Mike Pence Hires Watergate Veteran as Lawyer for Russia Probe
Congressional committees are investigating suspected Russian efforts to sway the election in Trump’s favour.
US Vice President Mike Pence has hired outside legal counsel to help with questions from investigators probing the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, a spokesman said on Thursday.
Pence has retained Virginia Attorney Richard Cullen, who previously served as a US attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, spokesman Jarrod Agen said. The lawyer is known for defending government officials in high-profile investigations. Cullen has experience litigating the Iran-Contra investigation, Watergate and the 2000 vote recount in Florida.
The Washington Post first reported Pence was hiring counsel.
US intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow interfered in last year's presidential campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump's favour.
President Donald Trump dismissed as “phony” the idea that his campaign colluded with any Russian effort to sway the 2016 election. Moscow denies meddling in the campaign. Last month, he named Marc Kasowitz, a New York-based trial lawyer, as his private attorney for the Russia investigation.
Special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional committees are investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and suspected Russian efforts to sway the election in Trump's favour.
On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that Mueller is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation.
Pence have seldom addressed the Russia issue, which has overshadowed Trump's efforts to overhaul the healthcare system, cut taxes and boost jobs – priorities that Pence has worked on intensively with Republican lawmakers.
Pence had been looking at hiring his own counsel for several weeks and made his decision earlier this week after interviewing several candidates, his office said.
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. The vice president is focused entirely on his duties... and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter.Jarrod Agen
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