Hope Hicks Testifies in Trump Hush Money Trial, Recounting Close Relationship

Hope Hicks, a former top adviser to Donald Trump, testified in the former president's criminal trial, facing questioning about the hush money payment at the center of the case. Hicks described Trump as a "very hard worker" and a "very good multitasker" who was always doing multiple things at once.

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Safak Costu
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Hope Hicks Testifies in Trump Hush Money Trial, Recounting Close Relationship

Hope Hicks Testifies in Trump Hush Money Trial, Recounting Close Relationship

Hope Hicks, a former top adviser to Donald J. Trump, took the stand on Wednesday in the former president's criminal trial in a Lower Manhattan courtroom. Hicks, 35, is expected to face questioning about the hush money payment at the center of the case against Trump. The former White House communications director described Trump as a "very hard worker" and a "very good multitasker" who was always doing multiple things at once.

Why this matters: The testimony of Hope Hicks, a close adviser to Donald Trump, has significant implications for the former president's trial and could shed light on the inner workings of the Trump campaign. The outcome of this trial could have far-reaching consequences for Trump's political future and the accountability of public figures.

Hicks was just 26 years old with no political experience when Trump hired her for his presidential campaign in 2015. She quickly ascended to become one of his most trusted advisers, eventually serving as White House communications director. However, Trump has been angry with Hicks since 2022, when text messages surfaced revealing she was critical of him after the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Prosecutors allege that during the final stages of the 2016 campaign, when Hicks served as press secretary, Trump's personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, bought the silence of porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump a decade earlier. Documents released by federal prosecutors in 2019 show that Hicks participated in telephone calls, text messages, and email exchanges with Cohen and David Pecker, the then-publisher of the National Enquirer, in the days before the $130,000 payment to Daniels.

Hicks stated on the stand that she was last in contact with Trump in the summer or fall of 2022. She described her work with Ivanka Trump, saying, "I was enjoying it so much that I was offered a position at the Trump Organization and jumped at the opportunity to join the company full time." Hicks appeared visibly uncomfortable while testifying, admitting, "I'm really nervous."

Hicks' testimony is highly anticipated given her close relationship with Trump and her potential knowledge of the campaign's inner workings during the final weeks before the 2016 election. Federal search warrants released in 2019 showed that there was a scramble within the Trump campaign to suppress additional allegations of a sexual nature from becoming public after the"Access Hollywood" tapewas released.

In 2019, Hicks testified before the House Judiciary Committee, denying knowledge of discussions between Trump and Cohen about Stormy Daniels. However, her testimony in the current trial could provide new insights and details about the alleged hush money payment and Trump's involvement. Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The former president has denied the alleged affair with Stormy Daniels.

Hicks' involvement in multiple investigations related to Trump highlights her significance as a witness. Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III interviewed Hicks three times and mentioned her more than 180 times in his final report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. She has also been involved in congressional inquiries into the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

Despite the strain on their relationship following Hicks' congressional testimony, friends say that Hicks and Trump continue to have a fondness for each other. Legal and political observers are closely watching to see how Hicks' testimony will factor into the proceedings and potentially impact the case against the former president.

Key Takeaways

  • Hope Hicks testifies in Trump's criminal trial, expected to face questioning about hush money payment.
  • Hicks describes Trump as "very hard worker" and "very good multitasker" in court.
  • Prosecutors allege Trump's lawyer paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to silence her about an alleged affair.
  • Hicks participated in calls and emails with Trump's lawyer and National Enquirer publisher about the payment.
  • Hicks' testimony could shed light on Trump's involvement and impact the case against the former president.