Pence hires counsel to deal with Russia probe inquiries

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during an event celebrating National Military Appreciation Month and National Military Spouse Appreciation Day in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has hired outside legal counsel to help with questions from investigators probing alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Pence has retained Virginia attorney Richard Cullen, who previously served as a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, spokesman Jarrod Agen said.

The Washington Post first reported Pence was hiring counsel.

President Donald Trump last month named Marc Kasowitz, a New York-based trial lawyer, as his private attorney for the Russia investigation.

Special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional committees are investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and suspected Russian efforts to sway the election in Trump’s favor.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that Mueller is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation.

“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,” Agen said in a statement.

“The vice president is focused entirely on his duties … and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter,” Agen said.

(Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by David Alexander and James Dalgleish)

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