Hope Hicks expected to talk to Hill committee

(CNN) — White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is expected to meet with the House Intelligence Committee as soon as this week, making her one of President Donald Trump’s closest confidantes to be privately interviewed in the panel’s Russia investigation, multiple sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

Hicks, a trusted Trump aide for years, was one of then-candidate Trump’s first hires as he put together an improbable run for the White House. During the campaign, she was often by Trump’s side and attended nearly every rally, while she was in frequent communication with other senior officials as they plotted their tactics to win the White House.

The House panel plans to interview her about any knowledge she has of contacts that occurred between other Trump associates and Russians. And she is bound to be questioned about other controversies as well, namely the White House’s involvement in crafting a misleading response last summer once a June 2016 meeting between Russians and Donald Trump Jr. was revealed in the press.

The meeting is expected to occur as soon as Friday, the sources said.

Hicks’ attorney declined to comment on the expected appearance before the House panel, as did a spokesman for Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee’s top Democrat. A spokeswoman for the Republican running the probe, Rep. Mike Conaway, did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Hicks.

Hicks’ testimony would mark at least the third high-level Trump associate to appear before the panel this week. On Tuesday, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is expected to meet with the panel, while Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is expected to testify this week before the committee as well.

But sitting White House officials rarely appear before the congressional panels investigating Russia meddling, making Hicks’ appearance even more significant — especially given her ties to the President.

The only other sitting White House official known to have testified before the House Intelligence Committee is Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser.

Hicks met last month with special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation, which appears to be focused on both Russian meddling and whether Trump sought to obstruct justice during his firing of James Comey as FBI director. Hicks is bound to be asked about both topics when she meets with the House committee.

Hicks appears to have firsthand knowledge of a number of key events that have shaped the first year of the Trump White House, including being on Air Force One when the initial misleading statement about Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians was crafted.

When Trump Jr. met with the House panel last year, he testified that he texted initially with Hicks — not his father — when first confronted about the reports about the Trump Tower meeting.