Who is Hope Hicks : Trump former adviser testifying in New York criminal trial


NEW YORK — Hope Hicks, a former White House adviser and communications director during the Trump administration, is slated to testify in the ongoing criminal trial involving former President Donald Trump.

Hicks’ name has been mentioned by multiple witnesses who have already testified. Prosecutors are expected to question Hicks about her awareness of the arrangement between Trump and the National Enquirer tabloid to suppress potentially damaging stories during his 2016 presidential campaign—a tactic known as “catch and kill.”

Hicks will be the ninth witness to appear in Manhattan in the case against the former president. Trump is facing 34 felony charges related to allegations of falsifying New York business records to conceal information that could impact the 2016 election.


Who is Hope Hicks Trump former adviser testifying in New York criminal trial
Who is Hope Hicks Trump former adviser testifying in New York criminal trial

Trump has criticized the trial as “election interference,” asserting that it disrupts his 2024 presidential campaign by requiring his daily presence in court, preventing him from actively campaigning.


Who is Hope Hicks?


Hope Hicks has been associated with Donald Trump since 2014, initially working for the Trump Organization under Ivanka Trump, the former president’s daughter, and directly for Trump himself. She later transitioned to Trump’s first presidential campaign in 2015, serving as press secretary. Following Trump’s election, Hicks joined the administration as director of strategic communications and later as communications director, resigning from this role in 2018.

After leaving the White House, Hicks took on the role of chief communications officer and executive vice president at Fox Corp. However, she returned to the White House in 2020 as an aide to Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband, and counselor to Trump. This trajectory illustrates Hicks’ deep involvement with Trump’s political career and her various roles within his inner circle over the years.


How does she fit into the prosecution’s case?

Hope Hicks’ early testimony delved into her extensive history with the Trump family, spanning both business and political realms. During her testimony, she recounted pivotal moments such as the release of the Access Hollywood tape and the subsequent campaign response.

Hicks also testified about receiving a media inquiry from a Wall Street Journal reporter regarding allegations of affairs involving Trump with Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels—allegations that Trump has vehemently denied.

In the trial, Hicks is expected to shed light on the deal orchestrated between Trump, his lawyer Michael Cohen, and the leadership of the National Enquirer. Prosecutors will likely inquire about the urgency to suppress stories related to Trump’s alleged affairs with McDougal and Daniels. Additionally, she may be questioned about her tenure at the White House.

During earlier testimony, David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer, mentioned that Hicks was present in an initial meeting in August 2015 where the plan to assist the campaign was devised. Hicks also had previous ties to a communication and strategy firm that collaborated with American Media Inc., the former owner of the National Enquirer.

Prosecutors emphasized during opening statements that the Access Hollywood tape’s release, a month before the election, prompted the campaign to enter “immediate damage control mode.” They asserted that Trump sought to prevent damaging information about alleged infidelities from emerging before Election Day.

Court documents from 2019 revealed extensive communications involving Hicks, Cohen, Pecker, Trump, and others following the tape’s release and leading up to the arrangement with Daniels. Prosecutors argued that payments made in this context constituted falsified business records, with Trump allegedly submitting false invoices signed by himself.

Trump has pleaded not guilty, maintaining that his actions merely involved payments to his lawyer.


Who else has the jury heard from so far?

The jury has received testimony from eight additional witnesses, including:


  • David Pecker, the former CEO of American Media Inc., testified about a 2015 deal with Trump and Cohen to assist Trump’s campaign by identifying potentially damaging stories and facilitating their suppression.
  • Keith Davidson, the former lawyer for McDougal and Daniels, testified regarding his negotiations for payments in exchange for the rights to their stories, verifying various text messages, phone calls, and discussions related to these arrangements.
  • Rhona Graff, a longtime executive assistant at the Trump Organization, provided testimony against her former employer, detailing how she entered McDougal’s and Daniels’ contact information into the Trump Organization’s directory, corroborating Trump’s contact records.
  • Gary Farro, a former banker at First Republic Bank, testified about opening accounts for Cohen that were later used to make payments to Daniels. He indicated that had he known the purpose of these accounts, they might not have been opened.
  • Robert Browning, the executive director for archives at C-SPAN, authenticated two 2016 Trump campaign clips and one 2017 press conference clip where Trump praised Cohen as a talented lawyer and dismissed allegations from women as lies.
  • Phillip Thompson of Esquire Deposition Solutions verified a video and transcript of a 2022 deposition given by Trump for his civil defamation lawsuit against writer E. Jean Carroll. In a clip from the deposition, Trump confirmed details including his wife’s name, Melania Trump, and his Truth Social handle.
  • Doug Daus, a lead forensics analyst in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, provided testimony on verifying phone data.

Prosecutors played a recording of Cohen speaking to Trump, where Cohen mentioned the need to establish a company for transferring information related to their acquaintance, David.

  • Georgia Longstreet, a paralegal in the Manhattan DA’s office, provided testimony on her analysis of Trump’s social media posts.


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