When former Vice President Mike Pence revealed last week that he had found classified documents at his Indiana home, he immediately informed the National Archives of their existence and FBI agents quickly retrieved them.
The discovery came in the wake of several batches of allegedly classified documents turning up at President Joe Biden's Delaware residence and DC-based think tank; and before that, former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida being raided and agents taking possessions of papers also alleged to be classified.
"The Pence stuff, I think, is the least serious in all this," says Gary Bauer, chairman of Campaign for Working Families. "All the indications are that these were the briefing papers he got before he went on foreign trips. So, they're unlikely to have anything in them that would jeopardize the security of the United States."
Still, Bauer says DC has a serious over-classification problem. Classified material, he explains, used to be limited to information that could deeply harm the American republic if the country's foreign enemies knew it.
"It's gone from that to literally, in some cases, the classifications [now] being used to prevent citizens, Congress, and others from getting to the bottom of things going on in the federal government that need to be overseen and regulated," says the longtime DC observer.
And Bauer points out another name has been dropped in the midst of all the discussion of classified documents. "And this name is of an individual who … was perhaps the worst in handling classified documents and got off scot-free even though they clearly did it," he tells AFN. "The name you may be waiting to hear is Hillary Clinton."
Bauer says as with President Biden, there were no raids on the Clinton's New York estate in Chappaqua – and the FBI gave Hillary and everyone around her a pass.