by WorldTribune Staff, September 18, 2019
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski frustrated Democrats and delighted his former boss during a Sept. 17 House Judiciary Committee “impeachment inquiry” hearing titled “Presidential Obstruction of Justice and Abuse of Power”.
In his opening statement, Lewandowski noted that “as the special counsel determined, there was no conspiracy or collusion between the Trump campaign and foreign government either on my watch or afterwards.
“In conclusion, and it’s sad to say, this country has spent over three years and 40 million taxpayer dollars on these investigations, and it’s now clear that the investigation was populated by many Trump haters who had their own agenda — to take down a duly elected president of the United States.
“What there has been, however, is harassment of this president since the day he won the election. We as a nation would be better suited to face our efforts to true crises in our country instead of going down rabbit holes like this hearing.”
Lewandowski also got in a shot at Hillary Clinton, noting: “I also received hundreds of thousands of emails, some days with as many as a thousand emails. And unlike Hillary Clinton, I don’t think I ever deleted any of those.”
Committee chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler threatened to hold Lewandowski in contempt for what the New York Democrat contended was Lewandowski’s “unacceptable behavior” at the hearing.
While Democrats were stewing, President Donald Trump tweeted of Lewandowski’s performance: “Such a beautiful Opening Statement by Corey Lewandowski! Thank you Corey!”
Amanda Carpenter, a former staffer for Sens. Jim DeMint and Ted Cruz, told CNN’s Jake Tapper: “We’re all thinking, ‘What was the point of this hearing today?’ Republicans — a lot of Trump people talk about owning the libs, Corey Lewandowksi owned the Judiciary Committee today.”
Carpenter continued: “Jerry Nadler played a stupid game and they won a stupid prize because Corey Lewandowski just made a sham of that. Republicans on that committee with the mockery of the process, this system is broken. If the Democrats want to go impeach the president, they should have started that process a long time ago. They need to drop this. You can’t do impeachment in an election year. It will look terrible. So they need to figure out a game plan, because it is clear they have no idea how to handle this administration.”
Nadler’s irritation with Lewandowski was noticeable from the get-go. In his first question of the hearing, Nadler asked about a meeting Lewandowski is alleged to have had with Trump.
Lewandowski asked for a reference in the Mueller report.
“Is there a book or a page number you can reference me to, please? I don’t have a copy of the report in front of me,” Lewandowski said. “Could you read the exact language of the report? I don’t have it available to me.”
“I don’t think I have to do that,” Nadler replied. “And I have limited time. Did you meet with the president alone on that date?”
“I’d like you to refresh my memory by providing a copy of the report so I can follow along,” the former campaign manager said.
“Can I request that the clock be stopped while this charade is sorted out?” asked a Democratic committee member.
“You don’t have an independent recollection of whether or not you met with the president on that date?” Nadler asked after Lewandowski again asked for a page and paragraph number to be provided.
“I’m just trying to find where in the Mueller report it states that,” Lewandowski said.
“Mr. Chairman, you have to start the clock,” Republican ranking member Doug Collins chimed in.
“No, I don’t have to start the clock when he’s filibustering,” Nadler shot back.
“Filibustering is across the hall in the Senate,” Collins told Nadler. “This is the actual questions being done now.”
“Mr. Chairman, is it appropriate for a witness to refuse to answer a question, and instead demand that we reference and point him? I would ask that the Mueller report be closed and the witness be directed to answer the questions,” Democratic committee member David Cicilline said.
“It is not appropriate,” the chairman replied as a copy of Mueller’s report was delivered to Lewandowski opened to the correct page. “But it is on the bottom two lines of that page… Under ‘overview,’ second line. The clock will start and the witness will answer the question without further delay.”
“Yes, I see that in the report,” Lewandowski replied, three minutes after the question was first asked.
Lewandowski repeated the same maneuver in response to Nadler’s follow up question, stating: “I’m trying to adhere to the White House’s request I answer questions that are provided in the Mueller report only. So I’m trying to reference that report directly, Mr. Chairman.”
The Hill in a Sept. 17 report concluded: “The hearing, which quickly devolved into chaos, did not yield new information for Democrats.”