Hope Hicks watched the Capitol being attacked and thought “Oh no! My cushy private sector job prospects!”
Since wrapping up its year-and-a-half-long investigation of Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election and the insurrection that followed, the January 6 committee has released several batches of witness transcripts as a sort of companion piece to its 845-page report. Not surprisingly, few people come out of these transcripts looking good. Take, for example, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who, according to the claim of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, spent the last weeks of the Trump administration literally burning documents, which is something you just never want to do. Also not looking great, or at least at all sympathetic? Longtime Trump adviser Hope Hicks, who apparently watched the violent attack on the Capitol unfold and thought, “Oh no! This is going to affect all those cushy private sector jobs I had lined up!”
Yes, text messages released by the committee show Hicks whining to Julie Radford, former chief of staff to Ivanka Trump, that “in one day,” the insurrection-inciting president “ended every future opportunity that doesn’t include speaking engagements at the local proud boys chapter.” She added, putting a fine point on it: “And all of us that didn’t have jobs lined up will be perpetually unemployed. I’m so mad and upset. We all look like domestic terrorists now.” In another missive, Hicks wrote, “Not being dramatic, but we are all fucked,” noting that Alyssa Farah Griffin, who resigned as White House communications director a few weeks after Trump lost the election, looked “like a genius” for quitting.
Of course, Hicks had a chance to (at least attempt to) put some daylight between herself and the worst president in modern history, whose actions led to a violent attack on democracy and the deaths of multiple people—but chose not to. When she let it leak that she would be leaving the administration, she (1) did not do so immediately but rather with just a few days to go until Joe Biden’s inauguration, and (2) made it clear that she was absolutely not taking a moral stand against the shocking violence that had unfolded in her boss’s name. According to reports at the time, Hicks told people she was not leaving Team Trump over the riots that left five people dead and literal shit all over the floors of the Capitol building; instead, it was “part of planned departure and normal drift away at the end of an administration.”
As for her employability, as Jezebel notes, Hicks probably won’t be joining the breadline anytime soon:
When Hicks left the White House in 2018 for a two-year stint as the chief communications officer and executive vice president of Fox News, she took home a whopping $1.9 million. (She returned to the White House in March 2020.) She also hails from one of Greenwich’s most prominent families: Her father was once the regional CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and executive vice president of communications for the NFL. He’s currently the managing director of the Glover Park Group, a DC communications consulting firm. Methinks moving back in with mom and dad wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
In other revelations around the January 6 transcript dumps, we learned this week that longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway urged Melania Trump to get her husband to stop the insurrection, arguing that though he might listen to people who work for him, he “reserves fear for one person, Melania Trump.” (Unfortunately, the then first lady was uninterested in doing anything about the attack, as she was reportedly busy helping with rug photography at the time.) We also learned that the 45th president called Senator Josh Hawley half a dozen times the day before the riot and then again the day of. (Given Hawley’s fist-pumping solidarity with the mob of election deniers gathered at the Capitol, whom he later fled from, you can understand why.)
And then, of course, there’s the deeply disturbing news that Stefan Passantino, a former White House ethics lawyer from the Trump administration, allegedly tried to get Cassidy Hutchinson to give false testimony before the January 6 committee, effectively acting like an employee of a Mob boss.
Per CBS News:
Hutchinson struggled to find an attorney and sought help from people she knew from her work at the White House, including former White House attorney Eric Herschmann. Eventually, she received a call from Stefan Passantino, a former Trump White House ethics lawyer who represented Hutchinson for her first two interviews with the committee, and did not tell her who was paying for his services. In a February meeting, Hutchinson testified that Passantino told her they would “downplay” her role at the White House and on Jan. 6 when she was interviewed by the select committee.
Hutchinson said she was uncomfortable with the arrangement but felt she had no other choice, telling the committee that she said to her mother, “I am completely indebted to these people…they will ruin my life, Mom, if I do anything they don’t want me to.” Hutchinson said Passantino told her to keep her answers “short” and said that saying “I don’t recall” is an “entirely acceptable” response because “they don’t know that you recall some of these things.” She told the committee that testifying with him as her lawyer “felt like (she) had Trump looking over (her) shoulder.”
“I knew in some fashion it would get back to him if I said anything that he would find disloyal. And the prospect of that genuinely scared me. You know, I’d seen this world ruin people’s lives or try to ruin people’s careers. I’d seen how vicious they can be,” Hutchinson said. She also told the committee that Passantino also mentioned job opportunities and worked to connect her with other people on getting a job, saying, “We’re gonna get you taken care of. We want to keep you in the family.”
In a statement, Passantino insisted to CBS News that he represented Hutchinson “honorably, ethically, and fully consistent with her sole interests as she communicated them to me.” Hutchinson replaced Passantino before her public hearing with the January 6 committee, bringing on attorney Jody Hunt. During her public testimony, she shared incredibly damning information about Trump, including that he knew some of his supporters were armed before they went to the Capitol and that he told people Mike Pence deserved chants calling for his hanging.
Tomorrow: New reporting reveals George Santos isn’t actually his name