One of President Trump's most loyal aides is appearing before lawmakers Tuesday to testify as part of the U.S. House of Representatives into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks will be questioned by members of the House Intelligence Committee on a closed door meeting. The testimony was originally supposed to take place in January, but it got postponed because the White House counsel and the committee needed to determine the scope of her testimony.
Hicks has an unique relationship with President Trump and has been by his side through his presidential campaign, the transition period, and his time in the White House. Her role as a right-hand woman and confidante has made her an essential witness, who could shine light on whether anyone in the Trump campaign had contact with Russian agents during the 2016 presidential election.
Though it's unclear what limitations, if any, the White House impose on Hicks' testimony, one of the key issues that might be addressed during her meeting with lawmakers is related to the controversial Trump Tower meeting between a Kremlin-connected lawyer, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner in June 2016.
Hicks was on board at the Air Force One when the initial response from the White House — which falsely claimed the meeting was about an adoption policy related to Russia and not about obtaining political dirt on Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton. According to The New York Times, Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for President Trump's legal team, alleges that Hicks said on a conference call that emails written by Trump Jr. about the meeting "will never get out." (He released the emails last July, a few days after the 2016 meeting was reported.)
Hicks' lawyer Robert Trout denied the claims.
"As most reporters know, it’s not my practice to comment in response to questions from the media. But this warrants a response," he told The Times. "She never said that. And the idea that Hope Hicks ever suggested that emails or other documents would be concealed or destroyed is completely false."