Vice President Mike Pence hires outside counsel for Russian Federation probe

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a conference on Prosperity.

Vice President Mike Pence has retained outside counsel to help him navigate the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to the Washington Post, ABC News and others.

The White House says Pence will travel from August 13 to August 17. He also served as special counsel to Virginia Sen.

Cullen is no stranger to high-profile federal investigations.

Cullen - who has experience litigating the Iran-Contra investigation, Watergate and the 2000 vote recount in Florida - is a former USA attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Paul Trible, a member of the Senate committee that investigated the Iran-Contra scandal, and his work for Rep. M. Caldwell Butler, a key Republican vote on the House Judiciary Committee who voted in favor of impeaching Richard Nixon during Watergate.

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It appears that decision may have played a large role in triggering special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump for possible obstruction of justice, as the Washington Post reported Wednesday night.

Pence's move follows a decision by President Donald Trump to hire outside counsel Marc Kasowitz and could signal the investigation is entering a new phase.

The probe, which began a year ago as an investigation into Moscow's meddling in the presidential election, has since widened to include prospective money laundering by Trump associates and the possibility that people close to the President were in contact with Russian operatives throughout the campaign.

Comey testified last week that the President demanded loyalty and pressed him to drop a probe into disgraced ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn. He delivered an on-camera statement sharply criticizing James Comey after the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's recent testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.


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