Donald Trump has been doing his best to usurp the power from the House of Representatives. He already controls the Senate by mysterious strings that render the senators helpless even when it comes to the fight for the very core of our democracy. The House appears to be struggling mightily against the president with their investigative committees, but the people cannot see behind closed doors. Still, they remained hopeful about this House Judiciary Committee witness.
Today the first “fact witness” came to testify before the Judiciary Committee. A fact witness was someone who had some factual evidence to present as opposed to one who was just there for background. Former White House communications director Hope Hicks was supposed to be a fact witness, but things started to go seriously wrong.
Senior congressional correspondent for CNN Manu Raju tweeted about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s response to Hicks “not answering questions:”
‘Just asked Nancy Pelosi about WH saying Hope Hicks should not answer questions about her time at the WH, and she said: “Obstruction of justice.” And she walked to the elevator.’
Donald Trump fought against Hicks appearing at all. The president told his longtime friend and employee to not testify or provide materials to any of the Democrats. The committee sent her a subpoena, and her attorneys said that she would only testify — but only behind closed doors. Plus, she did not want to answer any questions about her time at the White House.
As the hearing began, her attorney a former White House attorney, sat with her. He just left the White House in 2018. He repeatedly objected to the lawmakers’ questions.
Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) called the proceedings “pretty ridiculous:”
‘“It’s pretty ridiculous,” says Rep. @KarenBassTweets, saying the White House lawyer inside the Hope Hicks interview is objecting to lots of questions.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 19, 2019’
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) was in the closed-door hearing, and he called the attorney’s objections “ridiculous.” He tweeted:
‘This is what it’s like for the interview of Hope Hicks (questions modified but you’ll get the point):
Chair: Ms. Hicks, was it a sunny day on your first day of work?
Ridiculous DOJ Attorney: OBJECTION!
Chair: Where was your office located?
Ridiculous DOJ Attorney: OBJECTION!’
Representative David Cicilline (R-RI) indicated that the former White House communications director had started answering some questions. However, Hicks claimed she should have immunity from her time in the White House.
House Judiciary Committee chair Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) was more reserved in his responses. He said that Hicks had indeed begun to answer some of the questions. However, she has no immunity, because the Democrats’ questions were about facts already made public in the special counsel Robert Mueller III report.
Congress reporter for Politico Kyle Cheney tweeted that Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) called the Hicks interview a “Farce:”
‘UPDATE: Rep. Jayapal says the Hicks interview is a “farce.” Says White House lawyer’s won’t even let her say if she told the truth to Mueller, where she sat inside the West Wing and won’t formally claim privilege despite refusing to answer questions.’
In a second update, Cheney tweeted that Nadler said Hicks “is” answering some of their questions:
‘UPDATE 2: NADLER says Hicks *is* answering some questions, doesn’t seem as exercised as other Democrats about stonewalling.’