Several Fox News hosts were quick to downplay the significance appearance of classified documents at the home of former vice president Mike Pence, in stark contrast to their reaction when news broke that classified materials had been discovered at Joe Biden’s home and former office.

Pence’s lawyers confirmed that a “small number of documents” were found inside boxes at his Indiana home last week, which have since been returned to the National Archives.

The discovery of the boxes coincides with former President Donald Trump being under criminal investigation for failing to hand over hundreds of classified and top secret documents found at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Biden is also under scrutiny after sensitive materials were discovered at his Delaware home and a Washington D.C. office the president previously used.

Rather than openly criticize Pence for having classified materials at an insecure location, something conservative figures have frequently condemned Biden for, Fox News hosts suggested there are key differences in how Pence handled the materials.

mike pence fox news
Former vice president Mike Pence speaks during an event to promote his new book in Washington, D.C. on October 19, 2022. Several Fox News hosts were quick to downplay the significance of classified documents found at Pence’s home, in stark contrast to how they reported on materials discovered at Joe Biden’s home and former office.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

During his PrimeTimeshow on Tuesday, Jesse Watters suggested that Biden “doesn’t look good” when compared to Pence. Watters also noted that the Republican did not attempt to “hide” the discovery of the documents at his home, which the White House was accused of doing for Biden after the first batch of Obama-era materials were found in November, just days before the midterms.

“Biden says he was in a rush to pack up his stuff after his vice presidency,” Watters said. “Wait a second. I think Mike Pence was in a little bit more of a rush. Remember that transition?

“Biden knew he was leaving the White House. It had been eight years. You’re not allowed to stay any longer. Pence was looking around saying ‘Wait, is Trump going to pull this off?'”

Watters also defended Pence’s character in suggesting his actions were not as severe as Biden’s.

“We’re talking about Mike Pence here. Pence won’t even be alone with another woman if his wife’s not in the room,” Watters said. “Mike Pence still has a library card. Pence has never even returned a library book late in his life. While Joe Biden is a serial liar and plagiarist who lies every time he opens his mouth. One of these guys gets the benefit of the doubt and one doesn’t.”

Nevertheless, Watters expressed his frustration that the discovery of the classified documents could take the heat off Biden. During Tuesday’s episode of The Five on Fox News he said: “I mean, Pence, seriously. We have this great thing going with Joe.”

Co-host Greg Gutfeld responded: “Yeah, and he just ruined it.”

Watters also asked why Pence “confessed” to having the documents when he “could’ve just destroyed it. We never would’ve known”—an act which could amount to destroying evidence.

“Now we have to show both sides. And you know Pence is so clean. Squeaky clean. It’s nothing like the real bad documents that Joe Biden was squirreling away,” Watters added.

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham also commented on the Pence classified documents story, suggesting it is “curious” that the Department of Justice has not searched former President Barack Obama‘s homes or offices for documents.

Sean Hannity also used the Pence incident to suggest the real issue is “how was Hillary Clinton treated” during her private email server investigation.

One Fox News host who was less supportive of Pence was Tucker Carlson.

During his Tuesday night show, Carlson questioned why Pence was so open to revealing he was in possession of classified documents, and seemingly not worried about facing possible prosecution.

“Pence didn’t seem embarrassed about it at all. In fact, he almost bragged about it,” Carlson said, noting how Pence told the FBI, National Archives, and congressional leaders that his lawyers found the sensitive materials at his home.

“So clearly, Mike Pence is not worried about being punished for keeping secret documents in his home. And that’s strange in a country where all laws are supposed to apply equally to all people. But Mike Pence is not worried about FBI raids. And that’s interesting. Maybe someday we’ll learn why.”

Mike Pence has been contacted for comment.

newsweek