Vice President Pence hires outside legal counsel

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has hired outside legal counsel to oversee his response to investigations into possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Pence’s office confirmed Thursday that he retained Richard Cullen, chairman of McGuireWoods LLP, to assist him in responding to inquiries by special counsel Robert Mueller.

“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,” Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen said in a statement.

Cullen previously served as Virginia attorney general and U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The president has also hired outside counsel, attorney Marc Kasowitz, to handle Russia-related inquiries.

The special counsel and congressional committees are investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible connections with Trump’s campaign.

The president denies doing anything wrong and calls the efforts a “witch hunt.”

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