Barely a day after Robert Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Flynn pointed to bad news for everyone from Donald Trump to Mike Pence to Jared Kushner, his counterparts in Congress are announcing a major Trump-Russia move of their own. House Democrats, who are just weeks from taking majority control, are unleashing new Trump-Russia trouble involving former Trump White House official Hope Hicks.
Last night, Reuters learned that the House Intel Committee will immediately turn over all of its existing Trump-Russia testimony transcripts to Robert Mueller. This was inevitable; the real story here is that the Democrats on the committee made a point of leaking it to a major news outlet. Timing is everything, and this is aimed at sending people in Trump’s orbit scrambling. One of the transcripts to be turned over to Mueller will be from Hope Hicks. Here’s the thing: someone is getting incriminated.
We know that when Trump puppet Devin Nunes had control of the House Intel Committee last year, he had numerous Trump-Russia people come in and testify that they’d done nothing wrong, so he could make an announcement that they had all been “cleared.” This carried no legal weight, of course. It also made a mess, because these people were encouraged to commit perjury, and now it’s right there in the transcripts, where House Democrats and Mueller can nail them for it.
What we don’t know is what all Hope Hicks told the House Intel Committee. We do know that the day after she testified, she announced that she was resigning from the White House. If she lied to protect Donald Trump and others in the obstruction of justice plot, she’ll end up being indicted for perjury. And if she was smart enough to simply tell the truth, that’ll mean she’s incriminated Trump and a number of her fellow advisers.
Either way, someone is getting indicted over the Hicks transcripts. The big question here is why the House Democrats chose last night to make a big announcement that they’ll be turning over the transcripts. This was inevitable, and they could have announced it at any time. We’d imagine they’re coordinating with Robert Mueller, and this is part of a plan to pressure these Trump-Russia perjurers to hurry up and cut a plea deal before they can be arrested in January.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report