The Competing Hope Hicks White Lies Stories


Since the NYT reported Hope Hicks admitting to telling white lies for Donald Trump in her House Intelligence Committee testimony Tuesday, the press has provided at least four different versions of the story. The competing versions make the exchange worthy of a public release of her transcript, though I doubt we’ll ever see that. So, particularly given that this exchange seems to have led Trump to bawl out Hicks, leading to her resignation, I wanted to lay out the competing versions here.

The first version, from the NYT and obviously telling the Democratic perspective, emphasizes Hicks’ consultation with her lawyers.

Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, told House investigators on Tuesday that her work for President Trump, who has a reputation for exaggerations and outright falsehoods, had occasionally required her to tell white lies.

But after extended consultation with her lawyers, she insisted that she had not lied about matters material to the investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible links to Trump associates, according to three people familiar with her testimony.

The exchange came during more than eight hours of private testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Ms. Hicks declined to answer similar questions about other figures from the Trump campaign or the White House.

CNN provides Chris Stewart’s version, which describes the Republicans providing her a way to answer a very narrow non-denial denial pertaining to “the Russian investigation” but not necessarily “Russia.”

“It truly was just a setup of this witness, who was trying to be forthright and honest,” Utah Rep. Chris Stewart told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday. “The question was so broad. It was, ‘In any circumstances, regardless of what it might be, have you ever felt any pressure to be deceitful or to be dishonest regarding any subject?’ And she answered it honestly. And that is, anyone in that circumstance, there is none of us in our lives that can say we have always been 100% honest.”

Stewart said upon hearing the question, his Republican colleagues intervened: “We realized that this was, frankly, just a setup and that it was designed to make a headline, so we asked her specifically — we interjected — we are talking about this investigation with Russia, regarding collusion or conspiracy, regarding the hacking of the DNC.”

After they narrowed the question to those areas, Hicks was “adamant,” he said, recalling that she answered: “‘No, absolutely not.'”

The WaPo, which provides the version of Eric Swalwell, who posed the question (as well as Peter King, but that’s far less interesting), describes that Hicks admitted to lying for Mike Flynn but stayed silent about every other Trump official.

The one exception she made, according to Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), was acknowledging that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn had asked her during the transition period to dissemble about questions he was getting regarding his conversations with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

She claimed that she did not know she was being asked to lie but that she felt Flynn was being “dishonest,” Swalwell said.

Swalwell said Hicks did not answer when he asked why she would refuse to say whether other aides had asked her to lie when she was willing to speak about Flynn, or whether she had ever witnessed Trump asking others to lie for him.

And CBS provides the versions of Tom Rooney and another Swalwell version, which puts the question in immediate context of a Swalwell question about whether she was “loyal” to Trump (something asked of all close Trump aides in the wake of the Comey firing) and shows that Hicks’ lawyer offered up the “no with respect to the Russian investigations” line, one which Rooney then repeated.

Swalwell said — and Rooney acknowledged — that Rooney was not in the room for the very beginning of the questioning, which began with Swalwell asking Hicks about her relationship with Mr. Trump. He said he asked whether Hicks and Mr. Trump had a “typical” employer-employee relationship.

“She said, ‘Nothing is typical about it,'” given the number of hours she spends with the president and the nature of his role, Swalwell said.

He said he then asked if Hicks was “loyal” to the president, and she asked what he meant by the term.

“I think loyalty is being committed to somebody,” Swalwell said, and asked, in turn, if she was “committed” to the president.

“She said, ‘Yes, fully,'” Swalwell said.

It was then that he asked whether the president had ever asked Hicks to lie for him. Hicks and her counsel then conferred for “five to ten minutes,” and she responded, according to Swalwell, by saying, “I have never been asked to lie with respect to the Russia investigation.”

Rooney said he objected at the time to the breadth of Swalwell’s question and engaged in a “back and forth” with Swalwell and House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff, D-California. Rooney asked aloud whether the question meant if Mr. Trump had ever asked Hicks to tell someone he was busy, or on the phone, or not around, or to answer, ‘Does this suit make me fat?’

An appropriate question, and one which would fit within the parameters of what the committee was investigating, Rooney said, would have been specific to its Russia investigation.

“So I asked her specifically with regard to the substance of our investigation,” whether she had been asked to lie, and she said ‘No,'” Rooney said.

