Mike Pence
Mike Pence Reuters

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has hired an outside attorney to help handle inquiries relating to the federal investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, The Hill reported Thursday.

Pence retained the services of Richmond, Virginia-based attorney Richard Cullen, the chairman of the law firm McGuire Woods, according to the report.

“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 spokesman Jarrod Agen said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

Pence reportedly picked the attorney earlier this week, following a several-week selection process that included interviews with several possible choices.

The Vice President will not use taxpayer funds to pay for the attorney.

The news comes a day after The Washington Post reported that special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the federal probe of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, had expanded his investigation to include an inquiry into potential obstruction of justice by Trump.

It is unknown whether Pence is suspected of any wrongdoing.

Trump earlier on Thursday blasted the reported expansion of the federal probe on Twitter, questioning why former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wasn't the subject of the Russia-related investigations but he was.

“Crooked H destroyed phones w/ hammer, 'bleached' emails, & had husband meet w/AG days before she was cleared- & they talk about obstruction?” Trump wrote, referencing the past investigation into Clinton’s private email server she used as secretary of State.

“They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice,” he added.

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