On Wednesday, former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks agreed to appear for closed-door testify before the House Judiciary Committee next week.
On CNN’s “The Situation Room,” analyst Gloria Borger told anchor Wolf Blitzer that the testimony was limited in important ways — but could still give crucial insight into President Donald Trump’s actions surrounding the Russia affair.
“Gloria, what do you make of the Judiciary Committee wanting to speak to Hope Hicks, and her agreement to come before the committee behind closed doors next week?” asked Blitzer.
“With a representative from the White House counsel’s office at her side, so that even if behind closed doors she wants to claim privilege, the White House counsel can say, we need — you can’t talk about that, you can’t talk about that,” said Borger. “So, we’ll see how much she’ll be able to testify. I do think it’s a bit of a breakthrough for the committee, but it is going to be limited testimony. Don’t kid yourself.”
“I think what they want to know from Hope Hicks — and we all know this, having covered this story for the last couple of years — is that she was at the president’s side almost constantly,” said Borger. “She was on Air Force One when the president directed the rewriting of that statement about just what occurred in Don Jr.’s office when he met with the Russians in Trump Tower. So she can elaborate about that.”
“And I think she can also talk an awful lot about the president’s state of mind during a lot of events that occurred at the White House,” Borger added, “because she knows him very well, and she was there.”
‘Reality is hard to ignore’: CNN’s Chris Cuomo clashes with GOP congressman over Ukraine testimony
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," anchor Chris Cuomo traded barbs with Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), who tried to claim there was no evidence Trump committed any wrongdoing in Ukraine — and was repeatedly smacked down.
"What this was was an opening statement with no cross-examination," said Mullin. "What I was told by my Republican colleagues, John Radcliffe tore this apart piece by piece in less than two minutes. We don't know this because it's not open and transparent."
"This is the investigation, though. Just to make it clear for the audience," said Cuomo. "You don't usually get, as a defendant, a team in there to help new an investigation. But Republicans are there and you asked him to take the job as a lifelong Republican."
DOJ is ‘aiding and abetting’ the Ukraine conspiracy — because they know it goes to the top: Nixon’s John Dean
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean said that President Donald Trump's Ukraine scandal has all the makings of a criminal conspiracy — and that the Justice Department needs to immediately investigate the actors in the Ukraine conspiracy.
"John, I want to read you part of what [EU] Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland said during his testimony last week," said Cooper. "He said, 'Inviting a foreign government to undertake investigations for the purpose of influencing an upcoming U.S. election would be wrong. Withholding foreign aid in order to pressure a foreign government to take such steps would be wrong. I did not and would not ever participate in such undertakings.' Now, according to Taylor’s testimony today, I mean that’s exactly what he did at the behest of President Trump."
Sondland’s ‘clueless’ denials of a quid pro quo look worse than ever after today’s testimony: CNN’s Toobin
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told host Wolf Blitzer that President Donald Trump's Ukraine envoy Bill Taylor more or less wrecked any credibility that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland had in his denials of a Ukraine quid pro quo.
"Let me read a portion of his opening statement," said Blitzer. "He writes this: Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump told him he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma, the gas and oil company that Hunter Biden was on the board of, and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. Then he said this, I'm quoting: Ambassador Sondland said everything was dependent on such an announcement including security assistance. He said that President Trump wanted Zelensky in a public box by making a public statement by ordering such investigations. That's clearly a quid pro quo."