The exchange comes in the wake of the report that Mueller’s team has been asking about Hicks’ comment, just after the election, that no one from the campaign had met with Russian officials. If Trump (or any of the other people listed by Swalwell) had asked her to lie then, it would not count as a lie about the investigation, though it would be a lie about Russia. Unless she, in turn, lied about the lie to Mueller’s people.

Presumably, Trump got so angry just because Hicks made him look like a liar, and not because he has thought through the implications of what Swalwell presumably has (and probably a few of the Republicans making excuses now).

But Hicks has now committed to a story that suggests the lie about the Sergey Kislyak conversation came from Flynn and not someone else, someone like Kushner or Trump himself, even while she has dodged answering about whether any of those other people asked her to lie about that or similar issues.

54 replies
  1. Rugger9 says:

    Flynn now has a choice to send up Trump and/or Hicks or be grilled some more by Mueller. One wonders if Hope mentioned this to Mueller as well, and what story line she used then because I would expect that it doesn’t match Flynn’s testimony. If Flynn falls on his sword to protect the Kaiser, he won’t get gratitude (maybe a pardon, but that admits guilt which may turn into a general court martial from the Army to strip him of his rank and benefits) and since that’s what he is getting now from the palace, why sacrifice himself (and his son)?

    On a different thread, Jared is referred to as “Jar-Jar” which fits his performance so far. I’ll be using it going forward.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think you’re misunderstanding Flynn’s plea. He HAS to give full cooperation right now. And even there, he hasn’t been excused from any participation in a larger ConFraudUS now. He’s got to do whatever Mueller wants.

  2. cfost says:

    So the entire GOP side of the HPSCI was silent or supportive of the blatantly and openly dishonest Nunes memo, and they are now faking indignation about Swalwell’s choice of questions to ask Ms Hicks. Not only are Reps King and Rooney willing to go on the record to defend Hicks’ honor, but they are going nuclear, with Rooney saying Swalwell was asking “bullshit questions.”
    So dishonesty is a problem here (nothing new about that), but the larger danger is that it is dishonesty in the service of the Party, and that reveals a value system wherein the Party takes precedence over the United States of America.
    To me, people like Rooney and King and especially Nunes are at least as dangerous to our democratic republic as Trump and his coterie.
    The new wrinkle that Trump and the organized crime figures he associates with bring to our vigil is a sophistication borne of the Soviet/Russia propaganda machine. And btw it is worth noting that the fall of the Soviet regime was in large measure caused by a similar Party-before-country value system.

    • Rugger9 says:

      The fact that the GOP has put party loyalty first is not really news on this board.  Since Reagan of the “11th Commandment: thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican” in the ’80s the GOP has been consistently purging its ranks of moderates and dissenters and they are in complete lockstep now to the money (i.e. NRA and the tax bill of 2017 where they admitted that was the reason to do the deed).  Charlie Pierce at Esquire has been documenting this for a long time.  Even in the last election, McTurtle was the one (not Obama) to personally spike the all-hands warning about Russian interference, and we now have a pretty good idea why: the GOP used the hacked information in campaigns in FL (at least) which is quite illegal as well as immoral.  That’s why they are trying extra hard to spike the Mueller investigation.

      Your point about the late Soviet Union is fairly sound as to why motivation was lacking (as well as money, Reagan spent them to death on a credit card), since a running joke then was that “the State pretends to pay us so we pretend to work”.  The party loyalty requirement question was answered for all intents by Stalin who would put returning POWs from WWII onwards into the gulag as it existed then because they were exposed to foreign information.  Before that it was Czarists and “kulaks”.

      • cfost says:

        Yes. Marcy’s documentation here of the “competing stories” prompted me to take a step back. This site, and most of the commenters here, perform a valuable service by digging up and shining a light on aspects and details of important issues. That’s why I’m here. But I have a nagging feeling that at some point we are going to have to have a national examination of our values and beliefs. Belief seems to be key. If access to information ( and hence, the truth) is being denied by force in Russia and elsewhere, in America we seem to be doing that voluntarily. People like Ailes have been adept at exploiting that tendency. Ailes did it at Fox, but before that also with the Southern strategy and the alliance between Reagan and Falwell on the abortion wedge.
        My point, which Marcy makes and which you allude to in your “party loyalty requirement” comment: how do we deal with the 30% or so in our society who have demonized us and any speaker associated with us to the point that anything and everything we say cannot possibly be true? Belief seems to preclude facts. Folks like Nunes know that their adherents will believe anything and everything they say. So, even if the transcript of Hicks’ testimony is released, the GOP can release a laughably dishonest statement (a la the Nunes memo) and that will become the truth with this crowd.
        So instead of asking her whether she was ever pressured to lie for Trump, Swalwell might just as well asked Hope Hicks, “Do you continue to believe Donald Trump is innocent despite increasingly overwhelming objective evidence to the contrary?” If the answer is yes, a reasonable political conversation is no longer possible.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          “Belief seems to preclude fact.”

