House Intel delays Hope Hicks interview in Russian Federation investigation

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President Donald Trump backs a short-term bill to fund the U.S. government that the House of Representatives will vote on today to avert a government shutdown. He is certainly behaving like a man hungry for a comeback, as he dances around the inquiry process and invokes executive privilege.

He was questioned behind closed doors on Tuesday in a 10-hour meeting.

President Donald Trump's White House is relying on a sweeping interpretation of executive privilege as current and former advisers parade to Capitol Hill for questioning about possible connections with Russian Federation. The optics of the claim are also not flattering.

The White House's contention: Pretty much everything is off limits until the president says it's not. It appears disingenuous for Bannon to claim a privilege for campaign transition activities and conversations, as Trump was not yet sworn into office.

Whichever side canceled the meeting, the move comes days after the administration-and reportedly President Donald Trump-instructed Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, to not answer the committee's questions on certain topics. A subpoena requires mandatory attendance at a court proceeding, and failure to comply with the subpoena can be met with a contempt of court charge.

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A witness is not permitted to bring an attorney into a federal grand jury proceeding, but can step outside to consult with counsel.

Robert Trout, a lawyer for Hicks, declined to comment.

"The scope of this assertion of privilege, if that's what it is, is breathtaking", he said, calling it "effectively a gag order by the White House". He said Bannon did not refuse to answer a question about his communications with Trump since August 2017, a period that followed Bannon's exit from the White House.

Hope Hicks, a longtime aide to Mr. Trump now serving as White House communications director, was scheduled to appear Friday before the committee.

"We've been fully cooperative with the ongoing investigations, and we're going to continue to do so", Sanders said.

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