Vice President Mike Pence hires outside counsel for Russian Federation probe

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

A final decision was made to hire Cullen earlier this week.

Cullen served as a USA attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia before becoming the chairman of the McGuireWoods law firm.

Pence has not come under any particular scrutiny over the course of the Department of Justice Russia investigation.

Comey testified last week that the President demanded loyalty and pressed him to drop a probe into disgraced ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The conference, which lasts until Friday, is expected to bring a diverse group of governments and business leaders from the US and Central Americas together.

Pence's choice for outside counsel contrasts with the president's.

Cullen is no stranger to high-profile federal investigations.

In May, President Donald Trump hired lawyer Marc Kasowitz, who represented the Trump campaign past year and previously represented Trump personally, to serve as his attorney for investigation-related issues. He also has represented banks owned in part by the Russian government.

But obstruction came into play after Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey last month.

Vice President Pence on Thursday visited House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) in a Washington hospital, where he is recovering from a gunshot wound.

The Washington Post first reported Pence was hiring counsel. Trump lashed out at that report at various times on Thursday through his Twitter feed, even recalling language from the campaign to criticize Hillary Clinton as "Crooked H".

  • Audrey Hill