Hope Hicks ‘refused to answer’ if the president -- or Don Jr or Ivanka -- had ever asked her to lie: congressman
Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention. A NBC News photo by Ida Mae Astute, via creative commons.

The reasons the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Donald Trump confidante Hope Hicks was explained Tuesday by a former prosecutor who sits on the committee.

The committee also subpoenaed Annie Donaldson, who was chief of staff for former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) was interviewed by MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace on "Deadline: White House" on Tuesday.

"These are front row witnesses to a double-digit obstructer. Bob Mueller and his team laid out at least ten instances in which the president obstructed and these two individuals were front and center," he argued. "They have a story to tell."

"I was part of the interview team with Hope Hicks over a year ago when she came before the House Intelligence Committee. She had a very, very deep memory and recall of everything the president had done," he explained. "I was really struck by that. Where others who have known him for decades have said to us over and over, 'I don’t recall, I don’t recall' -- Hope Hicks said the opposite. She did recall."

"It would be very helpful to know what she saw," he added.

The host allowed Washington Post national political reporter Robert Costa to question the Judiciary Committee Democrat.

"What’s the one thing, the top-line, if you get her in front of your committee that you want to find out from Hope Hicks?" Costa asked.

"The question I asked her on the House Intelligence Committee and she refused to answer, which is, 'Did the president ever tell you to lie for him and did you ever lie for him?' That was a very, I would say, flash point in the interview," Swalwell explained.

"She asked to step outside for ten minutes and then she came back inside and refused to answer the question," he recalled.

"I asked if Donald Trump Jr. had asked her to lie and she refused again," he continued. "She started shaking her head and said, 'I refuse to answer, I refuse to answer.'"

"I asked her about Ivanka Trump, whether she asked her to lie, she said I refuse to answer," he noted. "It clearly struck a nerve."