Donald Trump has gone to some extraordinary, and some plainly criminal, lengths to try to prevent his former underlings from testifying against him to Congress. We’ve seen the likes of Don McGahn and Annie Donaldson cave to Trump’s illegal intimidation tactics. But Hope Hicks announced earlier this month that she would defy Trump by testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. Now it’s just gotten even worse for Trump.
The Hope Hicks testimony is bad for Donald Trump on two levels. First, she was one of his closest aides, both during the campaign and in the White House, so she knows all kinds of secrets about his scandals and crimes. Second, by agreeing to testify, she’s kicking the door open for other former Trump aides to perhaps conclude that they too can testify in spite of Trump’s threats. Now there’s a third thing that Trump has to worry about.
It was reported earlier this month that while Hicks will show up, she may not be able to answer every question about obstruction of justice, as Trump’s baseless claim of executive privilege hasn’t yet been shot down in court. This led to the question of how close to the vest she might play things with her answers.
But today CNN reported on-air that Hope Hicks hasn’t tried to place any limitations on the questions and topics the House is allowed to ask her about. That’s half the battle. If Hicks were looking to show up and then dodge as many of the questions as possible, she’d be looking to narrow the scope of the questions to begin with. This news suggests that Hicks will indeed be forthcoming when she testifies on Wednesday. Although she’s testifying behind closed doors, a transcript will be publicly released soon thereafter.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report