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Hope Hicks to Talk Today, but How Much Will She Say?

Trump instructs former communications director not to answer certain questions
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2019 8:50 AM CDT
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Former White House communications director Hope Hicks arrives for closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2019.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Wednesday marks the first time House lawmakers will get to question someone close to President Trump since the Mueller report dropped, but it's unclear just how much the House Judiciary Committee will be able to glean from Hope Hicks. She'll sit for a private interview with the committee, but White House counsel Pat Cipollone on Tuesday alerted them to the fact that Trump had instructed his former communications director not to answer questions "relating to the time of her service as a senior adviser to the president." Cipollone described Hicks as "absolutely immune" from doing so. Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler "reject[s] that assertion" and said "we will address privilege and other objections on question by question basis," per ABC News.

The AP reports a White House lawyer will be present with Hicks and is expected to intervene when such questions are asked. It's possible Democrats could try to go to court to force answers. CNN cites a committee aide who says Democrats on the committee plan to ask Hicks about the period before Trump became president, including what she might know about hush-money payments made to women. CNN's take: "The anticipated line of questioning signals renewed interest on Capitol Hill over the President being implicated in felonies committed by former Trump fixer Michael Cohen." A transcript of the session will be released, potentially in as little as 48 hours, but the aide tells CNN that lawmakers will likely share any details in a Thursday hearing related to the Mueller report. (Read more Hope Hicks stories.)

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