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White House Tells Hope Hicks to Defy Subpoena

Annie Donaldson given the same instruction
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2019 12:26 PM CDT
In this March 29, 2018 file photo, President Trump points to outgoing White House Communications Director Hope Hicks on her last day before he boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in...   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – Just say no. That was the White House's line to former Trump aide Hope Hicks and the former chief of staff for Don McGahn, both of whom had faced a Tuesday deadline to turn over documents to the House Judiciary Committee as part of its investigation into potential corruption, obstruction, and abuse of power. The AP reports the White House directed Hicks and Annie Donaldson, whose names pepper the Mueller report, not to comply with the May subpoenas, citing executive privilege. Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler doesn't buy that, arguing that because the women left the White House months ago, the documents that went with them aren't covered by executive privilege—"if they ever were." Hicks will apparently supply the committee with documents dating to her work with the Trump campaign, which Nadler called a "show of good faith."

The subpoenas covered not just documents but also a public hearing—on June 19 for Hick and June 24 for Donaldson. Should they opt not to show, Democrats would likely vote to hold them in contempt, as the House plans to do next week in regard to William Barr and McGahn, which would push the standoff to civil court. The Washington Post reports the committee is eager to hear from Donaldson, who took notes of McGahn's conversations with Trump. "Donaldson’s daily habit of documenting conversations and meetings provided the special counsel’s office with its version of the Nixon White House tapes: a running account of the president’s actions, albeit in sentence fragments and concise descriptions." (Read more Hope Hicks stories.)

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