Russian Federation probe: Vice President Mike Pence hires outside counsel

Posted June 16, 2017

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

That's according to a statement from Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen. The president hired his own private attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz, last month; yesterday, the Daily Dot reported via the Post that special counselor Robert Mueller will widen his investigation to determine whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice.

Vice President Mike Pence started a speech to a Central American security conference by expressing gratitude for the Capitol police officers who defended members of Congress in a shooting that wounded several lawmakers and their aides at a baseball field outside Washington.

As Trump's No. 2 and as head of the transition team, Pence has increasingly found himself drawn into the widening Russian Federation investigation.

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The Washington Post first reported Cullen's hiring. 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.

The president denies doing anything wrong and calls the efforts a "witch hunt". He used to work with former FBI Director James Comey, and he's the godfather to one of Comey's daughters. "We think it's very hard to signal support effectively when you are proposing such draconian cuts", said Geoff Thale, a program director with the Washington Office on Latin America.

White House officials, including Pence, initially gave differing reasons for Comey's dismissal, including that he had lost the confidence of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They declined to say what had sparked Pence's decision to hire an outside lawyer and referred all questions concerning the Russian Federation investigation to Cullen's office.

While a sitting president is unlikely to face criminal prosecution, obstruction of justice could form the basis for impeachment.