Hope Hicks and her attorney ignored Trump’s claim of executive privilege over her testimony, and by showing up cracked his wall of witness obstruction.
Hope Hicks Defies Trump and Shows Up To Testify
The White House tried to claim total executive privilege over Hicks’s testimony:
NEW: White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in new letter to Nadler says Hope Hicks is “absolutely immune” from testifying about her tenure in the White House.https://t.co/FqIqYBjEIn pic.twitter.com/eApHsGJ05r
— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) June 18, 2019
Glenn Kirschner explained on MSNBC how Hicks is defying Trump, “So Hope Hicks — and I do think this represents a loosening of the iron grip that Trump has had on these witnesses trying to tell them, do not testify because when Pat Cipollone says she has absolute immunity and she should not set foot in that hearing room, hope hicks has defied that. They’re going in there, and they’re going to begin testifying, so I think this is something of a loosening of the grip the president has thus far had on these witnesses.”
Hicks and her lawyers could have followed the same path as other witnesses and made Democrats fight it out in court with the administration. Her choice not to do represents a significant breakthrough for Democrats.https://t.co/JXb3WfC9CU pic.twitter.com/Dq63GCAXTy
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) June 19, 2019
Trump has been able to obstruct witnesses through asserting executive privilege
The key to Trump’s ability to tie up House investigations has been getting witnesses to obey his assertion of executive privilege. Hicks and her lawyers could have followed the same path as other witnesses and made Democrats fight it out in court with the administration. Her choice not to do represents a significant breakthrough for Democrats and validation of their new strategy to go around Trump by calling witnesses that aren’t covered by executive privilege.
It doesn’t matter if Hicks testifies in public or private. House Democrats are building the case for impeachment, and the need the information that eyewitnesses like Hope Hicks can provide. Trump’s wall of obstruction is breaking. Hicks is the first, but she won’t be the last to defy Trump’s executive privilege claim over testimony.
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