Hope Hicks and her former White House colleague, Annie Donaldson, have been directed by the White House not to co-operate with subpoenas from a House committee investigating allegations of obstruction of justice.
Hicks headed communications for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign before going on to hold a senior post in the Trump administration. She is now Chief Communications Officer of Fox Corp. Donaldson was chief of staff to former White House Counsel Donald McGahn.
One reason given for the recommendation, according to an unnamed White House official quoted in the Washington Post, was that the former staffers would not be authorized to turn over documents that are White House property.
The question of whether or not Hicks should comply with the subpoena has generated considerable media attention in recent weeks. One recent New York Times feature about the “existential question” posed by the subpoena elicited sharp criticism on social media.
Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said Hicks made a “show of good faith” by producing some documents related to her work before the election. He focused his frustrated reaction on the Trump administration’s view of the investigation.
“Federal law makes clear that the documents we requested — documents that left the White House months ago — are no longer covered by executive privilege, if they ever were,” Nadler said in a statement. “The president has no lawful basis for preventing these witnesses from complying with our request.”