Combative Lewandowski frustrates Democrats, as impeachment-probe hearing descends into disarray

The House Judiciary Committee's first hearing as part of its Trump impeachment investigation descended into chaos Tuesday as Democrats clashed with a combative Corey Lewandowski, trading insults and accusations with the former Trump campaign manager who refused to answer most of their questions.

Lewandowski visibly frustrated committee Chairman New York Rep. Jerry Nadler during the Democrat's first question – when the witness, in an apparent effort to stall for time, repeatedly asked Nadler to point to the specific section in the Robert Mueller report related to his question. Lewandowski was following White House orders not to discuss confidential conversations with the president beyond what was already public in the former special counsel's report.

Asked by Nadler if he met alone with Trump in June 2017, Lewandowski said, “Could you read the exact language of the report, I don’t have it available to me.”
“I don’t think I need to do that,” Nadler shot back. “I have limited time.”

Asked the question again, Lewandowski told Nadler he needed him to “refresh” his memory of what was in the report. He demanded that Democrats provide him a copy of the report, sending Democratic staff scrambling to find one.
"He's filibustering," a frustrated Nadler said.

Amid the back-and-forth, the top Republican on the committee, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, moved to adjourn the hearing, forcing a failed-voice vote that further delayed the hearing, before questioning resumed from others on the committee.

Lewandowski, considering a run for the Senate in New Hampshire in 2020, was subpoenaed to testify about Mueller’s report.

There were fireworks from the beginning. Nadler opened by saying the hearing is part of efforts to “determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Trump.” He railed against the White House’s efforts to block the testimony of two other former Trump White House aides -- former White House aides Rick Dearborn and Rob Porter — who did not show up on orders from the White House.
“This is a cover-up, plain a simple,” Nadler said of the White House’s efforts to block Dearborn and Porter’s testimony.

In his opening statement, Lewandowski railed against the Trump investigations.
“It is now clear the investigation was populated by many Trump haters who had their own agenda – to try and take down a duly elected president of the United States,” he said. “As for actual collusion or conspiracy, there was none. What there has been, however, is harassment of this president from the day he won the election.”

The president was apparently watching: "Such a beautiful Opening Statement by Corey Lewandowski! Thank you Corey!"


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