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The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday released an initial transcript of its closed-door interview with Hope Hicks.
Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement that lawyers for the Trump administration blocked Hicks from answering questions 155 times during the Wednesday hearing.
Lawyers prevented Hicks, who previously served as White House communications director, from answering questions about the resignation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn and President Donald Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Nadler noted that the lawyers also intervened when Hicks was asked about the location of her desk within the West Wing.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on the transcript or testimony.
Hicks did answer questions about opposition research provided by foreign governments. When asked whether she would accept such information, knowing what she knows now after her experience on the 2016 campaign, Hicks said she would not. She also said she would call the FBI if she was approached with information that she felt was "legitimate enough to have our law enforcement dedicate their time to it, sure."
Q: All right. In your experience now, knowing all that you do, you've reflected on it, would you take -- I'm asking you this based on your experience and the expertise you've developed, would you take foreign oppo information from a foreign government, if that were offered when working on a political campaign?
A: You know, knowing how much chaos has been sowed as a result of something like the Steele dossier, no, I would not.
Q: And, again, I'm asking you about your expert opinion. Would you advise another person to do that if they were in a position to do so?
A: No, I would not.
Q: Would you call the FBI if you were offered such information?
A: If I felt it was legitimate enough to have our law enforcement dedicate their time to it, sure.
Q: If you felt it was genuine or credible, you would call the FBI, right?
Hicks' remarks are a diverge from those made by Trump in a recent interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. The president said he would take damaging information offered by foreign operatives. He later defended his remarks, saying he talks to foreign governments daily.
The committee summoned Hicks on Wednesday and pressed her to answer questions related to the panel's investigation into allegations that Trump obstructed special counsel Robert Mueller's two-year investigation.
The White House had previously directed Hicks to not turn over to Congress any documents related to her time in the administration.
On Wednesday, Nadler told reporters he planned to challenge the administration in court over the White House's claim Hicks was immune from being asked about issues that occurred during her tenure. While Hicks "gave us a lot of good information," Nadler objected to the administration's immunity claim.
"The White House asserted so-called absolute immunity, which is ridiculous and which we'll destroy in court," he said.
Read the House Judiciary Committee's release below:
House Judiciary Committee Releases Transcript of Hope Hicks Interview
Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released an initial transcript of the Committee's June 19th interview with former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.
The full transcript is available here. Key takeaways from the Hope Hicks interview include the following:
Lawyers for the Trump Administration blocked Ms. Hicks from answering questions 155 times.
The White House refused to allow Ms. Hicks to answer any questions related to her time working for President Trump. She was blocked from responding to questions about the presidential misconduct detailed in the Mueller Report, including:
On one occasion, the Administration did permit Ms. Hicks to answer a single question about the weather on her first day of work for President Trump (p85). But the President's lawyers refused to allow to answer basic questions, like where her desk was located in the White House (p15).
Ms. Hicks confirmed that the Trump Campaign welcomed the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election. She would not, however, do it again—parting ways with President Trump.
Ms. Hicks stated that she had learned from the 2016 presidential election, and that she would not today accept "foreign oppo information from a foreign government" (p165). She stated that she would report such an offer to the FBI if she found it to be credible (p165).
The White House's legally dubious claims of "absolute immunity" are a sham.
President Trump's lawyers entered more than 150 objections on the basis of "absolute immunity" for senior White House officials. These interruptions are a gimmick designed to interfere with the Committee's investigation.
A full copy of the Hope Hicks interview transcript can be found here.