Mike Pence hires private lawyer as Russia investigation ramps up

Reports are saying that Vice President Mike Pence has hired an “outside lawyer” to deal with the ongoing Russia probe. The Washington Post reports that Pence hired Richmond, Virginia-based attorney Richard Cullen, the chairman of the law firm McGuire Woods.

“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 said in a statement. “The Vice President is focused entirely on his duties and promoting the President’s agenda and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter.”

According to the Post, Pence will pay for the lawyer with means other than tax-payer funds. Pence’s lawyering up comes just a month after President Trump hired his own personal attorney to deal with the Russia probe. The development comes on the heels of news that revealed special counsel Robert Mueller has expanded the investigation to look into whether or not Trump obstructed justice.

From The Hill:

Trump has come under increased scrutiny over the past month in the wake of his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the federal investigation into Russian election meddling before he was ousted in early May.

In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that aired days after Comey’s termination, Trump acknowledged that the Russia probe was on his mind when he decided to fire the FBI chief. News reports later revealed that Trump had told visiting Russian officials that firing Comey relieved him of “great pressure” because of the investigation.

Back in May, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow implicated Pence as a main player in the Russia story and labeled his denials surrounding questions on the Trump campaign’s Russian contacts to be misleading. “When [Pence] said there were no contacts, there were multiple contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials while the Russians were attacking the U.S. presidential election,” Maddow said.

“Vice President Mike Pence has made a number of blunt … direct, false statements related to the Trump-Russia investigation, both during the transition and since he’s been vice president.”

Featured image: Michael Vadon (Flickr)

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.