Mike Pence just lawyered up


Vice President Mike Pence is complicit in Donald Trump's dealings with Russia, and he's clearly getting nervous.

Vice President Mike Pence has retained outside counsel to deal with the investigation into the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russia, a bombshell that undercuts his carefully crafted appearance of non-involvement.

Pence's decision to hire former U.S. Attorney Richard Cullen comes just one day after officials confirmed special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Trump personally for obstruction of justice in the FBI's investigation.

Pence has long sought to remove himself from the spotlight concerning Trump and his allies' ties to Russia and meetings with Russian officials, but has found himself in an increasing glare as his stories contradict themselves in the unfolding investigation.

Pence first appeared in the Russia probe when Trump fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, ostensibly for lying to Pence about his ties to foreign governments. Pence claimed he knew nothing of Flynn's foreign ties. But it later was revealed that, as head of the transition team's vetting process, he had been made aware of Flynn's conflicts after Democratic Rep. Elijah Cumings (D-MD) sent Pence a letter requesting information on exactly that topic.

Additionally, Pence was outed in another lie by Trump himself, when Trump contradicted Pence's public statements that FBI Director James Comey was fired as a response to the recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Trump told NBC's Lester Holt hours after Pence's press conference that he had fired Comey due to his focus on the Russia investigation.

The lies are adding up, and the case for Pence's complicity is getting stronger. No wonder he called in the legal heavy weights.