Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski testifies
Asked by CNN's Manu Raju if it would be OK if a Democratic president sought to limit an investigation into his or her campaign, Corey Lewandowski responded with a question.
"Would you be OK if a Republican president did that to a Democratic nominee?" Lewandowski said.
As Lewandowski exited the House of Representatives' office building this evening, an ABC photographer shooting his departure tripped badly and fell backward into a table.
Lewandowski turned but did not stop and continued to exit the building.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler told CNN that today’s hearing adds more weight for impeachment.
“Article 3 of Nixon’s impeachment was obstruction of Congress, refusing to obey defined congressional subpoenas, pleading imaginary privileges. And obviously that’s what the President has been doing," the Democratic lawmaker said.
"Nixon wasn’t foolish to say in advance that he’s going to defy all congressional subpoenas ... and today we saw a witness instructed by the White House completely contemptuous of Congress who refused to answer relevant questions. Just another instance of obstruction of Congress and that’s what Article 3 of the Nixon impeachment was," Nadler added.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski just wrapped up his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
Moments before the hearing ended, Democrat counsel Barry Berke grilled Lewandowski about statements in his book, and asked him if he signed copies of the Mueller report recently.
When Berke’s time expired, Chairman Jerry Nadler refused to allow Republican Rep. Doug Collins, a ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, to ask questions, saying a staff member could ask questions.
Collins called it a “sham” and that the Republicans could not go along with it. He said they would not have a staff member ask questions.
Under intense questioning from attorney Barry Berke, Corey Lewandowski acknowledged “perhaps I was inaccurate that time,” after he was shown a video of a February 2019 interview in which he said he did not remember the President ever asking him to get involved with then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions or the Department of Justice.
“I have no obligation to be honest with the media,” Lewandowski said.
The former Trump campaign manager said he is a “truth teller” whenever he stands before Congress or takes an oath.
Lewandowski’s statement to MSNBC is at odds with what he told special counsel Robert Mueller and acknowledged to the House Judiciary committee today about the message the President asked him to bring to Jeff Sessions.
What he said earlier today: Lewandowski confirmed that he wanted to convey Trump's message to Sessions about blocking the investigation from examining the 2016 race, but he said a family vacation got in the way.
Barry Berke, an attorney for the Democrats, has begun his questioning session.
He was given 30 minutes to question Corey Lewandowski.
Earlier, Republicans sought to prevent Berke from questioning Lewandowski.
Chairman Jerry Nadler rebuked Corey Lewandowski, calling his behavior in the hearing “completely unacceptable” and “part of a pattern by a White House desperate for the American people not to hear the truth.”
Nadler said holding Lewandowski in contempt was “certainly under consideration.”
He went on to say that a “far more troubling level of contempt” exhibited in today’s hearing is the President’s role in Lewandowski’s refusal to answer questions, saying it furthers the “pattern of obstruction” laid out in the Mueller report. Nadler said exposing misconduct by the President is the committee’s top priority.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, interrupted to ask Nadler if he had this speech to Lewandowski prepared in advance. Nadler said he did not.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, pushed to allow Barry Berke, an attorney for the Democrats, to ask questions during today's hearing.
Republican. Rep. Doug Collins pushed back, saying Berke is a consultant and that it is a normal oversight hearing.
“We are not in an impeachment inquiry,” Collins told Nadler, “You can’t just make it up on the fly.”
Nadler responded to Collins, and said, “We are in an impeachment investigation.” says He went on to say it is not “relevant to this question.”
Nadler said consultants have previously been retained and overruled Collins’ point of order.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, used her questioning period to ask Corey Lewandowski about the Mueller report's revelation that former Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort, shared internal polling data with a Russian operative
Lewandowski, Trump's former campaign manager, agreed with Lofgren that "it's a good general rule" that internal polling data is generally not shared broadly, but rather is used by campaigns to formulate strategy. Lewandowski said he didn't know Manafort would share the information and he didn't know whether the Russians had asked for it.
"We know where Mr. Manafort is," Lewandowski said, referring to Manafort being sentenced to prison. He added that he thinks Manafort is "currently available for questioning."
Lewandowski said Rick Gates, one of Manafort's associates, would also be able to answer whether the Russians asked for Trump campaign internal polling data.
Lewandowski also said he didn't think Trump was advised of the "day to day minutiae" of his campaign while he was a candidate. He said the campaign didn't do any internal polling for the first 15 months.
In another contentious moment during today's hearing, Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal admonished Corey Lewandowski for his combative attitude as she pressed him on whether he ever lied to President Trump or the special counsel's office.
"Excuse me, Mr. Lewandowski this is my time. You are not yet in the Senate. You are a witness before the Judiciary committee, please act like it," Jayapal said, subtly digging at Lewandowski's intent to pursue a Senate run in New Hampshire.
Jayapal had been asking Lewandowski about a tweet from the President April this year, where Trump claimed that statements made by witnesses in the Mueller report were "fabricated."
"Mr. Lewandowski, did you lie to the President, and is the President correct that everything in the report is fabricated?" Jayapal asked.
But Lewandowski pushed back, saying, "I won't comment on private conversations, but I don't appreciate the insinuation that I lied about anything. And I've answered it multiple times."
And in a bizarre earlier exchange, Lewandowski told the congresswoman he was unsure if he followed the President on Twitter, adding he "may be the only one who doesn't."
One thing to note: Lewandowski only follows 51 accounts, including Trump's Twitter account, according to his Twitter page.