Lewandowski says Dem’s question ‘just a rant’
President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski called a Democratic lawmaker’s questioning “just a rant” in a contentious back and forth during the House Judiciary Committee’s first official hearing on possible impeachment.
During her questioning Tuesday, Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee asked Lewandowski about an alleged interaction between him and Trump outlined in the Mueller report. Former special counsel Robert Mueller wrote that in June 2017, Trump instructed Lewandowski to tell then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to curtail the Mueller investigation, and Lewandowski did not follow through.
“Let me just say that you knew — did you know that the President was putting you at risk when he asked you to deliver a message to the attorney general?” Jackson Lee asked.
“I want to be very clear. The President knew what he was doing was wrong because everyone else had already said no. He called his White House counsel to fire the special counsel. McGahn said no,” Jackson Lee continued. “He called the attorney general to ask him to unrecuse himself from the special counsel’s investigation. Sessions said no. His White House counsel said that there should be no contact with Sessions because of his recusal.”
She added, “So what does the President do? He calls you in to do what everyone else wouldn’t do. He called you in to do his dirty work in secret because he knew it was wrong.”
At this point, panel Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, indicated that Jackson Lee’s allotted five minutes to question Lewandowski had expired.
“Well, we will expose the truth,” Jackson Lee continued, as Nadler continued trying to conclude her time. “Our President cannot hide behind you any longer and you should be here to be telling the truth, Mr. Lewandowski, because the truth will set you free and the American people.”
“The gentlelady’s time has expired, Mr. Chairman,” the panel’s top Republican, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, interjected.
After Jackson Lee relented, Nadler said, “The time of the gentlelady has expired. The witness may answer the question.”
“I don’t believe there was a question, congressman,” Lewandowski replied.
“Very well,” Nadler said.
“Yes, there was,” Jackson Lee said.
Lewandowski asked Jackson Lee, “Could you repeat the question? I didn’t hear it.”
“I’d be happy to repeat the question,” she replied.
Lewandowski said, “It was just a rant.”
As Nadler pointed out that her time had expired, Jackson Lee began to ask, “Did you know the attorney general had recused–“
Nadler struck the gavel and proceeded to let Republican Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio speak.
CNN’s Marshall Cohen, Pamela Brown, Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju contributed to this report.