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Pence Hires Outside Counsel For Russia Probe.

As the probe into the alleged Russian meddling in 2016 presidential elections deepens, Vice President Mike Pence has hired his own lawyer to represent him in the special counsel investigation, his office confirmed Thursday.  The lawyer, Richard Cullen, a former attorney general, has previously worked with Pence and he will now help him respond to the federal inquiries. 

"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 promoting the President's agenda and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter," Pence's communications director Jarrod Agen said in a statement, according to (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pence-hires-outside-counsel-to-deal-with-russia-probe-inquiries/2017/06/15/c40ef55c-51f5-11e7-a973-3dae94ed3eb7_story.html?utm_term=.58dc96ef8a2c) multiple reports .  His office said the decision to retain Cullen underscores his desire to fully cooperate with any inquiries related to the Russia probe.  

By hiring Cullen, Pence has followed in the footsteps of President Donald Trump who hired Marc Kasowitz, his long-time legal advisor, in May as his counsel for the Russia election probe. Kasowitz, who has represented Trump for more than 15 years, will now represent him for the federal investigation of the alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia in the presidential elections.  

Read:(http://www.ibtimes.com/why-democrats-interfered-russia-probe-house-dems-blocked-witness-interviews-2546839)  House Dems Blocked Witness Interviews By Intelligence Committee

According to (http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/15/politics/mike-pence-lawyer-outside-counsel-russia/index.html?sr=fbpol061517mike-pence-lawyer-outside-counsel-russia1144PMStoryLink&linkId=38753011) CNN , Pence's office had been in the process of hiring Cullen for the Russia probe for the last few weeks. The decision came a day after the Washington Post reported Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating Trump for(https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/special-counsel-is-investigating-trump-for-possible-obstruction-of-justice/2017/06/14/9ce02506-5131-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?utm_term=.8726958c0571) obstruction of justice. 

Trump lashed out at the Post in a Thursday tweet, calling the report "phony.". 

Who is Richard Cullen? 

Cullen, the chairman of McGuireWoods and a senior litigation partner, has vast experience in defending multinational corporations in investigations conducted by the

Department of Justice, according to (https://www.mcguirewoods.com/People/C/Richard-Cullen.aspx) McGuireWoods' official website . Former FBI Director James Comey, who was recently fired by Trump, and Cullen worked together at McGuireWoods. 

A former Virginia attorney general, Cullen served as the Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia under the administration of former President George W Bush where he directed investigations of financial institutions and defense contractors.  He also worked with M Caldwell Butler, a five-term Republican congressman from Virginia, as his press aide, (http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/vp-mike-pence-retains-richard-cullen-of-mcguirewoods-in-russia/article_ec3c2580-7729-5688-bbe3-3c8e3d72889f.html) reports said. 

Read: (http://www.ibtimes.com/jared-kushner-becoming-center-russia-investigation-2552980) Is Jared Kushner Becoming The Center Of Russia Investigation?

Cullen was also the special counsel to former senator Paul S Trible Jr. (R-Virginia), who served on the Senate select committee investigating the Iran-contra scandal. According to (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/frenzy/iran.htm) the Washington Post , the Iran contra affair was a grand scheme that violated American law and policy. The charges brought by a special prosecutor in 1990 resulted in the conviction of several members of the Reagan administration, including Reagan's national security adviser, Adm. John Poindexter. 

He was also the counsel for Congressman Tom DeLay in the Abramoff bribery scandal. DeLay was cleared in the corruption case, involving White House staff, lobbyists and Bush administration officials, after a six-year investigation in 2010. 

During the 2000 presidential election, Cullen worked with George W. Bush's legal team during the Florida recount.

Tiger Wood's ex-wife Elin Nordegren was also represented by Cullen in the high-profile divorce case with the American golfer. 
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Jun 16, 2017
Words:639
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