Pence hires counsel to deal with Russia probe inquiries

Caroline Beck
Июня 16, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence started a speech to a Central American security conference by expressing gratitude for the Capitol police officers who defended members of Congress in a shooting that wounded several lawmakers and their aides at a baseball field outside Washington.

The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that Pence has hired outside counsel to represent him during the Russian Federation probe.

Cullen served as a USA attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia before becoming the chairman of the McGuireWoods law firm.

Mr. Trump has retained his own private legal counsel, as Mueller goes forward with the "witch hunt" Russian Federation probe, as the president has called it.

"I can confirm that the Vice President has retained Richard Cullen of McGuire Woods to assist him in responding to inquiries by the special counsel", Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen told the Post in an email.

Vice President Mike Pence, seen during an April press conference in Sydney, Australia. "There is no evidence of collusion between our campaign and any Russian officials".

Cullen was also on the staff of former Rep. M Caldwell Butler, R-Virginia, who was a freshman congressman when he voted to impeach then-President Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal.

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether anyone on Trump's campaign, or associated with it, with him or with any of his businesses, may have had any illegal dealings with Russian officials or others with ties to the Kremlin, said one US official familiar with the rough outlines of the probe who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Cullen's hiring was first reported by the Washington Post. The vice president was kept in the dark for almost two weeks about Flynn's false statements before learning the truth in a Post report.

USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow interfered in last year's presidential campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump's favor. The move comes just one day after it was announced that President Donald Trump is being investigated for obstruction of justice.

Pence has said very little publicly about the probe.

The vice president's office said Pence is committed to cooperating in the investigation, and he hired lawyer Richard Cullen so Pence could continue to focus on the administration's goals.

A sitting vice president choosing to hire an outside lawyer is not without precedent.

And Vice President Dick Cheney consulted Terrence O'Donnell, a partner at Williams & Connolly, on several issues during his time in the Bush administration.

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