White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has claimed former White House communications director Hope Hicks is “absolutely immune” from answering questions about her time at the White House and the Trump transition team in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “...Ms. Hicks is absolutely immune from being compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters occurring during her service as senior adviser to the President,” Cipollone wrote in a letter on the eve of her closed-door interview with the committee, according to Politico. “The longstanding principle of immunity for senior advisers to the president is firmly rooted in the Constitution’s separation of powers and protects the core functions of the presidency.”
Cipollone also said a White House lawyer would accompany Hicks “in order to preserve the president’s ability to assert executive privilege” over information pertaining to Hicks’ time in the White House. The committee reportedly intended to ask Hicks about “five specific incidents” that Special Counsel Robert Mueller outlined in his obstruction of justice probe and hush-money payments that prosecutors claim were given to women who had alleged affairs with Trump. A transcript of Hick’s interview will reportedly be made public within 48 hours.