Hope Hicks, the longtime Donald Trump confidante who served briefly as White House communications director, will testify under oath before the House Judiciary Committee next week. Hicks, who currently serves as Chief Communications Director of Fox Corp, will be the first current or former Trump aide to answer questions in the Democrats’ probe into obstruction of justice.
Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler made the announcement today but added that Wednesday’s hearing will not be televised. A transcript of her testimony will be released to the public, however.
The House Judiciary Committee had said in March that Hicks was cooperating with the probe. She was subpoenaed by the panel in May, but the White House last month instructed her to ignore it. The administration has been blocking attempts by congressional Democrats for aides to testify or provide requested documents.
Nadler also requested any personal or work diaries or documents relevant to the topics in question from Hicks’s time with the campaign, in the administration and at Trump Organization. For the moment, it’s unclear whether she will comply with those requests.
Hicks’ relationship with Trump goes way back, having first worked for him while employed by New York PR firm Hitzik Strategies. She left that job for a gig at the Trump Organization working on Ivanka Trump’s fashion line and other projects. She also was a key figure is Trump’s campaign from its start in July 2015.
She took over as interim White House communications chief in late July 2017, after Anthony Scaramucci’s infamously brief stint in the job, and got the permanent gig several weeks later. She had been considered to be one of the president’s closest advisers, with broad access to the Oval Office. She resigned from the administration in February 2018, one day after giving testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
She spent eight hours testifying before that House panel — and by all accounts was hardly forthcoming. Hicks declined to answer questions while admitting under oath that Trump sometimes required her to tell “white lies” to the press.
We’ll see next week whether history repeats itself.
In another example of the White House’s coziness with Fox News, Hicks was replaced as communications director by Bill Shine a year ago. He had stepped down as its co-president in May 2017 after having been with the organization since its launch and was seen as the right-hand-man of ousted Fox News chief Roger Ailes.