Lewandowski defends Trump at chaotic impeachment hearing

Lewandowski defends Trump at chaotic impeachment hearing

Lewandowski firmly defended his former boss and repeatedly refused to answer questions asked by Democrats throughout the hearing, including some concerning the directive he received from Trump to deliver a message to Jeff Sessions in 2017 that asked the then-Attorney General to reconsider his recusal and have former special counsel Robert Mueller limit the scope of his Russian Federation probe to exclude Trump's 2016 campaign.

His opening statement didn't mention allegations of obstruction of justice. Many of the Democrats' base supporters want them to move quickly to try to remove Trump from office.

However, Lewandowski never furnished the message and instead authorized the White House aide Rick Dearborn for the venture who refused to obey. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) unleashed a torrent of media headlines describing Lewandowski as an "enforcer", as the witness nodded along to the description.

"Prior to the Mueller report being published in redacted form, did you ever misrepresent what you did on behalf of the president?"

Mueller explicitly said he couldn't absolve Trump of obstructing justice, a declaration that some Democrats saw as an invitation to pick up the investigation where the special counsel's team left off.

"The claim of privilege made by the witness is improper", Nadler said.

The hearing grew so heated that the panel's Democratic chairman, Jerry Nadler of NY, threatened to hold Lewandowski in contempt, saying later that the White House's effort to restrict Lewandowski's testimony was based on "crony privilege".

The Democratic Party holds the majority in the House of Representatives and is aiming to retake the Senate majority in 2020, but recent infighting on the issue of impeaching President Donald Trump is threatening to divide the party fourteen months before of the 2020 elections.

Nadler said in a letter back to the White House on Tuesday that Nadler must answer questions because the committee has subpoenaed him.

"If he were to prevail in this cover-up while the Judiciary Committee is considering whether to recommend articles of impeachment, he would upend the separation of powers as envisioned by our founders". She has also indicated skepticism of impeachment in the House just so the president can be acquitted in the Republican-controlled Senate. Moderate Democrats have expressed nervousness that the impeachment push could crowd out their other accomplishments.

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Still, the judiciary panel is moving ahead, approving rules for impeachment hearings last week.

Lewandowski confirmed the accuracy of the report in these specifics under questioning, repeatedly, while largely refusing to elaborate.

Lewandowski's hearing with the House panel on Tuesday was obstructive from the beginning.

"I'm glad to hear he favors the Patriots, even though it wasn't in the Mueller report", said Chairman Nadler. "It was bad. You guys had - this was bad", Mr. Trump said.

Mueller's investigators detailed two episodes in which Trump asked Lewandowski to direct then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit Mueller's investigation.

His demand came after he requested a copy of the report from the chairman as Democrats insisted the former campaign chief was merely stonewalling.

The new pro-Lewandowski PAC listed Republican operative Cabell Hobbs as its treasurer, who is also treasures the John Bolton PAC and the John Bolton Super PAC. He wrote that his conversations with Trump "are protected from disclosure by long-settled principles protecting executive branch confidentiality interests".

During congressional testimony on Tuesday, Lewandowski - a former CNN political commentator - acknowledged that "perhaps I was inaccurate" during a February interview on MSNBC.

"The Speaker went on to say that he could have been held in contempt right then and there", Etienne added, noting that Pelosi felt similarly about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's behavior during his confirmation hearing previous year.

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