Hope Hicks meets with New York City prosecutors investigating Trump

File Photo: President Donald Trump attends church at the International Church of Las Vegas with Counselor Hope Hicks, left, Sunday, October 18, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

By Michael R. Sisak | Associated Press

NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s former spokeswoman Hope Hicks on Monday met with Manhattan prosecutors investigating hush money payments on behalf of the ex-president – the latest member of the Republican’s inner circle to be questioned in the re-investigation.

Hicks and her attorney, Robert Trout, spent several hours at the Manhattan DA’s office and were then seen walking to a waiting SUV. They said nothing to reporters as they got into the vehicle.

Trout declined to comment. Prosecutors also declined to comment and would not confirm that prosecutors were being interviewed. Hicks was Trump’s press secretary for the 2016 election campaign and has held various positions in his White House, including communications director.

Last week, prosecutors questioned Trump’s long-estranged former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, and Trump’s former political adviser, Kellyanne Conway.

After his session last Friday, Cohen told reporters that the investigation into payments made to two women accused of affairs with Trump is “really moving forward” and that he expects to be called soon before the grand jury, which has been hearing evidence since January.

“The level of specificity with which they attack the various issues is extraordinary,” Cohen said, adding that he had met with prosecutors 18 times over multiple iterations of the investigation.
Monday’s meeting with Manhattan prosecutors wasn’t the first time Hicks has been questioned by prosecutors investigating the president.

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In 2018, federal prosecutors questioned Hicks as part of their investigation into two women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with Trump in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Cohen, the only person charged in the federal investigation, pleaded guilty to various charges in 2018, including violating the Campaign Finance Act by initiating payouts to pornographic actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal to prevent them from doing so to go public. Trump has denied the affairs.

Last year, Hicks was interviewed by the House of Representatives Committee on January 6 and told the panel that Trump told her that if he lost the 2020 election, no one would care about his legacy. She told the committee Trump told her, “The only thing that matters is winning.”

Hicks was also a key witness in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and provided the Special Counsel’s office with key information about Trump’s attempts to obstruct that investigation.

As for the hush money investigation, US Attorneys in Manhattan have decided not to personally prosecute Trump over the payments. The Manhattan Attorney’s Office then began investigating the payments to determine if state laws were violated.

Conway’s attorney did not respond to multiple messages about her meeting with prosecutors last week, first reported by the New York Times.

Trump’s attorneys said the payments to the two women broke law. Trump says the investigation is politically motivated.