Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America at the Florida International University on June 15, 2017 in Miami, Florida. The conferance brought together government and business leaders from the United States, Mexico, Central America, and other countries to address the economic, security, and governance challenges and opportunities in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
By Abigail Abrams
June 15, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence has hired outside legal counsel to help him navigate the investigations into possible ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, according a new report.

Pence has retained Richard Cullen, chairman of McGuire Woods and former U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, the Washington Post reports. Cullen also previously served as Virginia’s Attorney General in the late 1990s.

“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,” Jarrod Agen, a Pence spokesman, told the Post. “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.”

Pence’s move to hire his own representation comes a few weeks after Trump tapped his own personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, to help him with the Russia probes. The Post also reported this week that Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the probe, has expanded his investigation to examine whether Trump obstructed justice.

Trump’s team hit back at the obstruction report, with a spokesman for Kasowitz saying that leaking information about Mueller’s investigation was “outrageous, inexcusable and illegal.” He did not, however, deny the Post report.

As for Pence’s lawyer, he will not be paid with taxpayer money, an aide for the vice president said. The vice president’s office also said the decision to hire a lawyer underscores Pence’s cooperation with any inquiries related to the Russia investigations.

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