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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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‘Officially worse than 9/11’: Americans react as US coronavirus deaths surge to 3000

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Overnight coronavirus deaths in the U.S. surged, increasing by 565 to over 3000. There have now been 3148 coronavirus deaths in America, as the total number of confirmed cases grew by almost 20,000 to 163,479.

Americans are struggling to grasp what lies ahead. On Monday coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx revealed the federal government now predicts the best case scenario will be 100,000 to 200,000 COVID-19 deaths.

"If we do things together well ... we could get in the range of 100,000-200,000 fatalities. We don't even want to see that." -Dr. Birx

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Trump abandoned his Easter re-opening after advisers showed him devastating poll numbers: report

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On Monday, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump quietly backed off his repeated pledge that he would like to have businesses and normal economic activity reopen by Easter — and identified a key reason that he changed his mind.

"The numbers the health officials showed President Trump were overwhelming. With the peak of the coronavirus pandemic still weeks away, he was told, hundreds of thousands of Americans could face death if the country reopened too soon," wrote Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman. "But there was another set of numbers that also helped persuade Mr. Trump to shift gears on Sunday and abandon his goal of restoring normal life by Easter. Political advisers described for him polling that showed that voters overwhelmingly preferred to keep containment measures in place over sending people back to work prematurely."

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NYU doctors told they can withhold ventilators from some patients — and warned them not to tell the press

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On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that New York University's Langone Health has told emergency room doctors that they have "sole discretion" over who gets to use ventilators, and that they are empowered to "think critically about who we intubate" and "withhold futile intubations."

The email, sent out on March 28 from ER chief Dr. Robert Femia, also warned that doctors who talk to the press about this policy could face discipline.

NYU Langone Health spokesman Jim Mandler said Dr. Femia’s email was merely reiterating policy that is always in place at the hospital, and added that the center is "not at the point in which these judgments need to be made within the current scope of care."

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