Hope Hicks: House subpoenas Trump's former communications director, among other top White House staff

New subpoenas arrive as former White House counsel fails to appear for testimony before House Judiciary Committee

Chris Riotta
New York
@chrisriotta
Tuesday 21 May 2019 22:13
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Ro Khanna suggests Donald Trump administration officials could be fined for ignoring subpoenas

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler has reportedly issued subpoenas for Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson — two key figures at the core of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

While Ms Hicks served as the president’s former White House communications director, Ms Donaldson was former chief of staff to ex-White House counsel Donald McGahn.

Ms Donaldson’s notes were critical to a section of the special counsel’s report on Russian interference that pertains to the president’s potential obstruction of justice. Ms Hicks also played a crucial role in Mr Trump’s response to explosive news reports about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives.

The House Judiciary Committee reportedly issued the subpoenas on Tuesday demanding documents and testimony from both women as part of their investigation into Mr Trump’s supposed obstruction of justice.

The committee has requested Ms Hicks to speak at a public hearing about her experience working in the Trump administration and on the president’s 2016 campaign. Ms Donaldson has been called in for a private deposition.

Announcement of the subpoenas arrived after Mr McGahn defied his own subpoena on Tuesday by failing to show up to the committee to testify on Tuesday. The president had reportedly instructed the former White House counsel not to appear at the event.

The special counsel’s report outlined how Mr Trump sought to restrict and at times outright halt the federal investigation through first-hand accounts like that of Mr McGahn, one of the report’s key figures.

Mr Trump has vowed to fight “all of the subpoenas” issued by Congress.

The move to subpoena the former top White House officials arrived as a growing number of Democrats have called for impeachment proceedings against Mr Trump after ordering Mr McGahn not to testify.

Meanwhile, Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, has claimed Democrats were “trying desperately to make something out of nothing.”

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Mr Nadler said that if Mr McGahn doesn't "immediately correct his mistake" in not showing, the committee will have to enforce the subpoena.

Additional reporting by AP

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