          At some point in next months, the facts will override the beliefs.

          Fortunately for the brainwashed gopers, they probably have insurance and will be able to get psychiatric care.

          Some may even thank Obama for that. /s

        • emptywheel says:

          All people are tribalist like that. While it’s true that Trump supporters are far more contemptuous of the facts than others, all sides cling to false beliefs at times.

          That said, I’m optimistic that some Republicans will come around, and probably have already, on some key issues. I know I’ve had some useful conversations with people with whom I had preexisting trusting relationships to convince them some of their beliefs were wrong.

          • Rugger9 says:

            I would be more impressed if they started voting against the Kaiser instead of merely grumbling.  That also includes the House and the Senate.

  3. TheraP says:

    Lying is an interesting topic – in and of itself. It has to do with the emerging awareness of a child, that one’s self, one’s mind, can be independent of another’s knowledge. In that sense, it is a positive development for the child.

    But here we have a sycophant working for a narcissist: A sociopath, who required everyone working for him (prior to the White House where it’s not supposed to be possible or ethical, since one’s loyalty should be to the Constitution) to sign a loyalty “oath” – guaranteeing they would never divulge things about their employer/Trump.

    I totally agree with Marcy that the transcript should be made public. If only there were not so much chaos, perhaps an outcry for that could gain traction. But I so appreciate seeing these 4 versions.

    Our sycophant, Hope, is in an interesting position, having presumably signed such a promise or oath, when she first began to work for Trump. Perhaps the lawyers here can weigh in on exactly when her (legal?) oath to Trump stops. Was it at her swearing in? At the transition? And when would such an oath be superceded by the obligation to be truthful under questioning? So who or what trumps Trump?

    We’re at the boundary of Ethics and Law, I think. We’re at the point where our sycophant must search her conscience, her future prospects, how far loyalty to an employer conflicts with one’s self-respect, one’s obligation to another solemn oath to We the People, to history… You can play this out many ways.

    This is a young woman who has had the inner strength to resign. It suggests to me how powerful is the stress of remaining at her job. The stress of multiple investigations. The stress of an increasingly unraveling boss and work situation. The stress of a private person having become an international story – even down to the worst rags investigating her romantic history.

    Will she decide to tell all to Mueller? I can only imagine what’s going through her head. Because we also learn as children that we can be “caught” lying. (Uh, oh!)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Not much of a boundary there.  An NDA signed by an employee for a sitting president would likely be unenforceable as against public policy.  (Many are unenforceable in the private sector, but employees rarely have the resources to fight them.)  It would be meaningless in the context of a criminal investigation, which would blow right through it.

      As the media have pointed out, one of the planned charges for the impeachment of Richard Nixon was his abuse of executive privilege.  This president has blown through that precedent, extending it beyond Nixon’s fevered protectionism.  That suggests Donald has more to hide than Tricky Dick.

      In part, Trump has abused privilege by his nominal “non-assertions” of it.  He has had his aides refuse to answer questions on the grounds that the president might later choose to exert privilege.  That’s a non-starter, but only if Congress challenges it.  So far, the GOP committee chairs are sitting on their wallets and refusing to act.

      The president has to assert privilege in order for a witness legitimately not to answer questions.  The assertion has to fall within the scope of any of several types of privilege, which the president has to choose from.  That’s a process Trump, McGahn and his other lawyers are trying to avoid because Trump would likely quickly lose in the courts on many of his attempted assertions of privilege.  It’s a very Trumpian gambit, because until the president acts, it puts all the risk of not answering on his aides.  Trouble is, Republicans who control Congress refuse to enforce the rules against their Dear Leader by holding these aides in contempt.  (We don’t know what position the aides have taken when interviewing Mueller.)

