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What Is Hope Hicks Crying About?



What Is Hope Hicks Crying About?

Think about a trial scene on the finish of a Mob film, with a wood-panelled courtroom and a white-haired choose. The outdated don on the protection desk, surrounded by slick attorneys. The striving prosecutors. The armed safety. The sworn witnesses, one after the other, pressed to remain loyal or flip rat. That has just about been the scene on the fifteenth ground of the Manhattan Felony Courthouse these previous few weeks, throughout former President Donald Trump’s hush-money trial.

On Friday, the previous White Home counsellor Hope Hicks took the stand. Hicks received concerned with the Trump marketing campaign in its early days; she was already on the staff in 2015, when Trump got here down the Trump Tower escalator to announce that he was operating for President, and she or he was nonetheless with him in 2021, when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to attempt to hold him in workplace. However Hicks has since saved her distance. After his rebellion failed, Trump decamped for Florida. Hicks stayed in Washington, the place she runs her personal communications consultancy. Now she was testifying towards Trump after being subpoenaed by the federal government. In press studies concerning the Trump Administration, she’d typically been written about as a sort of surrogate daughter to the President—in response to different 2016 marketing campaign aides, Hicks used to press Trump’s jackets and pants as he wore them. When she walked into Choose Juan Merchan’s courtroom, she may have handed for Ivanka Trump’s sister: hair extravagantly achieved, again straight, arms down by her sides, purse held loosely with simply the ends of her fingers. However, when she sat down within the witness stand, she didn’t look in her outdated boss’s course. “I’m actually nervous,” she mentioned, instantly reaching for a glass of water positioned in entrance of her by a courtroom officer.

The federal government wished Hicks to testify as a result of she’d had conversations with each Trump and Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, about Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, ladies who say they’d intercourse with Trump within the early years of his marriage to former First Girl Melania Trump. As a high communications aide, Hicks helped form the official marketing campaign and White Home response to articles about McDougal and Daniels that ran within the Wall Road Journal each earlier than and after Trump was elected. The Manhattan District Lawyer, Alvin Bragg, believes that Trump and his allies paid off McDougal and Daniels in 2016 as a part of an unlawful conspiracy to affect the Presidential election. Bragg’s workplace has charged Trump with falsifying enterprise data when he allegedly paid Cohen again for paying off Daniels. Trump maintains his innocence, and, the truth is, has portrayed himself in some ways because the sufferer on this trial.

A number of of the witnesses who might take the stand have themselves been investigated for—or convicted of—crimes. However, in Hicks’s case, neither facet prompt that she has achieved something improper. She gave the prosecutors precisely what they wished when she was requested about Trump’s response to a 2018 Wall Road Journal article about his relationship with Daniels, an adult-film actress who says that she and Trump had intercourse, in 2006, in a set on the highest ground of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. “Mr. Trump’s opinion was it was higher to be coping with it now, and that it could have been dangerous to have that story come out earlier than the election,” Hicks mentioned. (Trump’s attorneys have prompt to the jury that the previous President was primarily involved about how information articles about alleged affairs would have an effect on his spouse; prosecutors have argued that what he was actually fearful about was the election.) Hicks additionally acknowledged that she had texted with Cohen about Daniels just some days earlier than Election Day in 2016. Cohen informed her that “if crucial,” he had an announcement from Daniels “denying every part.” “I didn’t know what he was speaking about, and I didn’t wish to know,” Hicks mentioned.

However she didn’t give the prosecutors every part they have been in search of. A couple of days in the past, David Pecker, the previous writer of the Nationwide Enquirer—who bought the rights to McDougal’s story about Trump in 2016 for 100 and fifty thousand {dollars}, and who later entered right into a coöperation settlement with the federal government—testified that, in March of 2018, after McDougal gave an interview to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, he’d spoken to each Hicks and White Home Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about McDougal’s hush-money contract. “I defined to them, to the 2 of them, that—why I used to be going to increase her settlement,” Pecker mentioned. “And each of them mentioned that they thought that it was a good suggestion.”

When the senior counsel to the District Lawyer Matthew Colangelo requested Hicks whether or not she had spoken to Pecker after McDougal spoke to CNN, her nervousness evaporated, revealing the seasoned communications aide beneath. “I’ve no recollection of chatting with Mr. Pecker after that interview,” she mentioned. When requested about Cohen, who has additionally coöperated with the federal government and is anticipated to be the prosecution’s star witness, Hicks took a potshot. “I used to say that he appreciated to name himself a ‘fixer’ or ‘Mr. Repair-It,’ and it was solely as a result of he first broke it,” she mentioned. For more often than not that Hicks was testifying, Trump was sitting in his now customary place on the protection desk, slumped in his chair, eyes closed, seemingly semiconscious. However, when Hicks made that crack about Cohen, his mouth broke out right into a crooked little paternal smile.

It was left to Emil Bove, one in all Trump’s attorneys, to cross-examine Hicks. Bove, a former federal terrorism prosecutor, had displayed nothing however contempt for the earlier witnesses. “The issues that I’ve proven you this morning elevate some questions on how this cellphone was dealt with, proper?” he requested Douglas Daus, a forensic laptop analyst within the District Lawyer’s workplace who dealt with cell telephones that Cohen turned over, after grilling him on Friday morning. “In some ways, we’re simply going to should take Michael Cohen’s phrase for it, aren’t we?” However, with Hicks, Bove was gentler. “I feel you mentioned this morning that it ran just a little bit like a household enterprise when you have been there?” he requested, at one level, referring to the Trump Group. Hicks mentioned sure. Bove additionally requested her about her early days there. “Your preliminary title was the director of communications?” he requested. She mentioned sure. “And that was a place that the Trump Group created to carry you in, proper?” he requested. She mentioned sure. “And I feel you mentioned this morning that you simply focussed on actual property, hospitality, and leisure—that was your portfolio there?” he mentioned. She turned her head to the facet, and forged her eyes down. “Sorry,” she mentioned, her voice breaking. A tissue appeared in her hand, and she or he dabbed her eyes. “May I simply have a minute?” she requested. The stenographer sitting a couple of ft from Hicks wrote “(Crying)” into the official document. “Ms. Hicks, do you want a break?” Merchan requested. “Sure, please,” she mentioned. Merchan excused the jury, after which Hicks, her eyes pink and puffy, got here down from the stand and walked out of the courtroom, nonetheless avoiding Trump.

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