- The top presidential aide Hope Hicks listed pros and cons of her resignation from the White House in her notebook, New York magazine reported.
- That detail is the latest indication that Hicks’ records of her time in the White House and her relationship with President Donald Trump may be of interest to the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election.
- Hicks is said to have refused to answer some questions during her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee last month, prompting some lawmakers to press investigators to subpoena her.
Hope Hicks, the outgoing White House communications director and top confidante of President Donald Trump, wrote lists of pros and cons about her imminent resignation and sketched out the potential media responses in a notebook, New York magazine said in a profile of Hicks published Sunday.
Citing a White House insider, The Daily Mail reported last month that Hicks, who announced her resignation from the White House in late February, kept a “detailed diary” of her work in the White House and relationship with the president.
The report of the diary drew attention from lawyers and ethics experts. They say that an intimate account of internal White House events could be considered an official government document and would most likely be subpoenaed by the special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to influence the outcome.
Norm Eisen, the chair of the ethics watchdog group CREW, tweeted last month that a diary would have to be preserved under the Presidential Records Act, would be subpoenaed, and raised questions about her handling of classified information.
Telling ‘white lies’ for the president
Hicks privately testified before the House Intelligence Committee late last month – one day before announcing her resignation – and was interviewed in December by investigators on Mueller’s team.
During her eight-hour testimony, Hicks reportedly said she had told “white lies” for Trump – an extraordinary acknowledgment that made international headlines. (She said she had not lied about issues related to the Russia investigation.)
Hicks also initially refused to answer lawmakers’ questions about the presidential transition period or her work in the White House but eventually agreed to answer limited questions about the transition.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, criticized Hicks’ refusal to discuss anything other than the presidential campaign and pressed his Republican colleagues to subpoena her.
“That’s an overly broad claim of privilege that I don’t think any court of law would sustain,” Schiff told The New York Times. “And I think the White House knows that.”
He added: “This is not executive privilege – it is executive stonewalling.”
Most recently, Mueller subpoenaed Sam Nunberg, a former aide to Trump who initially said he would refuse to appear before a federal grand jury or turn over his communications with other aides but later agreed to cooperate.