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Sheila Jackson Lee's Bogus 'Russian Strategy' Conspiracy From The Hope Hicks Hearing

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The transcript from Hope Hicks' hearing before Congress relating to the 2016 Russian interference investigation was released last night but all it really did was make the Democratic Party leaders look like a bunch of jerks. However, the official Congressional record also showed just how much the Dems were attempting to goad Hicks into saying something not damaging to Trump from a legal standpoint, but just enough to give them campaign fodder they can use for fundraising. This was perhaps no more evident than when Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) repeatedly attempted to get Hicks to admit to some sinister "Russian strategy" relating to Wikileaks and whether or not it benefited the campaign. 


If you enjoy reading politically motivated and witch hunt-centric Congressional testimonies, the full "Russian Strategy" saga begins on page 42. It starts out with Rep. Jackson Lee laying for the premise with a mysterious strategy and who specifically was involved in it. 

Ms. Jackson Lee. I'm going to have one or two questions and -- I've done it again -- one or two questions in a number of different areas. Let me first start with the report. According to the report, by late summer of 2016 the Trump campaign was planning a press strategy, a communications campaign and messaging, based on the possible release of Clinton emails by WikiLeaks. Who was involved in that strategy? 

Ms. Hicks. I don't recall. 

Ms. Jackson Lee. I thought you were intimately involved in the campaign.

Ms. Hicks. I was. It's not something I was aware of. 

Rep. Jackson Lee then asks whether Hicks could explain who exactly was part of the campaign's messaging team. Trump's former communications director notes that were "were several different people that were involved in different parts of the campaign throughout various 43 phases" and it is obvious that Rep. Jackson Lee needs to narrow her time frame in her request.

After chatter going back and forth discussing the campaign team, Rep. Jackson Lee again returns to her "Russian strategy" query. This is clearly puzzling to Hicks. 


Ms. Jackson Lee. Who specifically was engaged with the Russian strategy, messaging strategy, post the convention, late summer 2016? 

Ms. Hicks. I'm sorry. I don't understand the question. I'm not aware of a Russian messaging strategy.

 Ms. Jackson Lee. So specifically it goes to the release of the various WikiLeaks information. Who was engaged in that? 

Ms. Hicks. So, I mean, I assume you're talking about late July? 

Ms. Jackson Lee. Late July, late summer, July, August 2016. 

Ms. Hicks. So there were several people involved. It was -- I think a "strategy" is a wildly generous term to describe the use of that information, but -- 

Ms. Jackson Lee. But you were engaged in the campaign. What 44 names, what specific persons were involved in that strategy of the impact of Russia and the issuance of the WikiLeaks effort late summer? 

Ms. Hicks. Again, you -- 

Ms. Jackson Lee. Were you involved? Were you part of the strategy? You have a communications emphasis. 

Ms. Hicks. I'm sorry. I'm just not understanding the question. You're talking about a Russian strategy. The campaign didn't have a Russian strategy. There was an effort made by the campaign to use information that was publicly available, but I'm not aware of a Russian strategy, communications or otherwise.

At this point, it becomes obvious Rep. Jackson Lee is getting nowhere with her "Russian strategy" questions and changes the topic to whether or not the campaign benefited from Wikileaks. Again, it is obvious that the congresswoman is trying to bait Hicks into saying that the campaign took advantage of the Wikileaks dump, but Hicks does not budge on giving the answer the woman wants. 


Ms. Jackson Lee. Well, let me follow up with, did this information help you attack the opponent of Mr. Trump? 

Ms. Hicks. I take issue with the phrase "attack." I think it allowed the campaign to discuss things that would not otherwise be known but that were true. 

Ms. Jackson Lee. So the campaign -- is it your position the campaign benefited from the hacked emails of Ms. Clinton?

 Ms. Hicks. It is not my position that we benefited from those emails. It's my position that we used publicly available information in the course of the campaign -- 

Ms. Jackson Lee. And the campaign benefited from it? 

Ms. Hicks. -- to differentiate between candidates. 

Ms. Jackson Lee. Did Mr. Trump win? 

Ms. Hicks. Yes, he did. Ms. Jackson Lee. Then it is likely that he would have benefited? 

Ms. Hicks. I think that is a -- I think that's a big jump. I think there are many other reasons that Mr. Trump won that election. I'm not sure that you can attribute it to one factor. 

Ms. Jackson Lee. Let me move to another line of questioning regarding Mr. Cohen.

So, there you have it. When Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler was not being a jackwagon during the closed-door hearing, Rep. Jackson Lee was trying to get Hicks to make a nice soundbite and admit to some Machiavellian "Russian strategy." Again, this whole thing was a colossal waste of time. 


Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Jackson-Lee as a representative from Florida. She actually represents a district in Texas.


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