After Donald Trump’s former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks testified behind closed doors yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, various committee members gave different takes on just how much or little of a debacle it was. Donald Trump’s lawyers objected to even the most basic questions about Hicks’ time in the White House. But now the transcript has been released, and it looks like Hicks did give up some dirt on Trump.
For instance, Hope Hicks testified that she thinks Donald Trump is dead serious when he says that he’ll accept help from a foreign entity again in the 2020 election. Considering that this is a felony, Hicks is admitting that she expects Trump to continue his crime spree, which means she’s acknowledging that he’s a criminal. This matters to the extent that House Democrats are fighting a legal battle to get the courts to force all relevant witnesses to testify in full, and that evidence of criminality overrides every inch of executive privilege and immunity.
The transcript also reveals that Hope Hicks acknowledged having had several conversations with Donald Trump since she quit the White House. But when she was asked if any of those conversations involved her House testimony, Trump’s lawyers jumped in and refused to allow her to answer. That means Trump’s lawyers know, or fear, that the answer is “yes.” This would be felony witness tampering on Trump’s part, and helps strengthen the legal case over witnesses and evidence.
Earlier today, before we even knew what Hope Hicks specifically did and did not say to the House Judiciary Committee, we pointed out that the House Democrats benefited just by bringing in Hicks at all. Donald Trump’s lawyers kept invoking privilege in bad faith to stop her from answering the simplest of questions about her time in the White House, which will destroy Trump’s argument in court, resulting in all relevant witnesses eventually being ordered to testify without restrictions. Hicks did tangible, though not immediate, damage to Trump just by showing up.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report