White House Communication Director Hope Hicks could face criminal prosecution after she admitted telling “white lies” to defend President Donald Trump, a former Justice Department official said on Wednesday.
During a panel discussion on CNN, Justice Correspondent Evan Perez explained that Hicks told the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that she was guilty of fabricating “white lies” for the president, but she refused to say what she had lied about.
Former Pentagon and State Department spokesperson John Kirby pointed out that lying is a fireable offense, especially for communications officials like Hicks.
“If I had [told white lies] and anybody found out that I did then I would have been fired by the secretary of defense and/or the secretary of state,” Kirby said. “You take an oath to the American people to serve in public office. One of those oaths is you are going to protect and defend the Constitution. And that means telling the truth. That means being honest, both offscreen and onscreen.”
CNN legal analyst Lauren Coats, a former federal prosecutor, observed that Hicks may have open herself up to criminal prosecution if she is caught telling “white lies” to special counsel Robert Mueller or his investigators.
“Is there a difference between a white lie and a big lie?” CNN host John Berman asked Coats.
“Not if you’re Robert Mueller,” Coats insisted. “We have already seen at least two to three people [charged for lying]. If you are lying generally then you’re going to get prosecuted for it. You’re going to have a guilty plea. So, there’s no real semantics-based nuance argument you could make.”
“It sounds like in her private life as a citizen for Donald Trump’s organization, she was the spin doctor,” Coats continued. “That role changes when you are the communications director of the White House and it especially changes if you are talking to the FBI, a chief investigator or even congressmen.”
Berman concluded by noting that Hicks reportedly told members of the House Intelligence Community that she had been advised not to lie to Mueller’s investigative team.
Watch the video below from CNN.
Ex-AG Matt Whitaker ‘pretty much acknowledges abuse of power’ in Fox News interview
The former acting Attorney General of the United States argued that presidential abuse of power is not a crime during a Tuesday evening appearance on Fox News.
“Abuse of power is not a crime,” Matt Whitaker told Fox News personality Laura Ingraham.
Tufts University Professor Daniel Drezner was fascinated by the admission.
"Interesting that Whitaker pretty much acknowledges abuse of power but doesn’t think it’s egregious," Drezner noted.
‘Abuse of power is not a crime’: Former acting AG Matt Whitaker makes a brazen claim on Fox News
Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told a Fox News audience that it is not a crime for President Donald Trump to abuse the power of his office.
Whitaker made the comments while complaining about "global elitists" during an interview with Laura Ingraham.
"What evidence of a crime do you have?" Whitaker asked, despite Trump, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and defense lawyer Rudy Giuliani all admitting Trump sought foreign election interference to help his struggling re-election campaign.
"Abuse of power is not a crime," the nation's former top law enforcement office argued.
Joe Biden apologizes for ‘partisan lynching’ comments about Bill Clinton’s impeachment
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday apologized for comments he made saying impeachment could be viewed as a "partisan lynching."
The comments from a 1998 interview were reported after Biden said it was "abhorrent" and "despicable" for President Donald Trump to refer to impeachment as a lynching.
"Even if the President should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard, the very high bar, that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense," Biden said in 1998.