Politics

Mike Pence Hires Lawyer For Trump-Russia Investigations

| by Michael Allen

Vice President Mike Pence has hired an outside lawyer to help deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the possible collusion between the Russian government and the Donald Trump campaign, as well as congressional committee investigations.

Jarrod Agen, a Pence spokesman, confirmed Pence's decision to The Washington Post via email.

"I can confirm that the Vice President has retained Richard Cullen of McGuireWoods to assist him in responding to inquiries by the special counsel," Agen wrote. "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."

Cullen is a former U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.

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Trump also hired his personal lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz, who has represented him on divorce issues, Trump University fraud cases and real estate deals, reported The Washington Post on May 23.

Kasowitz reportedly told White House personnel there was no need for them to hire lawyers, according to an unidentified source, but Pence’s decision to hire an outside lawyer may cause White House aides to lawyer up, as well.

In a separate report, The Washington Post notes that Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner's business dealings and finances.

Kushner, who previously worked in real estate, is Trump's son-in-law and a White House advisor.

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Jamie Gorelick, Kushner's lawyer, issued a statement to The Washington Post via email.

"It would be standard practice for the Special Counsel to examine financial records to look for anything related to ­Russia," Gorelick said. "Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about ­Russia-related matters. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry."

Trump tweeted on June 15 about how Mueller's investigation is "the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history," that is "led by some very bad and conflicted people!"

Trump also brought up Hillary Clinton in another tweet: "Crooked H destroyed phones [with] hammer, 'bleached' emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared -- & they talk about obstruction?"

Investigators have previously checked into Kushner's meetings in December 2016 with Sergey Gorkov, who heads the Russian-owned bank Vnesheconombank, and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, notes The Washington Post.

U.S. officials, who have seen intelligence reports, said Kushner suggested to Kislyak that a secure communications line could be set up between a Russian diplomatic facility and Trump.

According to the White House, Kushner's meeting with Gorkov was not related to business, but was rather a pre-inauguration diplomatic discussion.

Vnesheconombank was sanctioned by the U.S., under the Barack Obama administration, after Russia annexed Crimea.

Vnesheconombank said the meeting was about business matters, as Kushner was in charge of his family's real estate corporation at the time.

Kushner has agreed to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding his Russian contacts.

Sources: The Washington Post (23) / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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