Hope Hicks is going to prison

Four of Donald Trump’s advisers have been arrested, and two of them are currently awaiting trial even as the other two have cut plea deals that include potential prison time. This barely scratches the surface, as dozens of Trump’s people are being investigated in the Trump-Russia scandal, and they’ll continue flipping on each other as the heat gets turned up. Now we can add a name to the list of people who are all but certainly going to prison: Hope Hicks. Whether you care about her fate or not, this matters a lot.

Donald Trump’s legal spokesman Mark Corallo abruptly quit last year after he witnessed Trump conspiring with his advisers to commit obstruction of justice. Corallo either didn’t want to be a part of it, or simply didn’t want to go to prison. So not only did he quit, he told three people about what he had witnessed, as insurance. Sure enough, Trump went ahead and obstructed justice in the manner he had been plotting. As a result, Corallo is now testifying about it for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Corallo’s story is that he heard Hope Hicks promising to Donald Trump that she would suppress or destroy Donald Trump Jr’s incriminating emails, according to a New York Times report (link). This means that Hicks didn’t merely witness felony obstruction of justice and fail to report it, or even merely conspire to help Trump commit obstruction of justice. She committed obstruction of justice. There’s a difference, and a big one. She denies it happened, but Corallo has those contemporaneous witnesses in his pocket.

Hope Hicks has already testified to Robert Mueller. If she lied, she committed yet another felony. This means Hope Hicks has to decide, and very quickly, whether to cut a plea deal or sit back and let herself get arrested. For all we know, she may have already cut such a deal. The plea deal given to George Papadopoulos, who lied to the FBI, involved a sentence that includes potential prison time. So Hicks might do time even if she does cut a deal.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report