House panel issues subpoenas for Hope Hicks, Annie Donaldson

Committee seeks docs from former WH officials

By Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, CNN
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Hope Hicks 

(CNN) - The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday issued subpoenas to former White House officials Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson for documents and testimony, setting the stage for another clash with the White House over former officials appearing before Congress.

The committee issued the subpoenas to Hicks and Donaldson as part of their sweeping investigation into possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power. The subpoena to Hicks, the former White House communications director, includes a request for documents and her appearance at a public hearing next month. The subpoena for Donaldson, who was deputy White House counsel, seeks documents and her appearance at a deposition in June.

The committee asks for both to provide documents by June 4, for Hicks to appear on June 19 and Donaldson on June 24.

"As I said earlier today, the Judiciary Committee's investigation into obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuse of power by President Trump and his Administration will continue," House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement.

The committee authorized subpoenas for Hicks and Donaldson at the same time they did so for former White House counsel Don McGahn last month. McGahn defied his subpoena on Tuesday at the direction of the White House, not appearing for a scheduled hearing. Nadler has said he will move to hold McGahn in contempt of Congress because he did not appear.

The committee wants to interview both Hicks and Donaldson about the obstruction episodes documented in special counsel Robert Mueller's report. The panel has also authorized subpoenas to two other former White House officials — former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former chief strategist Steve Bannon — but it has not issued those subpoenas.

In his statement, Nadler called Hicks and Donaldson "critical witnesses" to his committee's investigation.

In the Mueller report, Hicks spoke about the drafting of Donald Trump Jr.'s misleading initial statement about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, in which she detailed her conversations to persuade Trump on the best strategy to deal with the disclosure of Trump Jr.'s emails about setting up the meeting.

Donaldson also figures prominently in the Mueller report as McGahn's deputy in the White House counsel's office — and for her note-taking at meetings, which are cited throughout the report, including when the Mueller report pointed to her notes to say that Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr had spoken to McGahn about the FBI's Russia investigation. Burr has denied he was speaking about the FBI investigation, saying he was in fact discussing his committee's probe.

This story has been updated with additional information Tuesday and Wednesday.

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