Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, is demanding that former White House communications director Hope Hicks clarify her testimony before the committee. Nadler said new court filings suggested there were “inconsistencies” between her words and evidence collected by federal investigators in Michael Cohen’s case.
“We write regarding your testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on June 19, 2019, which appears to be inconsistent with evidence unsealed this morning by a federal judge in New York,” Nadler wrote in a letter released Thursday evening.
“As I reminded you at the outset of your interview, anything other than complete candor can have very serious consequences. Accordingly, I would expect you to clarify this matter before the Committee in very short order—but no later than August 15, 2019,” he wrote.
Nadler threatened to use the compulsory process if Hicks does not bring clarity to her testimony voluntarily.
The letter comes after court filings showed Hicks participated in a phone call with then-candidate Donald Trump and Cohen, his former longtime lawyer. This phone call came at a time when Cohen was trying to prevent the details about an alleged affair with adult-film star Stormy Daniels from becoming public knowledge.
Cohen is currently serving prison time for campaign finance violations stemming from payments made to Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal during the 2016 contest. Both women alleged affairs with Trump, which the president has denied.
Hicks testified to the House Judiciary Committee during closed-door testimony in June that she was never “present” when Trump discussed Daniels with Cohen and that she had no direct knowledge of payments made to Daniels.
The newly unsealed filings have cast doubt on her statements. The document states that Cohen received a call from Hicks on the evening of Oct. 8, 2016, and that Trump joined the call 16 seconds into it.
Nadler’s letter focuses on multiple exchanges during which Hicks was asked during the June 19 interview about her knowledge of the money payments or participation in interactions with Cohen or Trump about them.
In one exchange, Hicks was asked by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas): “Were you ever present when Trump and Cohen discussed Stormy Daniels?”
“No, ma’am,” Hicks replied.
“I’m going to say it again. Were you ever present when Trump and Mr. Cohen discussed Stormy Daniels, since it was all over the news that that occurred?” Jackson Lee pressed.
Nadler on Thursday offered Hicks the opportunity to clarify her closed-door testimony on a “voluntary basis,” before the committee considers the “compulsory process.”
“In your testimony, you suggested that any knowledge you may have had about the President’s arrangement with Ms. Daniels during the campaign was limited to information relayed to you from the press. The record now seems to suggest that you obtained additional information directly from Mr. Cohen prior to any public reporting on the matter,” Nadler wrote.
Attorneys for Hicks did not immediately return a request for comment.
Credit: The Hill