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First on CNN .. Secret documents were found in the home of the former US Vice President

(CNN) — A lawyer for former US Vice President Mike Pence discovered about a dozen classified documents at Pence’s home in Indiana last week. He turned these classified documents over to the FBI, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

The FBI and the Justice Department’s National Security Division have launched a review of the documents and an audit of how they ended up at Pence’s home in Indiana.

The sources said that Pence’s lawyer discovered the confidential documents in Pence’s new home in Indiana, following the disclosure of classified materials that were discovered in the private office and residence of President Joe Biden. The discovery comes after Pence has repeatedly said that he does not have any classified documents.

It is not yet clear what documents are involved, their level of sensitivity, or their classification. Pence’s team plans to notify Congress on Tuesday.

Pence asked his lawyer to conduct a search of his home out of great caution, and the lawyer began examining four boxes stored in his home last week, where he found a small number of confidentially marked documents, according to the sources.

The sources said Pence’s lawyer immediately alerted the National Archives. In turn, the archive informed the Ministry of Justice.

Pence’s lawyer told CNN that the FBI requested access to the marked documents that evening, and Pence agreed. The attorney said agents from the FBI’s Indianapolis field office picked up the documents from Pence’s home.

On Monday, Pence’s legal team returned the boxes to Washington, D.C., and turned them over to the Archives for review of the remaining materials for compliance with the Presidential Records Act.

In a letter to the National Archives obtained by CNN, Pence’s representative at the Archives, Greg Jacob, wrote that “a small number of documents marked classified” were inadvertently wrapped and taken to the vice president’s home.

“Vice President Pence was not aware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents in his personal home,” Jacob wrote. “Vice President Pence understands the paramount importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry.”

The classified materials were stored in boxes that first went to Pence’s temporary home in Virginia before being transported to Indiana, according to the sources. The boxes were not in a secure area, but once the secret documents were discovered, sources said they were placed inside a safe in the house.

Pence’s office in Washington, D.C., was also searched, Pence’s lawyer said, and no classified materials or other records covered by the Presidential Records Act were discovered.

The news about Pence comes as advisers who specialize in handling classified documents by Biden and former President Donald Trump are investigating. The revelations also come amid speculation that Pence is preparing to run for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.

Since the FBI searched Trump’s home in Florida for classified materials in August with a search warrant, Pence said he did not keep any classified materials when he left office. At the time, Pence told the Associated Press, “No, not as far as I know.”

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