The White House advised two former members of the Trump administration — former communications director Hope Hicks and former White House counsel Annie Donaldson — not to turn over documents as ordered by a congressional subpoena.
Here’s what we know
“As part of President Trump’s continued obstruction of Congress, the White House has instructed both Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to turn over records in response to subpoenas issued by our committee last month,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a statement to the Washington Post. “I note that Ms. Hicks has agreed to turn over some documents to the committee related to her time working for the Trump campaign, and I thank her for that show of good faith.”
Nadler’s committee issued the subpoenas last month to the two women for documents related to their time in the administration. The deadline for handing the documents over is Tuesday.
The White House argued that Hicks and Donaldson could not legally turn over the documents the Judiciary Committee requested since those documents were the property of the White House. Nadler said that Hicks and Donaldson could no longer be protected by executive privilege from complying with a congressional subpoena, since they had not been part of the administration for months — and added that they might never have been covered by privilege to begin with.
According to CNN, Nadler has indicated that he would likely hold Hicks and Donaldson in contempt of Congress if they ignored the subpoena.
This would not be the first time that Trump has advised a former member of his administration to refuse to comply with a congressional subpoena. In May, he advised Don McGahn, his former attorney, to ignore another subpoena and refuse to testify before Congress. When Donaldson was part of the administration, she worked for McGahn.