Vice President Pence’s visit to Indy met with support, protest

INDIANAPOLIS – Vice President Mike Pence returned to Indiana this week for some home support after announcing he’s hired outside legal help while an investigation takes place.

On Friday, his newly formed political action committee (PAC) hosted the fundraising event at the JW Marriott hotel downtown.

“Happy to have him back,” Brownsburg resident Tim Rushenberg said. “I think he did a great job as governor, and I think he’s doing a fantastic job as vice president.”

But not all Hoosiers are glad to see him return. “No, not at all,” Indianapolis resident Amoni Kinnard said. “I just wish we could do a re-vote again.”

The general election vote is a lingering issue. A special prosecutor is looking into whether the president’s team had ties to Russia during the election.

It’s an investigation that’s forced Vice President Pence to hire his own attorney, Richard Cullen. “Certainly it’s a sign that something serious is going on,” attorney Peter Rusthoven said. “It’s not a sign that there’s any misconduct by the vice president.”

Peter Rusthoven is no stranger to White House legal advice — he served as associate counsel to President Ronald Reagan for four years.

While Rusthoven was paid with taxpayer money, Rustoven says the attorney Vice President Pence hired will not be. “This is an individual knows his way around Washington,” Rusthoven said. “Knows his way around the criminal justice system and brings to his job not just legal skills, but the kind of judgment of how one should respond and deal with a special counsel’s office.”

Rusthoven said the counsel is needed to help the vice president deal with legal questions: “You just want to be guided through the process so that you don’t inadvertently make a mistake when you didn’t even intend to.”

He believes the outside help will stick with the vice president for awhile. “It is a sign that this is not just some one-day story,” Rusthoven said. “It’s likely going to hang around for awhile.”

As for Friday’s fundraising event — it costs upwards of $5,000 to get inside. Outside the hotel, Vice President Pence was greeted to a dozen protesters.

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