s home in Delaware. The FBI also conducted a more than 12-hour search of Biden’s Delaware home on Friday, seizing additional classified records.
Fox News’ Kelly Laco contributed to this report.