House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler seemed on multiple occasions to forget who he was talking to while questioning former White House communications director Hope Hicks on Wednesday.
Three times, Nadler referred to Hicks as “Ms. Lewandowski.” The third time it happened, Hicks finally corrected him.
The first mistake came when Nadler was asking Hicks if she was asserting any type of privilege, executive or otherwise, in declining to answer a question.
The second time it happened, Nadler caught himself.
“Ms. Lewandowski—sorry—Ms. Hicks, read the next two sentences if you also have it,” Nadler said during the closed-door hearing.
The third time, Hicks had enough of being misidentified.
“Ms. Lewandowski, I think, in reading this—” Nadler began.
“My name is Ms. Hicks,” Hicks interrupted.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Hicks.” Nadler said. “I’m preoccupied.”
The committee released the 273-page transcript of Hicks’ testimony Thursday, but there wasn’t much to see. On more than 150 occasions during the testimony, an attorney issued objections to questions directed at Hicks.
“Mr. Chairman, as we explained in Mr. Cipollone’s letter yesterday, as a matter of longstanding executive branch precedent in the Department of Justice practice and advice, as a former senior adviser to the President, Ms. Hicks may not be compelled to speak about her events that occurred during her service as a senior adviser to the President,” deputy counsel to the President Michael Purpura said during the hearing.
Nadler strongly disagreed, but that did not stop the numerous further objections.
“With all due respect, that is absolute nonsense as a matter of law,” Nadler replied.
Other House Democrats were infuriated by the tactic.
“I am watching obstruction of justice in action, as @TheJusticeDept is objecting to everything that Hope Hicks wants to say during her tenure in the White House,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter. “The Administration’s position is absurd & they will lose in court. What is the @realDonaldTrump Administration hiding?”