- The Trump administration has ordered former communications director Hope Hicks to not comply with a House judiciary committee subpoena.
- Annie Donaldson, a former staffer for ex-White House counsel Don McGahn, was also ordered by the White House not to comply with a subpoena for documents.
- The White House said in a public letter than the documents requested of Hicks and Donaldson are legally protected.
- Both Hicks and Donaldson are mentioned Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference and obstruction, which was recently submitted to Congress in a redacted form.
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The Trump administration has ordered former staffer Hope Hicks not to comply with a House judiciary committee subpoena for for testimony and documents concerning her time at the White House.
The subpoenas were issued by the Democrat-led committee to Hicks, a former communications director for Trump, as well as to Annie Donaldson, a former aide to ex-White House counsel Don McGahn.
Text of one subpoena was posted online by CNBC. In it, White House lawyer Pat Cipollone says the women “do not have the legal right” to hand over the documents asked for.
It continues that the documents are “legally protected from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principles, because they implicate significant executive branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.”
The subpoenas are part of its investigation into events described in the investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller into allegations of Russian collusion and obstruction by Trump and those in his orbit.
By asking the two women not to comply, the White House is persisting with efforts by the administration to stonewall congressional scrutiny.
Both Hicks and Donaldson are mentioned several times in the Mueller report, which was submitted to Congress in a redacted form in April.
McGahn, Donaldson’s former boss, told Mueller’s investigators that he was ordered by Trump to fire Mueller, but refused to comply.
Mueller said last week that Department of Justice rules did not allow him to charge the president with crimes.
Democrat lawmakers have pledged to further investigate, amid increasing calls for Trump to be impeached.
Trump has pledged to fight “all the subpoenas.”
The White House in a letter to the judiciary committee said that it told Hicks and Donaldson not to comply with the subpoena because their work at the White House was covered by privilege laws.
These prohibit officials from making public any confidential discussions about the White House decision-making process.
Judiciary committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat, argued that the documents aren’t covered by privilege because Hicks and Donaldson left the White House months ago.
Other officials have been told not to comply with congressional requests for documents or testimony, including McGahn himself.