In another so far futile attempt to incriminate President Trump former White House adviser Hope Hicks was questioned Wednesday about Mueller report episodes and Democrats were obstructed again. In this case, by law they were denied access to any relevant testimony according to an opinion released in May 2019 by the Office of Legal Counsel or OLC. The immunity of the president’s immediate advisers cannot be compelled to give congressional testimony on matters related to their official responsibilities has long been recognized and arises from the fundamental workings of the separation of powers defined in the Constitution. House Judiciary Committee Republican Rep. Doug Collins from Georgia describes the situation as follows.
He said in response to a reporter asking, “Is the White House standing in the way?” “No, I don’t think so. I think they’re asserting the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) opinion, which is immunity for senior White House officials. This has been in both, in all administrations, not just Republican, not just Democratic, I don’t think they’re standing in the way because she’s actually here testifying and she is answering questions that don’t fall under that opinion.”
Referring to this same immunity based on the separation of executive and legislative powers, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerold Nadler of New York appears relentless and asserts his intent to destroy this immunity in court.
Nadler said, “Actually an immunity which we will destroy in court. The reporter said, “So as of right now you are going to take this case to court? To which he replies “Over that (the immunity).”
Hicks was a witness for Mueller, providing information to the special counsel’s office about multiple episodes involving the president. Mueller wrote in his 448-page report released in April that there was not enough evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russia.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press