Ahead of former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks being called to Congress to testify about former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation — during which she was, by all accounts, less than helpful — the Trump administration took the unprecedented step of advising Congress that Hicks was given "immunity" from talking to them by the president.
On CNN's "The Situation Room," national security analyst Shawn Turner demolished this legal strategy.
"I think, first of all, we have to point out this letter that the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, sent to Congress claiming that Hope Hicks would have immunity is somewhat peculiar," said Turner. "To be clear, there is no concept of presidential immunity in the Constitution. He actually refers to this as constitutional immunity."
"Now, that said, I do think it is the case that we want the president, we want the executive to certainly have access to advice and counsel from senior advisers, particularly as it relates to governance and policy issues," continued Turner. "But if you look at what happened today on the Hill, you had Hope Hicks there refusing to answer questions about various mundane things, including whether or not she actually talked to Robert Mueller. So this isn't about governance or policy issues, this is a case in which the White House is continuing to step in the way of Congress' ability to exercise oversight."
"So I think that for those who have said that this will be challenged in court and this is a somewhat absurd claim, I think that's absolutely right," said Turner. "There is no provision for this sort of immunity."