Top Stories
Top Stories
Politics

Hope Hicks agrees to give House Democrats some documents after White House tells her not to comply with subpoena

Key Points
  • Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson have been instructed by the White House not to comply with the House Judiciary Committee's subpoenas to turn over documents related to their time in President Donald Trump's administration.
  • But Hicks, a former White House communications director, says she will still hand over documents related to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, according to the House Judiciary Committee.
  • Donaldson was former White House counsel Don McGahn's chief of staff. Her notes are heavily cited in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report.
Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.
Getty Images

The White House has instructed former staffers Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to comply with the House Judiciary Committee's subpoenas to turn over documents related to their time in President Donald Trump's administration, House Democrats said Tuesday.

But Hicks, a former White House communications director, said she will still hand over documents related to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, according to the House Judiciary Committee.

CNN first reported that Hicks and Donaldson would not fully comply with the House Democrats' subpoenas.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y, said in statement that the White House's move was "part of President Trump's continued obstruction of Congress."

But Nadler noted that Hicks "has agreed to turn over some documents to the committee related to her time working for the Trump Campaign."

VIDEO0:5500:55
Former White House communications director Hope Hicks has landed at Fox

"I thank her for that show of good faith," Nadler said.

Politico, citing two sources familiar with Hicks' contacts with the Judiciary Committee, reported that the former White House staffer, who played a key role in the Trump campaign as communications director, has already begun providing documents to the panel.

Donaldson was former White House counsel Don McGahn's chief of staff. Her notes were heavily cited in special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian election interference, possible Trump campaign coordination with the Kremlin and possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

The Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas for Hicks and Donaldson to testify before that panel and provide documents related to a sweeping probe of figures in Trump's orbit.

Both Hicks and Donaldson were ordered to produce the requested documents to the committee by Tuesday. Hicks' subpoena sets a June 19 date for her to testify at a hearing before the Judiciary Committee, while Donaldson is asked to appear June 24 for a deposition.

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the committee's ranking member, disputed Nadler's characterization.

"The notion the White House directed Hope Hicks or Annie Donaldson to defy a subpoena is not accurate," Collins said in a statement. "In fact, the White House again invited Judiciary Committee Democrats to direct their requests there, which they have yet to do."

But White House counsel Pat Cipollone's letter to Nadler, sent Tuesday, says that "Acting Chief of Staff to the President Mick Mulvaney has directed" Donaldson and Hicks "not to produce documents in response to the Committee's May 21 subpoenas that relate in any way to the White House."

"The White House records at issue involve significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests," Cipollone wrote, adding that the committee and the Justice Department were in the midst of working out an "accommodation process" for the lawmakers' requests.

Hicks is now executive vice president and chief communications officer for Fox Corp.

"Federal law makes clear that the documents we requested — documents that left the White House months ago — are no longer covered by executive privilege, if they ever were," Nadler said in his statement.

"The President has no lawful basis for preventing these witnesses from complying with our request. We will continue to seek reasonable accommodation on these and all our discovery requests and intend to press these issues when we obtain the testimony of both Ms. Hicks and Ms. Donaldson," Nadler said.

It was unclear whether the committee would move to hold either Hicks or Donaldson in contempt of Congress.

The White House, Hicks and Donaldson did not immediately respond to CNBC's inquiries about CNN's report.

Read the White House's letter to Nadler: