Mike Pence hires outside counsel to deal with Russia-probe inquiries
Mike Pence hires outside counsel to deal with Russia-probe inquiries
Pence hires outside legal counsel
16 June, 2017, 06:22
Speaking before Central American leaders at a prosperity and security conference organized by the State Department and Homeland Security Department here, Pence said he and President Donald Trump were "deeply saddened" when they received the news Wednesday.
Cullen is a seasoned federal criminal attorney with experience relevant to the assignment - he has handled politically sensitive case work as special counsel to Senator Paul Tribe during the Iran-Contra investigation, he is a former U.S. Attorney, and he served on the House staff for Rep. Caldwell Butler (R-VA) during the Watergate investigation.
Pence's hiring of Cullen comes after President Donald Trump retained Marc Kasowitz in May as his own counsel to deal with matters related to the Russian Federation investigation.
He dismissed as "phony" the idea that his campaign colluded with any Russian effort to sway the 2016 election.
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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.
As far as the public knows, Pence is not the subject of, or a person of interest in, any of the ongoing investigations surrounding the Trump campaign.
Vice President Mike Pence noted the presence of 85,000 gang members in those three countries, which make up Central America's so-called "Northern Triangle", and said their activities "radiate outward and reach the United States" while most USA -bound drugs flow through Central America.
Cullen previously served as attorney general of Virginia.
Pence has said very little publicly about the probe. Spiro T. Agnew, Richard Nixon's vice president, retained outside counsel when he came under investigation on charges of extortion, tax fraud, bribery and conspiracy.
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. He resigned from the vice presidency in 1973, after pleading no contest to tax evasion. But he did not hire a counsel during the investigation and subsequent impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
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