Dispatch September 18, 2019

Corey Crumbles

ICYMI: The key clip from Judiciary’s hearing that shows Corey’s crumble

The case for impeachment became even clearer yesterday. In his testimony, Corey Lewandowski was combative and evasive and showed blatant contempt for the Congress and the American people. His testimony confirmed that Trump obstructed justice, that he lied to help cover it up, and that the administration’s obstruction has never stopped.

Lewandowski confirmed that he helped Trump try to shut down the investigation.

  • Lewandowski admitted under oath that he agreed to help Trump deliver a message—one that could’ve drastically derailed the Russia investigation.
  • His charge? Telling then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself from the Russia investigation, seize control, and shut down anything looking at 2016 election interference. They’d hide their cover up by focusing exclusively on future interference instead.
  • If they had succeeded, Trump and his team would have been off the hook, as would the 25 Russian operatives who have been indicted for their role in the attack.
  • As Rep. David Cicilline explained, Lewandowski’s task came while Trump was pressuring Sessions to resign over his recusal from the Russia investigation.
  • As Cicilline said, the two efforts add up to “obstruction of justice, plain and simple.” (Lewandowski maintains that he does not believe Trump asked him to “do anything illegal.”)

Lewandowski confirmed that he lies to the American people to help Trump.

  • Under questioning from committee counsel, Lewandowski admitted he lied in TV interviews about his efforts to undermine Mueller, saying that he feels “no obligation to be honest with the media.”
  • As if to confirm his dishonesty, he went on CNN the next morning to lie about his testimony, falsely claiming the Mueller investigation found “no collusion, no obstruction”—before admitting that he’s never actually read Mueller’s report. 

The hearing was further evidence that Trump’s obstruction hasn’t stopped.

  • Just hours before the hearing, the White House blocked two witnesses (Rick Dearborn and Rob Porter) from testifying. They also arbitrarily imposed limits on Lewandowski’s testimony, despite the fact that he never actually worked in the White House.
  • Lewandowski repeatedly cited executive privilege and conferred with representatives from the White House Counsel’s office, who were sitting behind him, to avoid answering questions about his conversations with the president. But he had NO legal claim to do so.
  • Meanwhile, Republicans on the committee spent the hearing debasing themselves in defense of Trump. They showed more interest in fighting over which staff members were allowed to question Lewandowski than they did in whether the president obstructed justice.

Every single public hearing on the Russia investigation has been bad for Trump. Every time a public hearing is held, it exposes that Trump colluded with Russia and then tried to obstruct justice to cover it up. It also demonstrates that House Republicans are nothing more than Trump’s accomplices. It’s time for more hearings; House Judiciary can start with the 18 other people mentioned in Volume 1 of the Mueller report who also never worked in the White House and therefore cannot cite any executive privilege.