On the same day that House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote a blistering op-ed slamming the Trump administration for its deliberate lack of cooperation with his committee’s probes into multiple areas of investigation, his counterpart on the Judiciary Committee, Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) announced that he had secured the cooperation of Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director who had a long history working at the Trump Organization before her White House tenure.
Congressman Nadler said that Hicks would be delivering documents to his committee which is investigating the charges of potential obstruction of justice by the White House, according to a report by CNN.
Nadler had sent a letter containing an exhaustive list of topics of interest that it was seeking documents concerning, including “any personal or work diary, journal or other book containing notes, a record or a description of daily events” related to Trump, his campaign, his family business, and the executive office of the President, particularly anything about “former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s false statements to the FBI, the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, Trump’s involvement in a hush-money scheme to silence stories about his alleged affairs and the drafting of a misleading 2017 statement to the media about Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with Russians.”
As is the case with document requests by Representative Cummings at the Oversight Committee, Congressman Nadler has not received any requested documents from the White House despite having designated this past Monday as the deadline for submission.
With Congressman Cummings accusing the administration of stonewalling Congress in the face of its constitutionally mandated oversight responsibilities, Hick’s cooperation was refreshing news. However, it is still unclear exactly how extensive her cooperation will be.
Hicks has previously testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee, but that was last year when the House was still run by a Republican majority intent on deflecting any real investigations into the administration and when she was still a White House staffer.
In that appearance, Hicks was willing to speak about her experiences during the Trump campaign and the transition, but not about her time in the White House, presumably due to claims of executive privilege. She did, however, acknowledge that she sometimes had to tell “white lies” in her work as communications director, and — “coincidentally” according to the administration — her resignation was announced the day after her testimony.
Chairman Nadler has sent letters to “81 individuals and entities to provide information to the panel as part of his investigation into possible abuses of power, corruption, and obstruction of justice,” according to CNN. As of the Monday deadline, only eight responses had been received by the committee, but Democratic aides to the panel expect more to arrive shortly.
Among the others who have agreed to cooperate with the Judiciary Committee are former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon; AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer; Ike Kaveladze, a Russian American who attended the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort; and Felix Sater, the former Trump real-estate partner and convicted felon with Russian mob ties who will be testifying in front of the committee next week.
Some of the former White House staffers contacted by Congressman Nadler, like former White House counsel Don McGahn, are passing their inquiries from the committee along to the White House.
Despite the lack of cooperation from the Oval Office to date, the House committees investigating the Trump administration have their hands full with so many inquiries that we can expect these hearings to stretch out for quite some time to come, barring any major revelations from the investigations being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Muller’s team or the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York that would render their probes moot.
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Original reporting by M