Former White House communications director Hopes Hicks, the first senior Trump administration official named in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, appeared Wednesday before Congress.
Subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., a rabid Trump critic set on impeaching the president, Hicks is a person of interest to Nadler because of her proximity to President Trump “helping draft the explanation about a Trump Tower meeting between top campaign officials and Russians, and his firing of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former FBI Director James Comey,” USA Today reported.
Hicks is seen in the video below arriving Wednesday morning just before 9 a.m. with her attorney Bob Trout.
Hope Hicks has arrived for her closed door testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. We’ll see how this plays out given the White House counsel’s letter Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/smvZdOQE2h
— Morgan Chalfant (@mchalfant16) June 19, 2019
Upon being subpoenaed, Hicks, who stepped down in March 2018, agreed to answer questions in a closed-door hearing about special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
This is in contrast to former White House counsel Don McGahn, who ignored the committee’s subpoena.
Just as he did with McGahn, Trump asserted executive privilege over any testimony Hicks might be requested to give about her work in the White House, the Washington Examiner reported.
As expected — the White House has written a letter that says Hope Hicks has immunity from testifying about events related to her time as a senior adviser to Trump at the White House — says the president has directed her not to answer q's tomorrow related to that time. pic.twitter.com/Eq0c2ZUVnD
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) June 18, 2019
White House general counsel Pat Cipollone said in a letter to the committee that the longtime Trump aide is “absolutely immune from being compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters occurring during her service as a senior adviser to the President,” according to the Examiner.
Not that Nadler, who’s looking for a re-do of the Mueller investigation, was going to be dissuaded from asking, as he made clear last week.
“Ms. Hicks understands that the Committee will be free to pose questions as it sees fit, including about her time on the Trump Campaign and her time in the White House,” he said, according to the newspaper. “Should there be a privilege or other objection regarding any question, we will attempt to resolve any disagreement while reserving our right to take any and all measures in response to unfounded privilege assertions.”
Early indications suggest that Hicks is being pretty tight-lipped on what she is willing to tell the Democrat-led panel. For the record, she was willing to state her name.
“She is making a choice to follow along with all the claims of absolute immunity,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said, according to Politico. “Basically, she can say her name.”
Dems not happy so far with Hope Hicks appearance. Karen Bass told me “it’s pretty ridiculous” WH counsels are objecting to any questions about her time at the WH, as Nadler goes one-by-one through the questions. Nadler made clear to Hicks and the WH that he views this as “absurd”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 19, 2019
Rep. Pramila Jayapal: "It's a farce."
Rep. Ted Lieu: "We're watching obstruction of justice in action."
Judiciary Dems are livid as Hope Hicks won’t answer questions as basic as where she sat in the West Wing or whether she told the truth to Mueller.https://t.co/QfzHbn4CgW
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 19, 2019
President Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday to say Democrats want a do-over, calling their partisan actions “extreme Presidential Harassment.”
He also asked why they’re not interested in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, which he called “real obstruction.”
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