Frustrated Democrats Stonewalled During Hicks Testimony By DOJ Lawyer

Director Hope Hicks stand by as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House Feb. 9 2018

Director Hope Hicks stand by as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House Feb. 9 2018

Democrats believe Trump may have broken the law as a candidate and as president.

Hicks has previously testified about the Russian Federation situation, talking to the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

Following her appearance in a closed-door session of the House Judiciary Committee as part of the panel's investigation into possible obstruction of justice by Trump, the president weighed in to accuse Democrats of putting his onetime close confidante "through hell".

It was unclear how much new information Hicks will provide.

Those hopes were dashed, however, because of the White House's assertion of immunity, which even extended to simple questions about where her office was located, according to lawmakers in the room. Lieu alleged a Justice Department attorney was "objecting to everything that Hope Hicks wants to say".

Washington Democrat Pramila Jayapal called it "a farce".

Democrats on the committee plan on using their time to question Hicks about several topics, said one aide: What she knew about the hush money payments Trump made to his former attorney Michael Cohen to hide his extramarital affairs, Trump's attempt to fire McGahn; his firing of former FBI Director James Comey, his conduct towards his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his anger at Sessions.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone said he would have a staff member there to preserve the confidentiality of Hicks' work for Trump whether it was before or after he took office.

The move by the White House to prevent another former official from answering questions by claiming "absolute immunity" further infuriated Democratic members, who accused the White House of committing obstruction of justice and threatened to enforce the committee's subpoena for Hicks' testimony by taking the matter to court.

Democrats also said they may go to court to force Hicks to respond to their questions.

Hicks is seen with the USA president on January 17, 2018.

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While Hicks largely stayed out of the limelight during her White House stint, administration insiders have long said that Hicks had Trump's ear in a way that many others never could.

Hicks was subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee in May. Several Republican committee members confirmed that Hicks, a key Mueller report figure who was referenced 184 times, was answering questions but would not elaborate as to what type.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has supported letting multiple congressional investigations of Trump play out before moving to impeach him.

They also wanted Hicks to talk about five examples of potential obstruction of justice by Trump that are laid out in the redacted version of Mueller's report, as well as the president's efforts to impede the Mueller investigation.

In total, Mueller mentioned Hicks' name over 180 times in the report. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss their plans for the closed-door meeting.

U.S. President Donald Trump said that if a foreign power offered dirt on his 2020 opponent, he would be open to accepting it and would have no obligation to call in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Trump has denied the allegations. Cohen is now serving three years in prison partly for campaign violations related to the payments.

The interview marks the first time lawmakers are hearing from a person linked to Trump's inner circle since the release of Mueller's report. It's the second in a series of hearings in which the committee is talking to expert witnesses about the report. The transcript will then be released, possibly as soon as this week, according to the aides.

A former teen model, Hicks was brought into Trump's orbit after impressing Ivanka Trump by promoting her clothing line at a NY public relations firm. It is unclear whether Donaldson will show up for a scheduled deposition next week.

Democrats want Hicks to testify about an effort by the president to mislead the public about a June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower in NY, where the Mueller report said campaign officials, including the president's son Donald Trump Jr., met with Russians offering "dirt" on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"The Democrats can try to re-litigate the Mueller investigation", Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said. She gave us a lot of good information.

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