When a series of events played out yesterday that made it abundantly clear that Hope Hicks was cutting a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, no one in the media was willing to say it but us. Her subsequent resignation today was not remotely surprising to us, and it helps cement that she’s flipped. Strangely, the media is still unwilling to say so. In fact, much of the media is simply parroting Hicks’ own laugh-out-loud claim that she’d been planning her resignation for months. But now we have to give credit where it’s due.
I pointed out earlier today that Hope Hicks was so eager to get out of the building as quickly as possible, she couldn’t even be bothered to wait until the traditional Friday afternoon news dump to announce her resignation. That alone made clear that she was running scared. But it was Lawrence O’Donnell who pointed out another key point tonight on MSNBC. When White House officials suddenly find themselves embroiled in scandal, even if they had been planning to resign, they’re inclined to stay on the job for a few more months so they can try to use their powerful position to protect themselves in the scandal.
Lawrence, of course, is correct. Hope Hicks ran out of the White House today like it was a burning building. She had no interest in remaining on the job so she could use it to try to monitor or steer the Mueller investigation, which has recently taken a sharp turn toward her. Trump’s former legal spokesman Mark Corallo recently testified to Mueller that he heard Hicks promising to bury Trump-Russia evidence. That’s felony obstruction of justice. But Hicks isn’t interested in staying on Team Trump in the hope of protecting herself.
Instead, Hope Hicks decided today that she wouldn’t even have felt comfortable heading into tomorrow without her resignation already being in place. With criminal charges closing in on her, why would she rather be on the outside of the White House than the inside? That would only make sense if she’s cutting a plea deal, and therefore will no longer need to try to use the White House to protect herself, and she wouldn’t want to be there anyway once her deal inevitably becomes public. O’Donnell wasn’t willing to point out that Hicks is obviously cutting a deal, but he did make an important point which helps make her deal all the more obvious.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report