The White House instructed former administration officials Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to comply with a subpoena to turn over documents from their time in the West Wing to the House Judiciary Committee.
The White House sent letters to the panel, chaired by Jerry Nadler, saying that White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had told them not to hand over the information, as reported by CNN.
The refusal was based on executive privilege, the same argument that was used to block the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn.
On May 21, Jerry Nadler subpoenaed the former White House communications director Hope Hicks and the one-time chief of staff for McGahn, Annie Donaldson, for them to appear before the committee and turn over documents.
That deadline is Tuesday. Asked whether he would hold Hicks and Donaldson in contempt if they don’t comply with his requests, House Judiciary Chairman Nadler stated: “I assume so.”
Rep. Nadler said in a statement that Hope Hicks has already agreed to release documents from her time with President Trump’s campaign and said she must comply with the subpoena as part of the investigation into whether President Trump obstructed special counsel Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“Federal law makes clear that the documents we requested – documents that left the White House months ago – are no longer covered by executive privilege, if they ever were,” Jerry Nadler said. ”The President has no lawful basis for preventing these witnesses from complying with our request.”