Hope Hicks And Annie Donaldson, You're The Next Contestants On SIT YOUR ASSES DOWN AND SPILL IT!
This is a big fuckin' deal. After former White House counsel Don McGahn blew off a subpoena and decided not to show up for required testimony before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, committee chair Jerry Nadler announced two more subpoenas were going out: one to Annie Donaldson, McGahn's deputy in the White House, and one to Hope Hicks, the former White House comms director who witnessed everything and was so close to Trump he called her "Hopey" and she steamed his pants while he was wearing them.
As per the terms of the subpoenas, the women are to submit documents by June 4, and then appear to testify on June 19 (Hicks) and June 24 (Donaldson). It's worth noting that THESE WOMEN DO NOT WORK FOR THE WHITE HOUSE ANYMORE. Therefore actually Donald Trump can't say shit about it, just like he technically can't say shit about Don McGahn testifying.
Hope Hicks has been there for everything, all the way going back to the campaign, as you could see from just how broad the House Judiciary Committee's questions were for her, when they requested document production back in March. Hicks has already cooperated somewhat with that document request, and was a key witness in the Mueller investigation, a person whose name comes up hundreds of times in the redacted Mueller Report. To pick but one example of how close Hicks was to the action, the House is clearly interested in her involvement in the drafting on Air Force One of the Trump lie-response to the revelations of Le Dipshit Junior's big Trump Tower Russian meeting, a statement the president reportedly dictated. Hell, Mark Corallo resigned as spokesman for Trump's legal team after all that, because he was worried there were too many criminal justice obstructors in the kitchen. (To read all about that, start on page 100 of Volume 2 of the Mueller Report.)
Donaldson, meanwhile, shows up a lot of the same places Don McGahn does in the Mueller Report, because, as his deputy, she was a witness to SO MANY things he saw. Hell, she was the one who took the notes. She was there for the Comey firing. She was there when McGahn was threatening to resign because the president was trying to get him to do "crazy shit," i.e. fire Robert Mueller in order to obstruct the Russia investigation under the laughable pretense that Mueller had "conflicts of interest," which amounted to one time Mueller didn't want to be a member of a Trump trash palace club anymore. She was also prepared to resign along with McGahn, even though McGahn reportedly didn't fill her in on exactly what "crazy shit" Trump was asking him to do. Point is, Annie Donaldson has some receipts.
As the Washington Post explains:
Donaldson's daily habit of documenting conversations and meetings provided the special counsel's office with its version of the Nixon White House tapes: a running account of the president's actions, albeit in sentence fragments and concise descriptions.
Donaldson famously fretted in her West Wing diary "is this the beginning of the end?" when Trump insisted on firing Comey in May 2017 and on mentioning the president was not a subject of the Russia investigation in his public termination letter. She and McGahn both believed his mention of the Russia probe could be viewed as evidence he was engaged in obstruction of justice. She also described McGahn's repeated efforts to try to protect Trump from his worst impulses and the case he was building against himself in various ways. That included when he sought to call the Justice Department himself and tried to improperly pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to "unrecuse" and resume control over the investigation.
So this sets up an interesting test, doesn't it?
Annie Donaldson is actually Annie Donaldson Talley, as she is married to totally normal hunter of the paranormal and amateur horror novelist Brett Talley, who used to work for the Trump Justice Department, and whom Trump nominated to the federal judiciary after Donaldson became a witness in the Mueller investigation, even though the American Bar Association's Committee on the Judiciary unanimously rated him as unqualified, and even though he had never tried a case. Oh yeah, and then there was his BLOGGING, which was li'l bit batshit. Also, during his confirmation (from which he ultimately withdrew, wonder why!) he miraculously and accidentally forgot the teeny weeny fact that his wife Annie worked for the White House counsel's office when he was asked to come up with "conflicts of interest." Oh, fiddlesticks!
Our point is that these are company people. TRUMP company people. So Annie D. might takes her chances and defy Congress just like Trump asks her to, even if it means she gets fined $25,000 a day or LOCK HER UP-ped by Congress.
On the other hand, the Post says her pals say she is "somewhat stung by her experience in Washington," so maybe she might be in the mood to do the right thing, if she thinks it might help her feel a li'l bit more "unstung."
Meanwhile, Hopey! As we noted, Hope Hicks has already cooperated to a point. This is a person who admitted to Congress that she sometimes told "white lies" for Trump, and then somehow the very next day, she was resigning. So that was weird. She works at Fox News now, and based entirely on our gut, we think Hopey might just really be ready to move on from this whole period of her life, and may not be in the mood to be in the national spotlight as a person who's in contempt of Congress for hanging out with the old crowd and doing more cover-ups for Donald Trump. We could be wrong, and maybe she has $25,000 a day to just fritter away on helping Donald Trump shred the Constitution, but let's just say we won't be surprised if we're liveblogging her testimony on June 19.
This is a test for Jerry Nadler, too, because if one or both of these idiots decides to blow off the subpoena, either because they see that not fuckall is happening to Don McGahn, or if he lets them blow off the subpoenas and then just moves on to the next angry subpoena without imposing dire consequences on them for failing to comply, then the House Democrats at this point are just whiners who write checks their asses can't cash, and the entire Trump administration will know who wins this game of chicken each and every time.
Don't be a chickenshit, Jerry.
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