- Special counsel Robert Mueller is getting ready to interview White House communications director Hope Hicks, who could be a critical witness in the Russia investigation.
- Hicks was there during several key moments that are important to the investigation, and she was also a point of contact for a number of individuals who have since become entangled in the probe.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is preparing to interview White House communications director Hope Hicks as the Russia investigation continues moving forward, Politico reported last week.
Mueller was appointed special counsel in May, after President Donald Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, and he is tasked with investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. As part of the probe, he’s also looking into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to help sway the election in Trump’s favour, as well as whether Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired Comey.
Hicks has long been one of Trump’s most trusted advisers, and she was a key presence surrounding several events that are critical to Mueller’s investigation.
Hicks was with Trump the weekend he and policy adviser Stephen Miller drafted a letter laying out the reasons he wanted to fire Comey, who was then spearheading the Russia probe. She was also with Trump in the Oval Office for a meeting on May 8, the day before Trump fired Comey. During the meeting, Trump described the letter that he and Miller had composed. Mueller currently possesses the letter, which Trump ultimately did not send after White House counsel Don McGahn advised him against doing so.
Hicks was also with the president on Air Force One when he “dictated” an initially misleading statement that his son Donald Trump Jr. issued in response to reports that he met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016.
The statement had to be amended several times after it emerged that Trump Jr. took the meeting when he was offered dirt on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Hicks was among the advisers who believed the White House should release a truthful statement that could not be repudiated if more details surfaced later, The Post reported. They were ultimately overruled, and the special counsel is now scrutinizing Trump’s response to determine what he knew about the meeting and whether he acted to conceal its purpose.
While working for the Trump campaign, Hicks was associated with several individuals who have since become entangled in the Russia probe. Those include early foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos; former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski; former campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and longtime Republican strategist Roger Stone.
Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were indicted last month on 12 counts related to money laundering and their work as foreign agents. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in July to one count of lying to federal agents about his contacts with individuals claiming to have ties to the Russian government. He is now believed to be cooperating with authorities.
Hicks is not under investigation for any criminal wrongdoing.
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