Pence hires outside legal counsel

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Vice President Mike Pence has hired Richmond-based private attorney Richard Cullen to assist with congressional committee inquiries and the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between President Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, the Washington Post reports. Moscow denies meddling in the campaign.

The public comments were followed by a series of private meetings at which officials were expected to discuss such matters as whether the USA will extend the temporary legal residency status of about 200,000 migrants from Central America who have been allowed to stay in the United States without becoming citizens for almost 20 years. DeLay was not charged. He also was part of George W. Bush's legal team during vote recount in Florida during the 2000 presidential election.

That's according to a statement from Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen.

An aide tells NPR the decision to hire an outside lawyer has been under consideration for weeks, and Pence chose to go forward with it earlier this week.

The vice president's office said Pence's decision to retain Cullen underscores his desire to fully cooperate with any inquiries related to the Russian Federation probe and is in line with what Trump has done in hiring Kasowitz.

Islamic law rally by Chicago Trump building
No area of the US has legally implemented sharia, despite false reports on social media that Dearborn, Mich., enacted it. In Harrisburg , Penn., about 60 "anti-sharia" protesters were separated from the same number of counter-protesters.

President Donald Trump responded angrily to reports he is under criminal investigation Thursday, deriding a "witch hunt" against him led by some "very bad" people. As head of the Trump campaign's transition committee, he was involved in the hiring of Michael Flynn as national security adviser. He used to work with former FBI Director James Comey, and he's the godfather to one of Comey's daughters.

An examination of possible obstruction of justice charges was "unavoidable" given testimony by Comey, although the issue may not become the main focus of the probe, the source said.

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.

Trump did not directly address the allegations that he is being probed for possibly obstructing justice, a potentially impeachable offense. He told reporters that the president fired Comey due to the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein shortly before Trump contradicted Pence and other surrogates by telling NBC News he was thinking about the Russian Federation probe when he fired Comey. Any such step would face a steep hurdle as it would require approval by the U.S. House of Representatives, which is controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans.

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