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Pence Lawyer Met With Robert Mueller
According to White House sources, a private lawyer representing Mike Pence had a private meeting with Special Counsel Robert Mueller earlier this summer to communicate the Vice President’s readiness to cooperate with the Russia probe.
The Pence camp has been eerily silent for most of the year on the Russia matter. The closest the Vice President came to the spotlight is when he went on national television and defended Michael Flynn, only for Flynn’s lies to be exposed days later. Pence insists he was lied to about Flynn’s Russia ties, but former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates said she informed the Trump transition team —then headed by Pence — months earlier that Flynn might be compromised and vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
While it may look like Pence is trying to curry favor with the special counsel, meetings such as these are surprisingly commonplace in high-profile investigations. That’s doubly true when the lawyers involved have worked together before, as Mueller has with Richard Cullen, a former Justice Department attorney.
“It isn’t always done, but when a lawyer represents somebody who he anticipates the prosecutors may want to talk to and show that he wants to cooperate, that would be normal,” said William Jeffress, the lawyer who represented I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, during the now infamous Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation.
Pence has been the beneficiary of a President who can’t seem to stay out of the headlines, mostly by design. There hasn’t been much speculation as to whether or not the Vice President was involved in any alleged collusion between the campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, but that doesn’t mean Mueller isn’t investigating those avenues.
While he may be escaping public scrutiny on the matter, it’s clear that, at the very least, Pence knew Flynn had shady connections to Russia and ignored the problem. Do his misdeeds go beyond mere negligence, though? That’s the question Mueller and his team will have to answer.