Mike Pence has decided it is time to lawyer up. The vice president has hired a private criminal defense lawyer with his own money to represent him as special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of alleged Russian election meddling continues, the Washington Post reports. Pence was among the advisers Trump consulted before firing FBI director James Comey, a decision that is now being looked at by Mueller, and was also involved in the controversy surrounding former national security adviser Michael Flynn, meaning that while he is not accused of wrongdoing, he could become an important witness. A Pence spokesman says he is "focused entirely on his duties" and "looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter."
Pence's lawyer is Richard Cullen, a former Virginia attorney general and chairman of McGuireWoods LLP. The AP reports that he has plenty of political experience: He was a GOP congressional aide during Watergate, was special counsel to Sen. Paul Trible during the Iran-Contra probe, and was on the Bush legal team during the 2000 Florida recount. Experts say complex investigations like the Mueller probe or the Clinton-era Whitewater investigation are a gold mine for white-collar firms. "Whenever a Washington scandal breaks that comes close to the White House, you have people at all levels scrambling for a good white-collar lawyer," Georgetown University law professor Julie O'Sullivan tells the New York Times.