Over the weekend, Donald Trump advised reporters on the Conservative Political Motion Convention that he would “completely” not drop out of the 2024 presidential race if he had been hit with legal expenses from one of many many investigations into his conduct. “I wouldn’t even take into consideration leaving,” he mentioned on Saturday, including that an indictment (or two, or three) would “most likely…improve my numbers.” Nonetheless, he did not declare that he can be okay if considered one of his longtime aides and an individual he seems to have as soon as regarded as one thing of a surrogate daughter had been to assist prosecutors make their case in opposition to him. And sadly for the ex-president, that will not be as much as him!
The New York Instances stories that Hope Hicks—a former senior counselor to Trump whom he’s affectionately known as “Hopey” and “Hopester”—met with the Manhattan district legal professional’s workplace this week, making her “the most recent in a string of witnesses to be questioned by prosecutors as they examine the previous president’s involvement in paying hush cash” to porn star Stormy Daniels. Based on the outlet, Hicks is “at the least the seventh witness” to satisfy with prosecutors since DA Alvin Bragg convened a grand jury earlier this yr to listen to proof within the case. Others have reportedly included former adviser Kellyanne Conway; two Trump Group staff; and David Pecker, the previous head of the writer of The Nationwide Enquirer. Pecker’s testimony was presumably of curiosity as a result of he’d struck a 2015 settlement, in his capability as CEO of American Media Inc., to be careful for doubtlessly damaging tales about Trump and guarantee they by no means noticed the sunshine of day—however after paying paying $150,000 to maintain Playboy mannequin Karen McDougal quiet, he refused to shell out the cash for Daniels’s story, and advised Staff Trump they’d must cope with her instantly.
As for Hicks, whereas we clearly don’t know the main points of her dialog—or whether or not she testified earlier than the grand jury or just met with prosecutors—she too might have had some notable tidbits to share. Per the Instances:
If you happen to’ll recall, Trump reimbursed Cohen the $130,000 after he took workplace. And Cohen—who went to jail for, amongst different issues, the hush cash deal—has mentioned he organized the funds at Trump’s course. (Cohen has additionally mentioned he expects to testify earlier than the grand jury “very quickly.”) Robert Trout, a lawyer for Hicks, didn’t reply to the Instances’s request for remark.
Ought to Hicks really be of use to prosecutors in making the case in opposition to Trump, it wouldn’t be the primary time in latest reminiscence the “Hopester” supplied unflattering perception into her former boss. In a deposition proven to the January 6 committee, which the panel aired throughout its remaining public listening to, Hicks mentioned she urged Trump to inform his followers that anybody coming to Washington to protest the election shouldn’t interact in violence—a advice that was, after all, rejected. “It was my view that it was necessary that the president put out some type of message prematurely of the occasion,” she mentioned, including that one other senior adviser had given the identical recommendation however was additionally rebuffed.