      The best outcome for the public interest would be for Mueller to act with deliberate speed, which would keep open many questions for the new Congress to be elected in November.  It would only do so if the Democrats won one or both houses, and if establishment Dems were forced by their constituents to act.

  4. SteveB says:


    We do not have enough information to know whether HH departure is as a result of finding strength or a result of calculation by others, including or especially DJT.

    Meuller’s examination of her was surely more forensic than the House Intel Cttees, but her recent admissions to them of  little white lies and being asked to dissemble by Flynn, point to possibility of more damaging evidence or more damaging admissions to Meuller. Being caught out having unethically giving her boyfriend cover made her vulnerable in cross examination.

    I would not be at all surprised if DJT lawyers had advised him to part ways with her because of the danger to him she now poses as his date with Meuller approaches.

    • TheraP says:

      Good point.

      But that still leaves her in a very precarious position. She knows TOO much! If I were her, I’d be seeking “witness protection.” Then again, I would never have ended up in her position.

      The pressure on her is bound to increase. Pressure from both directions. (Mueller’s side and Trump’s) And what can Trump bring to bear that truly competes with what Mueller can? Other than a loyalty relationship. (I just mean the power of longstanding relationships within Trump’s circle. I’m not referring to unenforceable papers she may signed for Trump long ago. Or pledges she’s made to him.)

      These are trying times. But especially for the players in Mueller’s crosshairs. (Or nutcrackers.)

      I’m fascinated by the politics here. But even more by the psychodynamics. Focus on the latter gives me a respite from the political anguish I feel every single day.

      • JD12 says:

        Maybe she’s become immune to the Stockholm syndrome. The optimism that comes with winning an election and starting a new administration was gone very quickly, and there’s hardly anyone left. Plus having the media shine a flashlight up your kilt and showing the world you had an affair with a married man and are now dating a wife beater must be very embarrassing. Add the legal exposure and maybe Trump can’t protect her anymore.

        It probably helps him legally, but there can’t be a whole lot that Flynn and Gates can’t already cover. She could quietly go back to the Trump Organization or the 2020 campaign, but if anyone else other than Ivanka confessed to lying, he’d be going off on them.


        • SteveB says:

          JHer affairs were public knowledge and each entanglement would have served her and Trumps wider agenda of increasing her status access and influence upon the courtiers in Trump Palace, the better to serve herself and her master.

          The Trump defence strategy is that any and all  wrong doing was by individuals gone rogue, perhaps with the intention of attempting to please the boss but the Don knew nothing because he was insulated.

          HH is key to maintaining this narrative, and the key to maintaining her role as narrator is shoring up the carefully cultivated romantic image of her as “dutiful if slightly dim and definitely not duplicitous, quasi-daughter”

          With the sheen coming off that, her role will morph into some unspecified role in Trump20 where DJT will bribe her bigly, and for her to feature in many glossy photo shoots and puff pieces.

          The allAmericanGirl innocently caught up in matters she neither desired nor deserves, being victimised by witchhunting bastards. That they stoop so low as to persecute such a faithful charming and photogenic family retainer, shows what bastardly bastards the bastards are and they hate her president too, the bastards!

          • Wm. Boyce says:

            I think it may be simpler than all of the theories proffered. Trump finally crossed the line in Ms. Hicks’ mind as to the abuse heaped upon her by his Mad King Donaldship. The guy really is nuts, and it’s got to be taking its toll on all these people inside the White Nut House. That’s one of the scariest things about his stealing the election – he is seriously nuts.


  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump seems to have more short-term cunning than calculation or strategery.  He can’t wait or control his impulses.  He is a master an shaming and blame shifting, but he rarely follows good advice.

    Based on his past behavior, if Donald had wanted to keep Hope, he would have done it.  He’s very self-destructive.  His anger and self-induced isolation will make that tendency more intense.  Pissing off so many people that were so near to him is evidence of that. Then there’s threatening a trade war because he’s angry and wants to distract himself and the country from his problems. 

    Not everyone remains as loyal after being pissed on as Rose Mary Woods.  Come to think of it, Nixon stayed especially nice to her – always a sign of breeding when one is pleasant to staff who know all your secrets.  Ask P.G. Wodehouse.  Trump, not so much.  He may think he’s King Lear, I would say he’s more like Agatha Christie’s Simeon Lee.

    • TheraP says:

      I’d just throw in one cautionary wrinkle to what is an excellent set of suppositions.

