Hope Hicks expected to testify before House Intelligence Committee in Russia investigation
(WASHINGTON) — White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is expected to appear before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday morning for a closed-door interview related to Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to sources familiar with the committee’s schedule.
The committee has long anticipated testimony from Hicks, one of the president’s closest confidantes, but it’s unclear how much she plans to tell lawmakers, after numerous Trump associates have refused to answer committee questions in recent closed-door sessions.
“The question is when she does come in, will she be prepared to answer all of our questions,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the committee, told ABC News in an interview, adding that other administration officials have “fully” cooperated with the committee behind closed doors.
Hicks’s attorney Robert Trout did not respond to a request to confirm her appearance before the committee or comment on what, if any, constraints on her testimony may have been imposed by the White House. The White House did not respond to requests for comment on her expected appearance.
Schiff would not confirm to ABC News on Monday evening whether Hicks would testify Tuesday, saying only the committee expected her to testify “relatively soon.”
Her expected appearance Tuesday was first reported by CBS News.
Hicks was initially set to appear before the committee in January, but her interview was scrapped over questions about the scope of the questioning and the White House’s claims of executive privilege.
Earlier that week, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski declined to answer many of the committee’s questions.
Bannon was instructed by the White House not to answer questions about the transition or his time in the White House, according to sources familiar with his testimony.
He returned to Capitol Hill this month after two days of interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, but refused to answer any questions other than those on a list preapproved by the White House — claiming he had been instructed to invoke executive privilege on Trump’s behalf.
Republicans and Democrats on the committee are now considering steps to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress.
Hicks has already been interviewed by Mueller’s team. She has also been questioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee, a source familiar with the committee’s schedule confirmed.
One of the few White House staffers that has been at Trump’s side since the early days of his campaign, Hicks is expected to face questions about the campaign, transition and first year of the administration — including her role in the White House response to The New York Times report about Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016.
Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.