Hope Hicks tells House that Trump is serious about accepting foreign help as conservative lawyer argues doing so could violate presidential oath

Hope Hicks tells House that Trump is serious about accepting foreign help as conservative lawyer argues doing so could violate presidential oath
Hope Hicks image via CNN Screengrab

Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director who now serves as the chief communications officer and executive vice president of Fox Corporation, told members of Congress that Donald Trump was serious when he argued there’s nothing wrong with accepting foreign help in elections, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said Thursday.

Hicks’ assertion came as Carrie Cordero, a conservative lawyer, told the committee that “receiving foreign assistance has been recognized throughout the entire history of the country as something that is counter to, and undermines, the Constitution.”

Cordero argued that Trump’s embrace of foreign interference “is an invitation” to Russia and “any other intelligence service that’s out there that wants to try to find a way to influence our democratic processes.”

As Reuters reports, Cordero told the committee that accepting foreign assistance “could violate the presidential oath of office and provide evidence for any future impeachment inquiry.”

According to Nadler, during her closed-door testimony, “Hicks made clear that she understood the president to be serious when he said that he would accept foreign interference in our elections.”

“She also made clear that even she knew that such foreign assistance should be rejected and reported to the FBI,” Nadler said.

During her testimony on Wednesday, Hicks invoked what some Democrats referred to as “blind immunity” when asked about her time in the White House. As BuzzFeed News reports, the night before her appearance on the Hill, “White House lawyers sent a letter to Jerry Nadler … declaring Hicks immune to any testimony surrounding her time at the White House.”

"Ms. Hicks is absolutely immune from being compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters occurring during her service as a senior adviser to the President," White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote.

Democrats, including Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), bristled at the claim Hicks is immune from providing testimony to the House Judiciary Committee.

“I’m watching obstruction of justice in action,” Lieu told reporters on Wednesday. “You have the White House asserting absolute immunity, which is not a thing. It doesn’t exist. You have to ask the question, ‘What are they trying to hide from the American people?’”

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