      We get a glimmer, from recent reporting, that Trump has at times rounded on Hope. So I’m wondering if the MeToo movement and allegations, even for emotional abuse, along with the pressure HH is under, may have prompted her to reach a personal limit. Call it a moment of enlightenment, an awareness of how much emotional abuse she’s seen and experienced.

      Trump seems to have two basic methods of manipulating people: scamming vs bullying. Both are predatory. But his usual methods are breaking down and escalating right before our eyes.

      Hope has a lot to trade with Mueller. Knows so much about this whole family. But is also enmeshed in it. At one point her loyalty spelled money, power, influence. Not so much going forward.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Hicks chose to date Rob Porter, so I don’t suspect the MeToo movement has had a big impact on her choice of romantic attachments.  She seems susceptible to the surface charm of men like Porter and Trump, and seems to have the authoritarian follower’s need for an outsized personality to follow. Emotion governs rationality, and that type seems to revel in predatory behavior, mistaking it for courage and leadership.

        I agree that were Mueller to persuade her to flip, the evidence on Trump would pile up.  There’s just the problem that authoritarian followers would often rather be nailed to a cross than thrice deny their leader before the cock crows.

        • NorskieFlamethrower says:

          “Hicks chose to date Rob Porter, so I don’t suspect the Me Too movement has had a big impact on her choice of romantic attachments.”

          Hmmm…I wonder. She has served Evanka for a number of years and then moved to Trumpty doing his bidding and serving the needs of at least a couple of senior WH advisors over the last couple of years. When does a person who has been conditioned to an abusive relationship become aware and begin to recognize their own fear and danger? I wonder of she isn’t ripe for some counseling  from those to whom she has not listened up to this point.

          • Trip says:

            Or, she was groomed to believe that her sexual attractiveness was her greatest power/asset. Clearly, that was taught to Ivanka, and it was demonstrated through early plastic surgery. Since she was Ivanka’s right hand gal friday, I imagine she is deeply immersed in that culture, not to mention her origins in modeling. That might explain the multiple paramours within the power structure, to an almost incestuous degree.


            • NorskieFlamethrower says:

              Of course she’s deeply immersed in the “culture” but when does a person who chooses that culture begin to become aware of the dangers and her own fear? She hasta be slowly recognizing that she’s between Russian and American criminals on one side and Mueller on the other.  I gotta believe that as the bills pile up and she gets another round with Mueller, she’s gunna begin to identify with Manafort.

        • Trent says:

          “There’s just the problem that authoritarian followers would often rather be nailed to a cross than thrice deny their leader before the cock crows.”  Agree with all but that.  

          Authoritarians lack the courage to act on their deeply held convictions because they are not developed innately.  Rather they are appropriated without critical thought from those in the echo chamber.  Without the deep seated convictions borne of intentional consideration of many different perspectives, those authoritarians are much more likely to sell anyone out that threatens their narrow interests.


  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Republicans used to berate Bill Clinton for supposedly renting out the Lincoln Bedroom for campaign contributions or other favors.  This White House rents out the government.

    I can’t quite get my head around Hope Hicks’s “white lies” construction. She had legal counsel, and the context was formal investigations by Congress and Bob Mueller. “White lies” is inane and girlish, but it was never going to make Bob Mueller hesitate nor the Dems in Congress. (The Republicans won’t do anything regardless.) No lawyer would accept that a witness’s “white lie” was innocuous. The assumption would be that it was an attempt to put lipstick on a 1000 lb hog.

    • SteveB says:

      I suspect that playing the ingenue has served HH very well in Trump world, but ingenue she is not .
      Just like Henry Hill she made a conscious choice to join the wiseguys. Her terrible taste in men extends beyond being papa Trumps surrogate daughter to consorting with Lewendowski and then Porter, both loathsome, and both in unique positions in Trump orbit. It is noticeable the right are “chivalry trolling” on her behalf,  but not only did she have the Dons confidence as his principal personal gopher (and mistress of his email account) but was romantically entwined with the highest staff manager on the campaign, and then the highest staff administrator in the Whitehouse. She thus by luck or design in a position to know everyones secrets.

      HH would have been quite the lady to be reckoned with at the court of the Sun King.9

  7. Rapier says:

    Ms HIcks is a professional PR person. That she lies is news? PR people, and leaders, and underlings of every sort of institution you can name, lie all the time. They lie, and they know, that we know, that they are lying. End of story.

