Pence retains outside legal aid, amid special counsel investigation

Claudine Rigal
Juin 19, 2017

Pence's decision comes less than a month after Trump hired his own private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, to help navigate the investigations related to the Russian Federation probe, and a day after The Washington Post reported that special counsel Robert Mueller is widening his investigation to examine whether the president attempted to obstruct justice.

Pence has retained Richard Cullen, chairman of McGuire Woods and former USA attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, the Washington Post reports. Paul Trible of Virginia during the Iran-contra scandal in the 1980s and served on former President George W. Bush's legal team during the 2000 Florida recount, according to KRQE.

Cullen served as a US attorney under President George H.W. Bush and is now the chairman of the McGuireWoods LLP law firm in Richmond, Virginia, according to ABC News.

An American lobbyist for Russian interests - Richard Burt, an ex-ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration who helped prepare a foreign policy speech for Trump - told The Guardian newspaper on Thursday he had attended two dinners hosted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign.

But at Thursday night's congressional baseball game, for which lawmakers were practicing when they were fired upon, Pence said the best of America will shine. Just before the story broke, Trump wrote a pair of angry tweets, suggesting that Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent in the election, should be under investigation instead of him.

Mr Comey said he was "sure" Mr Mueller was looking at whether Mr Trump had obstructed justice.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump's legal team, denounced the Post report, saying on Wednesday: "The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal".

Vice President Mike Pence has claimed that he had no knowledge about the Donald Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation nor was he aware of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn acting as a foreign agent while working for Trump.

Cullen specials in criminal representation and has worked in situations similar to what's happening in Washington now, said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.

Cullen referred all requests for comment to Pence's office.

During his travel, the Vice President will meet with leaders from government and the business community to reaffirm the President's commitment to deepening bilateral trade and investment ties with the region and continue the Administration's support of security cooperation, business engagement, agriculture, and infrastructure development.

The announcement comes amid reports that Mueller's investigation has broadened to include Donald Trump's son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner. In a statement he said: "The people of the United States have a special place in our hearts for the nations and people of Central America, especially in the Northern Triangle of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador". Mueller is reportedly interviewing three top intelligence officials - Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and retired deputy NSA director Richard Ledgett - as part of the probe, as early as this week.

"I believe so", she said, later adding: "I haven't had a specific conversation about that, but I think if he didn't, he would probably have intentions to make a change, and he certainly doesn't".

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