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Mike Pence hires his own lawyer to navigate Trump’s Russia investigation

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Special prosecutor Robert Mueller has been on the job for almost a month and already Vice President Mike Pence is getting his own lawyer.

According to the Washington Post, Pence wants to be prepared for impending congressional committee inquiries as well as Mueller. The VP’s office released a statement saying that Pence hired Richmond-based attorney Richard Cullen, who once served as a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has spent several months doing investigative reporting into the Russia scandal but she has maintained that Pence’s denials of involvement or knowledge aren’t entirely plausible.

“[H]earing that story — today is the first [he’s] hearing of it,” Pence told Fox News’s Bret Baier about retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

“That cannot be true,” Maddow remarked, launching into a timeline of warnings that Pence received.

“Either they were criminally negligent — or they weren’t and they knew,” Maddow said in March.

The decision comes mere weeks after Trump announced that he has hired his own attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz.

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“There is a consciousness of guilt here,” MSNBC’s Joy Reid said of Trump asking Pence and his attorney general Jeff Sessions to leave the room. “It’s not that he doesn’t understand. Not only does he ask Jeff Sessions, the head of the Department of Justice to leave, he asks him twice.”

Apparently, the hiring of his own attorney took several weeks in which Pence personally interviewed multiple candidates. Trump and Pence are not the only people in the White House seeking legal counsel. Even lower level staffers are being forced to pay $1500 an hour for their own attorneys.

“I can confirm that the Vice President has retained Richard Cullen of McGuire Woods to assist him in responding to inquiries by the special counsel,” Pence spokesperson Jarrod Agen told The Post via email. “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.”

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How Bill Barr will try to destroy his own DOJ report blowing up Trump’s ‘Deep State’ conspiracy theory

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In a column for the Daily Beast, longtime political observer Michael Tomasky warns that Attorney General Bill Barr will continue to act as Donald Trump's personal lawyer and will undercut Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report that is expected to show no "Deep State" conspiracy against the president.

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Impeaching Trump without addressing America’s deeper structural problems will only make things worse: journalist Chris Hedges

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The United States is sick with income and other forms of social inequality. It suffers from cruelty, loneliness, greed, gangster capitalism, white supremacy, violence, sexism and a culture of ignorance and distraction. Our broken political system does not encourage critical thinking or nurture a capacity for responsible, engaged citizenship.President Donald Trump is the human embodiment of almost everything wrong with American society. He is both the symptom and the disease.
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Democrats face critical decision on adding new charges to articles of impeachment

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House Democrats are divided over whether to add special counsel Robert Mueller's evidence to the impeachment process.

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday will hear evidence turned up during testimony from the impeachment inquiry focusing on President Donald Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden, but some Democrats want to expand the process to include the Russia investigation, reported The Daily Beast.

“This office has been abused and damaged in profound ways,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA). “I personally would be for holding him accountable for every bit of it. Not for every grievance we have — I wouldn't include his bad behavior or his offensive rhetoric — but some specific actions that I believe that have abused authority and rise to the level of impeachable offense, in my view, would go well beyond the current Ukraine scandal.”

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