Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser and former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks testified before the House Judiciary Committee today about Trump’s obstruction of justice crimes. Various committee members have been offering different takes on Hicks’ willingness to answer some questions and not others. We’ll have to wait for the transcript to find out for sure what she said, but suffice it to say that Trump isn’t pleased about her testimony.
Just as Hicks was preparing to testify this morning, Donald Trump posted this berserk rant: “The Dems are very unhappy with the Mueller Report, so after almost 3 years, they want a Redo, or Do Over. This is extreme Presidential Harassment. They gave Crooked Hillary’s people complete Immunity, yet now they bring back Hope Hicks.” He then went on to ramble dishonestly and incoherently about Hillary Clinton’s emails. So what’s really going on here?
Trump and his DOJ initially told Hope Hicks not to cooperate with the House at all. When she decided to testify anyway, the Trump regime then told her she wasn’t allowed to answer certain questions due to some imaginary form of “immunity.” Based on the remarks that various committee members have made to the media thus far today, it appears she provided some new information, but didn’t come close to answering every question about Trump’s obstruction.
This was to be expected, of course. House Democrats had two options with Hope Hicks. They could have her testify now behind closed doors and take whatever they could get from her, before the courts rule that she has to answer every question. Or they could have waited months for the courts to rule in their favor, and then forced her to testify in public and answer every question. They went with the former, for the sake of expediency. Once they eventually get the court ruling, they’ll probably bring Hicks back again.
Today was always going to be a mixed bag. The only part that will matter is if Hope Hicks gave up one or two damaging things about Donald Trump that House Democrats can use against him now, even as they wait for the courts to rule that she and other witnesses have to come in and spill all the beans. The most telling aspect of what we’ve seen today may be Trump’s reaction. Hicks has the goods to take him down and he knows it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report