Even President Jimmy Carter found classified documents in his home after leaving office in 1981

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Former President Jimmy Carter once found classified documents in his home, according to a new report, illustrating the long-running nature of archival control issues currently plaguing President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Carter found the classified documents at his home in Plains, Georgia, and returned them to the National Archives, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The revelation comes as former Vice President Mike Pence also discovered classified documents at his home, saying that, like Biden, he voluntarily handed them over after a search he requested.

Carter, a Democrat, left office in 1981, but it is unclear when the classified documents were discovered in his home and released.

President Jimmy Carter is seen on his last day in office, a turbulent time marked by negotiations to resolve the hostage crisis in Iran

Some time after leaving office, Carter allegedly found the classified documents at his home in Plains, Georgia (above) and returned them to the National Archives

Some time after leaving office, Carter allegedly found the classified documents at his home in Plains, Georgia (above) and returned them to the National Archives

A Carter Center spokesperson did not immediately respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment outside of business hours Wednesday.

Carter himself signed the Presidential Records Act in 1978 – but it did not apply to his administration’s records, only taking effect years later when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.

Prior to Reagan, presidential records were generally considered the private property of the individual president.

Nevertheless, Carter invited federal archivists to help his White House organize his records for eventual deposit in his presidential library in Georgia.

The reported discovery of classified documents allegedly took place at the Carter family home at 209 Woodland Drive – which was built by Carter and his wife Rosalynn in 1960, and is the only home the couple have ever owned.

January 19, 1981 was the last full day of Carter’s sole term in the White House and was marked by a frenzy of activity as his administration wrapped up eleventh-hour negotiations to resolve the Iran hostage crisis.

The fact that Carter, now 98, appears to have inadvertently brought classified documents home to Georgia decades ago only illustrates long-standing issues regarding the control and management of these documents at the highest levels. levels.

The fact that Carter, now 98, appears to have inadvertently brought classified documents home to Georgia decades ago only illustrates long-standing issues regarding the control and management of these documents at the highest levels. levels.

The reported discovery of classified documents allegedly took place at the Carter family home at 209 Woodland Drive, the only home Carter and his wife ever owned.

The reported discovery of classified documents allegedly took place at the Carter family home at 209 Woodland Drive, the only home Carter and his wife ever owned.

The 52 Americans were released the next day, in the early hours of the Reagan administration, but Carter stayed up all night as reports of final negotiations came in.

“As Carter waited in the Oval Office all Monday night for news, White House family servants packed up the last of Carter’s belongings,” he said. Washington Post time state report.

“In the parking lot outside, workers were busy late into the night loading binders onto moving vans. Around the west wing, staff assistants and secretaries were cleaning out their drawers (one found an ‘urgent’ note she had lost three years ago) and taking photos,’ a he added.

The fact that Carter, now 98, appears to have inadvertently brought classified documents home to Georgia decades ago only illustrates long-standing issues regarding the control and management of these documents at the highest levels. levels.

The issue took on new importance in August, when an FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate recovered more than 100 classified documents he had refused to return to the National Archives.

Dozens of classified documents were found in Mike Pence's Indiana home

Dozens of classified documents were found in Mike Pence’s Indiana home

Joe Biden is seen at the White House on Tuesday

Donald Trump is being investigated by a special counsel for his handling of classified documents

Joe Biden (left) and Donald Trump (right) are both under investigation by special advocates for their handling of classified documents

Then, earlier this month, it emerged that Biden had uncovered and turned over classified documents found at his University of Pennsylvania think tank on Nov. 2, before the midterm elections.

A handful of additional classified documents, also related to Biden’s tenure as vice president of the Obama administration, were found at Biden’s home in Delaware during subsequent searches this month.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed special advocates to investigate both Trump and Biden over the handling of classified documents.

Then on Tuesday, Pence’s attorney revealed that documents with classified marks were discovered at the former Indiana home last week.

George W. Bush’s office said he turned over all the classified documents when he left the White House, and Barack Obama’s spokesman declined to say whether a search for those documents was ongoing.

Some legal experts have now concluded that Biden’s clumsy handling of classified material could make prosecuting Trump more difficult – even though the cases appear to be very different.

Biden and his team alerted the Justice Department to the presence of the files and handed them over, while Trump spent months arguing over the circumstances of his own papers.

Pictured are some of the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, following the August 8 raid

Pictured are some of the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, following the August 8 raid

“Politically, it effectively got former President Donald J. Trump off the hook for hoarding secret documents,” wrote New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker.

David Axelrod, a former senior Obama adviser, told Baker that while Trump’s and Biden’s actions are starkly different, “in the court of public opinion” they can be seen as equal.

Trump seizes the moment to play down his own behavior and insists he is being treated unfairly, telling supporters at a rally on Tuesday that he was being ‘harassed’ by a ‘bothered by Trump’ special prosecutor – while Biden ‘gets a white-glove treatment.’

The latest poll shows American voters think Biden and Trump are at fault – although most admit Trump’s actions were more egregious.

Of those polled by ABC News and Ipsos, 77% said Trump acted improperly in handling classified documents, and 64% said Biden did.