Hope Hicks to testify behind closed doors before House Judiciary

Former White House aide Hope Hicks has agreed to testify next Wednesday behind closed doors, the House Judiciary Committee announced Wednesday.

The committee plans to release a transcript of the interview afterward, the panel said.

The scheduled interview with Hicks, a longtime Trump campaign aide and former White House communications director, is the first case where a member of Trump’s inner circle will appear before the committee as part of the panel’s investigation into possible obstruction of justice. The first official to be subpoenaed by the panel, former White House counsel Don McGahn, did not appear before the committee last month, prompting a vote in the House this week to go to court to enforce the subpoena.

The Judiciary Committee plans to ask questions about Hicks’ time at the White House and during the campaign, according two sources, but it remains to be seen whether the White House will assert executive privilege to prevent her from answering about her time at White House. Hicks is expected to address executive privilege issues on a question by question basis, one of the sources said.

“It is important to hear from Ms. Hicks, who was a key witness for the Special Counsel,” Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement. “Ms. Hicks understands that the Committee will be free to pose questions as it sees fit, including about her time on the Trump Campaign and her time in the White House. Should there be a privilege or other objection regarding any question, we will attempt to resolve any disagreement while reserving our right to take any and all measures in response to unfounded privilege assertions.”

Last week, the White House directed Hicks and former White House deputy counsel Annie Donaldson not to provide any documents to the committee involving their time at the White House, in what could be a sign of how the White House will respond to questions from the committee next week.

The White House cannot claim executive privilege over Hicks’ time in the campaign, so those questions are likely to be fair game without executive privilege issues.

The Washington Post first reported Hicks’ planned appearance.

This story has been updated with additional developments Wednesday.