    While this cynical take is banal I suppose, it still should not go unremarked upon. Sure there is context here about what the lie or lies were, and that’s worth pursuing.

    Thinking about it, what is surprising is her admission she lied. This is simply never done. Did the tobacco executives admit later they lied about not “believing” nicotine is addictive? Of course not. They lied and everyone knew they lied. End of story.

    Admitting a lie is the ultimate betrayal of the organization. Any organization. The biggest crime there is now. At root the war against whistle blowers is the war against people who won’t lie, for the organization. She really opened a can or worms, for herself.

  8. Trip says:

    The entire brouhaha is absurd. Of course she lied. Trump lies at least 20 times per day. Sean Sphincter’s first jump out of the gate was lying his ass off to the WH press corps about “the largest inaugural attendance in history”.  Everyone lied about meeting with Russian operatives, ambassadors, and so on.  Then they lied about the purpose of those meetings. None of that is PR spin. It’s bald-faced lies.

    “I have never been asked to lie with respect to the Russia investigation.”

    Which Russia investigation? The one about hacking, trolling and interference, or the campaign conspiracy?  I am reminded of the famous Clinton quote, “It depends upon what your definition of is is.”

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I agree that any organization would consider an admission of lying an unforgivable betrayal, especially coming from a PR person steeped in the euphemisms designed to avoid admitting to a lie. One wouldn’t last long in the marketing department of a tech company or an industrial food conglomerate with that behavior. It is the ultimate rejection and pointing of fingers.  Perhaps she felt that, there being ten pounds of poo in that five pound bag already, more lies would not fit.  Perhaps she involuntarily said, “I gotta get out of here” and used a framing designed unconsciously to force the issue.  A common behavior.

    Her contortion about what she did not lie about, after a long exchange with her lawyer, would have made Bob Mueller’s people ask for another pot of coffee and carton of yellow pads.

    • Trip says:

      She is celebrity-level PR qualified. Tons of bullshit is acceptable in that realm. Where diplomacy, governance and legal consequences are concerned, I’d say she’s woefully incompetent, and an excellent example of the Peter Principle.

      She’d be an absolute fool to lie to Mueller’s team. That is WAY out of her league.

    • SteveB says:

      “I have never been asked to lie in respect of the Russian Investigation”

      Is obviously carefully crafted to create the impression of an expansive denial of lying on anyone’s behalf or behest at any time about l’affaire russe, but also provides plenty of wiggle room.

      Clearly in substance the statement falls far short of that. It  probably means no more than

      “It has not been put to me directly that I should state any particular specific clear falsehoods while giving testimony to the special counsel”

  10. Avattoir says:

    ‘I have never been asked to lie about the Russia investigation.’
    > Okay then: I’ll ask you questions about contacts between the Trump Campaign & the Trump White House on the one hand and Russian nationals & others with with connections to the Russian Federation government.
    ‘I will not answer any questions about the Russia investigation.’
    > Have you been asked to give that response?
    ‘As I stated …’
    > Have you been asked to give either or both those responses?
    ‘As I stated …’

  11. SteveB says:

    Re HH leaving the Whitehouse

    What effect will that have on her ability to accept $$ for her legal bills ?

    I imagine that should DJT pay them directly then some ethical issues would arise, but would and such payment be legally barred?

    But what scrutiny procedures exist to prohibit or prevent her legal costs being met by anyone who is or maybe a target of the investigation?

    I imagine that broad offences such as witness tampering or subornation of perjury (or whatever the US equivalent is) may be implicated, but it occurs to me that once she ceases to be a federal employee sources of funds may be subject to less stringent rules and scrutiny?

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      That’s interesting. Just what ARE the legal restrictions on Trumpty payin’ her bills, legal and otherwise?


  12. gedouttahear says:

    The fish rots from the head down, yes; but this whole school of fish (sorry real fish, you’re completely different and better) was rotten to begin with.

    The abnormal has become normal. e.g., discussion among the media and pundits about how kushner’s security clearance would interfere with his ability to do his job! Egads! Is there an assumption that that craven dumb-ass could ever do “his” job.  And remembering her statements from the campaign, HH is about as intellectually lightweight as they come.

    As I get more hopeful about Mueller time, I cringe that that means Pence Time. Gag me with a speculum.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I’m not so sure about “Pence Time”.  Remember, Pence is Manafort’s pick to be VP.  And the circumstances surrounding Manafort convincing Trump to dump Christie and go with Pence were beyond bizarre.  Manafort picked Pence for a reason.  I don’t think we have any idea what that reason is yet.

