Mike Pence has decided to be proactive concerning the special investigation into Russian ties to the Trump administration. He has retained an outside attorney. Richard Cullen, a former U.S. attorney, who is now based out of Richmond, VA has been hired by Pence. The Vice President made this decision after a lengthy and careful interview process involving several law firms over the last few weeks.
Cullen will also be providing assistance to Pence with regards to questioning by Congressional committees. An aide to Vice President Pence stated that Cullen would not be paid with money from tax revenue.
Pence’s decision could trigger a domino effect among others in President Trump’s administration, as some realize that the protection of an attorney might be wise in the event of a subpoena. Pence finds himself in the middle of what could end up being an obstruction of justice charge against the president in the Russian investigation because Pence himself was lied to by former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn:
After privately being assured by Flynn that he had never had any discussions about Russian sanctions with that country’s ambassador, Pence went on TV in mid-January and publicly parroted Flynn’s denial. But on Jan. 26, President Trump and a small group of senior aides learned that the Justice Department had evidence that Flynn had, in fact, discussed sanctions and misled the vice president.
If Pence, who has no Russian ties that can be found, has calculated that it is necessary to protect himself with outside legal aid, it doesn’t bode well for other parties in Trump’s administration.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared before the Congressional Committee investigating Russian ties. In a departure from his usual calm and controlled demeanor, Sessions was hostile and angry throughout a good portion of his testimony. Some questions that he was asked by the panel were either brushed aside with an “I do not recall” response, or a flat out refusal to answer. AG Sessions may be second guessing now whether he should have hired his own counsel. He was told that he may be called to testify again by the committee.
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who was appointed to replace James Comey whom Trump fired, seems to be moving efficiently through his own witness list. He plans on interviewing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and NSA Director Mike Rogers very soon. This information was made available on the condition of anonymity of a person or persons who were present at a meeting this week.
“The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal,” Mark Corallo, the spokesman for Trump’s legal team, said in an email on Wednesday.”
But in spite of the Trump’s lawyer being concerned with FBI leaks, the president continues to tweet without restraint. Just this morning he tweeted,
Robert Mueller will continue to move along in his investigation, unimpeded by tweets and threats, unless he gets fired by the president; something that has been denied as a possibility at least as of yesterday. If Mueller finds obstruction of justice to be a valid charge, his investigation will likely get turned over to Congress. They will in turn need to decide whether or not to impeach the president. Then the question that hangs in the air becomes: Will the investigation be slow enough for the midterms to come into play?
Janice Barlow is a true crime author. Her books are on Amazon in soft cover and Kindle format.