The White House has instructed former strategic communications director Hope Hicks not to give House Democrats any documents from her time serving as President Donald Trump's right-hand woman.
The order, which also covers former deputy White House counsel Annie Donaldson, came on the day the House Judiciary Committee set as a deadline for complying with a May 21 subpoena.
The latest escalation of the battle over documents and testimony also includes Democrats' demand for in-person testimony from Hicks and Donaldson, on June 19 and June 24.
Hicks' time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue could be covered by executive privilege, giving Trump a legal way to prevent her from testifying. But her time as his top daily campaign aide in 2015 and 2016 is likely fair game for Democrats probing the president's finances and affiliations.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York said Tuesday that Hicks had 'agreed to turn over some documents to the Committee related to her time working for the Trump Campaign, and I thank her for that show of good faith.'
The House Judiciary has subpoenaed former White House Strategic Communications Director Hope Hicks seeking documents and testimony, but the White House has instructed her to defy the demands from Democrats
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler is the tip of the Democrats' spear on investigations of Trump and his inner circle, which some liberal lawmakers hope will lead to the president's impeachment and removal from office
He said documents that left the White House months ago are no longer covered by privilege 'if they ever were.'
'Federal law makes clear that the documents we requested — documents that left the White House months ago — are no longer covered by executive privilege, if they ever were," said Nadler.
Nadler continued: 'The president has no lawful basis for preventing these witnesses from complying with our request. We will continue to seek reasonable accommodation on these and all our discovery requests and intend to press these issues when we obtain the testimony of both Ms. Hicks and Ms. Donaldson.'
Hicks was among those former White House officials who sat for interviews with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and his report is sprinkled with her accounts of key episodes, including the PR response to news of the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians.
But materials and testimony related to Hicks' government service will likely remain off the table, an administration official said Tuesday.
The Democratic-led judiciary panel is likely to include Hicks and Donaldson next week in a list of current and former Trump administration officials targeted for contempt citations. Those votes threaten to provoke a court fight over the powers of the executive and legislative branches of government.
Annie Donaldson, former chief of staff to White House Counsel Don McGahn, is facing the same demands for documents and testimony that thrust Hope Hicks back into the national spotlight
The campaign-era materials Hicks has provided to Nadler's committee are identical to what she shared with the House Intelligence Committee last year, when it was run by Republicans.
At the time, ranking Democrat Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who is now that panel's chairman, called it insufficient and threatened her with contempt proceedings.
Nadler referred to the document production as a show of 'good faith' on Tuesday, put predicted that Democrats will view it is too weak in the end.
Hicks Lawyer Robert Trout wrote the committee explaining which documents Hicks would provide – and which ones she would not.
He said documents from her time at the White House were off the table because they 'are potentially protected by White House confidentiality interests or subject to a claim of executive privilege.'
He listed email communications from the campaign period that she was handing over. One was an email regarding a call from chief Moscow architect Sergey Kuznetsov, a Russian embassy official. She had previously handed the email over to the House Intelligence Committee.
The subject line of the email was 'Message