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Pence hires Richmond attorney to aid in Russia probe inquiries

16 June 2017

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

That's according to a statement from Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen.

Cullen will not be paid with taxpayer money, an aide said. The law firm referred questions back to the vice president's office. The vice president made his final decision earlier this week.

The Washington Post first reported Pence was hiring counsel.

Cullen, who has experience litigating the Iran-Contra investigation, Watergate and the 2000 vote recount in Florida, is a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Pence's announcement comes one day after the Washington Post reported that Mueller is investigating President Donald Trump for possible obstruction of justice - an investigation triggered by Trump's shock decision to fire former FBI director James Comey. The investigation is also looking into whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. "There is no evidence of collusion between our campaign and any Russian officials". 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.

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He praised U.S. President Donald Trump's tough stance against illegal immigration, saying it was responsible for a more than 70 percent drop in illegal crossings of the U.S. -Mexico border since the beginning of his administration in January.

"A flourishing economy gives people a reason, a reason to put down roots in the land of their birth and to grow rather than fleeing to the north", Pence said. They declined to say what had sparked Pence's decision to hire an outside lawyer and referred all questions concerning the Russian Federation investigation to Cullen's office.

Examining the possibility of obstruction charges will allow investigators to interview key administration figures including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and possibly Trump himself, said the source familiar with the Mueller investigation.

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

Pence's choice for outside counsel contrasts with the president's. He resigned from the vice presidency in 1973, after pleading no contest to tax evasion.

Marc Kasowitz, the outside counsel hired by President Trump, does not have experience in politically-charged cases.

Pence hires Richmond attorney to aid in Russia probe inquiries