June 4 (UPI) — The White House instructed two former staffers not to hand over any documents subpoenaed by the House judiciary committee, unnamed officials said Tuesday.
The sources told The Hill that White House officials told Hope Hicks, former communications director, and Annie Donaldson, former chief of staff to former White House counsel Don McGahn, not to turn over documents related to their work within the Trump administration.
CNN obtained a copy of a letter White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent the committee saying White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney issued the directive to Hicks and Donaldson.
“Those documents include White House records that remain legally protected from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principles, because they implicate significant executive branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege,” Cipollone’s letter read.
House judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., issued the subpoenas for Hicks and Donaldson to give testimony and hand over documents on May 21. The committee is investigating potential obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power in the White House.
Nadler said the White House directive was an example of “continued obstruction” of congressional probes.
“The president has no lawful basis for preventing these witnesses from complying with our request,” he said.
Nadler gave the women until Tuesday to provide the documents and asked Hicks to testify June 19 and Donaldson on June 24.
Hicks resigned as White House communications director in February 2018 and testified before the House intelligence committee in its probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election a day after.
In March, she agreed to comply with the House judiciary’s request to turn over documents in its probe.
The subpoenas requested documents related to instances of potential obstruction listed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, as well as Trump’s presidential campaign and the Trump Organization.