Donald Trump’s 29-year-old Communications Director Hope Hicks could be implicated in possible plot to obstruct justice by concealing emails, according to a stunning report in the New York Times Wednesday.
Part of Trump’s inner-circle and a confidant of the president, Hicks allegedly told Mark Corallo, Trump’s former legal spokesman, that explosive emails from Don Jr. prior to the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 would “never get out.”
If true, Hicks is likely to become the focus for Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election meddling, her intimate knowledge of the campaign and transition making her a key witness for special counsel.
Corallo, who resigned last July, is scheduled to be interview by Mueller’s team, and is reportedly ready to detail a conference call with Hicks and Trump on the morning after news broke about the meeting between Trump’s son and several Russian officials.
According to three former colleagues, Corallo will tell Mueller that Hicks attempted to ease the president’s concerns by telling him that Don Jr.’s emails “will never get out.”
Aboard Air Force One returning from the G20 summit in Germany, Trump and Hicks drafted a statement in response to the story, claiming the meeting was about international adoption rights. The statement was subsequently issued in Don Jr.’s name.
The true nature of the meeting - to score dirt on Trump’s opponent - was revealed weeks later.
Corallo was reportedly alarmed that Hicks had suggested emails could be withheld from investigators in front of the president and without a lawyer on the phone — meaning the conversation could not be protected by attorney-client privilege.
The emails were subsequently published by the Times, showing Don Jr.’s eagerness to receive scuttlebutt on Clinton from the Russians.
Wednesday's report was dismissed by Hicks’ attorney Robert Trout, who told the Times: "She never said that. And the idea that Hope Hicks ever suggested that emails or other documents would be concealed or destroyed is completely false.”
According to Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury,” the call prompted Corallo to quit as he saw no good outcome from the situation, confiding that “the meeting on Air Force One represented a likely obstruction of justice.”
The Trump Tower meeting is one of several incidents Mueller’s team want to discuss with Trump face-to-face. Mueller has questioned numerous White House officials in recent months about the how the Air Force One statement was drafted — and how directly the president was involved.
Cover image: White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks listens as President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau host a meeting with women business leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)