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David Goldman / AP

Vice President Mike Pence has hired outside legal counsel to represent him in the federal government's expanding Russia probe, per The Washington Post.

  • His choice: Pence retained Richard Cullen, a Richmond attorney at the firm McGuire Woods who previously served as a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • The reasoning: Pence's office told WaPo that his choice to hire outside counsel shows that he wants to cooperate with the government's investigation.
  • Pence's place in the Russia story: The vice president claimed that he was misled by former national security advisor Michael Flynn regarding Flynn's contacts with Russian officials — a lie that ultimately led President Trump to fire Flynn.

Go deeper

Senate Democrats reach deal on extending unemployment insurance

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Democrats struck a deal Friday evening to extend unemployment insurance in President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package after deliberating and halting other action for roughly nine hours, per a Senate aide.

Why it matters: The Senate can now resume voting on other amendments to the broader rescue bill.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.