The House Judiciary Committee, a panel investigating special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and obstruction of justice charges, have subpoenaed former top White House advisor Hope Hicks for interviewing. They had wanted high-profile interview as part of her public testimony, but after negotiations, a private conversation was agreed upon.
Democrats pushing for the investigation of Trump and his actions during the 2016 election had hoped that Hicks would be able to provide them inside information that had not been presented before, as she was one of the few allowed in Trump’s inner circle.
House Speaker Nancey Pelosi says this in one step of her investigation that could lead to impeachment. While Pelosi herself isn’t pushing for impeachment at this time, over 60 other Democrats, including quite a few who are on the Judiciary Committee, are calling for an impeachment inquiry. Pelosi says she wants the investigation to continue and get the truth out first. Impeachment can wait for her.
Much to the Democrats dismay, things are not going as planned.
For starters, she hasn’t been able to give them any information that they didn’t already know. Hicks was a key witness for Mueller and as such gave him a host of information about her work with the president, specifically during her time on his 2016 campaign. She was also interviewed by both the House and Senate over a year ago during the investigation of the Russian interference.
Another part of their disappointment lies in the fact that she has been instructed by White House officials to not speak of her time spend there in service as an advisor. This comes from White House counsel Pat Cipollone who says that she is “absolutely immune” to giving a testimony about her service of the president as this is part of the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.
According to Cipollone, such testimony from Hicks would impede upon the right to confidentiality that the Oval Office holds as part of its decision-making process.
Democratic Judiciary members disagree with Cipollone saying that her answers cannot be given such a privilege, primarily since she has worked with Mueller before.
Democrat Representative Pramila Jayapal calls it “a farce” and that “basically, she can say her name.” However, he went on to say that she told them she would tell the truth.
And House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) says, “Ms. Hicks is answering questions put to her and the interview continues.
This leads many, especially some Republicans to agree with President Trump when he said that Democrats “are very unhappy with the Mueller Report, so after almost 3 years, they want a Redo or Do Over.”
Representative Doug Collins from Georgia is the top Republican on the committee and says that existence of the Hicks interview should be proof enough that Trump is not stonewalling the committee or Congress.
He also went on to say if they hadn’t taken “a scorched-earth approach to pursuing information” using threats and subpoenas, they would have probably heard from her and others sooner.