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U.S. House panel to quiz ex-Trump aide Hicks, White House asserts immunity

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he stands next to former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks outside of the Oval Office as he departs the White House for a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, in Washington D.C., U.S., March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

Hope Hicks, once a close aide to U.S. President Donald Trump, is due to face questions in Congress on Wednesday on six instances in which Democrats believe Trump may have broken the law during the 2016 election campaign and while in the White House.

The White House has asserted immunity over any testimony by Hicks involving her 14 months at the White House, according to a knowledgeable source. But the 30-year-old former fashion model was still expected to appear under subpoena before the House Judiciary Committee at 9 a.m. (1300 GMT).

She was expected to be accompanied by four lawyers - two from the White House and two of her own, said sources with knowledge of the situation. Hicks could remain well into the evening, fielding a wide range of questions from the panel’s 41 Democratic and Republican lawmakers and staff.

Hicks was Trump’s former campaign press secretary and his White House communications director until she left the administration in March 2018.

Democrats want to hear from her about alleged hush money payments made during the campaign to two women, including porn star Stormy Daniels, who say they had affairs with Trump. He has denied the affairs.

They also want Hicks to talk about five examples of potential obstruction of justice by Trump that are laid out in U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election meddling in the 2016 presidential election, as well as the president’s efforts to impede the Mueller investigation.


19th June 2019

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