      • SteveB says:

        Given Christie prosecuted CKushner for financial fraud, Manafort obviously had good reason not to want Christie anywhere near his activities, and KushnerJr had plenty of reason (historical and prospective) to want Christie out.

        Is Pence common or garden DC corruptly ambitious or Trump style collusive?

        The Flynn Pence story does not add up, but when does wilful myopia beome connivance?

  13. bloopie2 says:

    “The Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has bought a Cypriot passport under a controversial scheme that allows rich investors to acquire citizenship and visa-free access to the European Union, the Guardian can reveal. Deripaska, an aluminium magnate with connections to Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, is one of hundreds of wealthy individuals who have applied for Cypriot nationality. His application was approved last year. “
    I’ve seen his name crop up a lot here. Any way this can affect things here?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Good idea to check the links before posting.  From and including the question mark to the end of the cite is tracking info that’s best deleted.  If you want to go to the site, cut and paste into a new tab, but without the last info.

  14. harpie says:

    The story of Hope Hicks is reminding me about Fawn Hall. Ms. Hall was Oliver North’s secretary.
    1] FAWN HALL STEPS INTO THE LIMELIGHT; NYT; February 26, 1987 
    […] In recent days, it was disclosed that Ms. Hall told Lawrence E. Walsh, the independent counsel investigating the Iran-contra affair, that she helped Colonel North destroy National Security Council documents. Ms. Hall, who was granted immunity from prosecution by Mr. Walsh earlier this month, said she also had been instructed by Colonel North to make alterations in four key memos in order to obscure the role in the Iran affair played by Colonel North’s superiors. […]
     2] Fawn Hall and Others Named Unindicted Co-Conspirators;AP; May 1, 1988 
    [quote] LOS ANGELES, April 30— Fawn Hall, the former secretary to Oliver L. North, has been named by a Federal grand jury as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Iran-contra affair, The Los Angeles Times a reported today. […] 
    The action, which has been kept under court seal, allows the independent prosecutor, Lawrence E. Walsh, to use the testimony of the unindicted co-conspirators against his primary targets: Mr. North, a former White House aide and Marine lieutenant colonel; Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter, a former national security adviser; Richard V. Secord, a retired Air Force major general; and Albert A. Hakim, a businessman. […]
    Mr. North, Mr. Poindexter, Mr. Secord and Mr. Hakim were indicted in March on charges of conspiring to divert to Nicaraguan rebels the profits from the sale of arms to Iran. Their case is still in the pre-trial stage, Hearsay testimony from an alleged member of a conspiracy, even if unindicted, can be used against all members of the conspiracy because the witness was close to events. [end quote] 

    • harpie says:

      Interestingly, Ollie North [along with Erik Prince] recently turned up in this Intercept piece:
      Trump Whitehouse Weighing Plans for Private Spies to Counter “Deep State” Enemies; The Intercept; 12/4 17  
      [quote] THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer — with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal — to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals. The sources say the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency. […] [end quote]

      • TheraP says:

        ‘What a great idea – NOT!’

        My first thought: they’ll order up exactly what they want and their “private” intelligence(?!) crew will find it!

        This is maybe the worst news ever! We need a total clean sweep.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          It’s even worse than that.

          They would never find any deep state ops, because they would be part of the conspiracy.

          But they sure would suck a bunch of money.

          Remember, there are always bad guys out there, and, and, we need more money to catch them bad guys!

          Which never happens. The bad guys would never be caught. Because that is not profitable.

  15. Rugger9 says:

    For ew 3/3/18 @ 7:37 pm:

    I am aware of what Flynn is supposed to do, has agreed to do, etc., et al. Recall he also took an oath to defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and while engaged in footsie with Soviet-minded Putinistas he was also arranging the kidnapping of Erdogan’s principal critic Gulen. What he says and what he will do are two different things and my point is that he will try to do as little as possible with the goal IMHO of saving his son from jail. Now that Hope has resigned and has admitted to “white lies” he will have to wonder what she told Mueller.

    Honor left this general a long time ago.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I imagine the closets of the Trumps and Kushners look like the scene in the Egyptian tomb from Raiders of the Lost Ark, skeletons of Pharaoh’s priests crammed in among the stone and snakes.

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