Most secretive administration EVER!

Courtesy of CNN:

The White House has directed former officials Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to turn over any documents to the House Judiciary Committee relating to their time at the White House, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

But Hicks, the former White House communications director, still could turn over documents the committee has requested related to the 2016 Trump campaign, as that period cannot be covered by executive privilege. In 2018, Hicks testified before the House

Intelligence Committee about her time on the campaign, but she would not answer questions about the White House.

The White House sent letters to the committee stating that White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had directed Hicks and Donaldson, the former deputy White House counsel, not to turn over the documents.

The committee had issued subpoenas to both Hicks and Donaldson for documents, setting a Tuesday deadline. The subpoenas also include requests for testimony from the former White House officials for later this month.

As it turns out Hicks has a mind of her own and has agreed to hand over at least some of the documents.

Courtesy of NBC News:

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.

Trump will likely eventually pull the executive privilege card to keep the rest of the documents out of reach.

I have to think that Hope Hicks has a treasure trove of information that Congress is dying to get their hands on, so I imagine they will ramp up the pressure to get everything she has.

Trump has essentially announced that he going to instruct his people to fight or ignore every request and subpoena that Congress issues, so we cannot be surprised by the news that staffers are following that directive. 

It is is very unlikely that the courts will back the White House on these refusals so this is really nothing more than a delaying tactic. 

Already Congress is moving to ratchet up pressure on Bill Barr and Don McGahn who have both also refused to cooperate.

Courtesy of Politico:

The House will vote next week to hold Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress for defying congressional subpoenas, according to multiple Democratic sources.

The resolution would clear the way for the House Judiciary Committee to take Barr and McGahn to court to enforce their subpoenas and are a crucial step for Democrats seeking to accelerate their obstruction of justice investigation against President Donald Trump.

“This Administration’s systematic refusal to provide Congress with answers and cooperate with Congressional subpoenas is the biggest cover-up in American history, and Congress has a responsibility to provide oversight on behalf of the American people,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement.

Barr has failed to comply with a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s fully unredacted report and underlying evidence; McGahn balked at a subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

The vote, which will take place on June 11, will also include broad authority for congressional committees to take legal action against the Trump administration in future subpoena fights, the Democratic sources say.

Contempt charges can sometimes include jail time, though I imagine it would prove impossible to incarcerate the sitting Attorney General.