Dispatch September 17, 2019

We Need to Know What Lewandowski Knew

Now that they’ve made their impeachment investigation official, the House Judiciary Committee is calling its first witness: Corey Lewandowski. The main line of questioning will likely be about the extent of his role in President Donald Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice.

But there should also be questions about the Trump campaign’s collusion with the Russian government to win the 2016 election—much of which happened while Lewandowski was serving as Trump’s campaign chairman.

Lewandowski ran Trump’s campaign from when Trump announced his candidacy to May 2016, then remained part of the team until late June 2016. Here’s just some of what happened during that stretch:

Lewandowski needs to answer to Congress about what role he played in these efforts, if any.

According to the Mueller report, Lewandowski was also part of one of Trump’s most blatant obstruction efforts.

  • In June 2017, Trump decided that he wanted Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation and rein in Mueller. Rather than getting his own hands dirty, Trump had Lewandowski deliver the message (Volume 2, p. 90-93).
  • Lewandowski seemed to know what he was doing was wrong. According to Mueller, Lewandowsk said he “did not want to meet at the Department of Justice because he did not want a public log of his visit,” and “stored the notes” from his meeting with Trump “in a safe in his home” (Volume 2, p. 92).
  • With repeated prodding from Trump, Lewandowski tried multiple times to get Trump’s message to Sessions, and even deputized Rick Dearborn (then a White House official) to help, but ultimately failed to do so (Volume 2, p. 93).
  • Notably, Lewandowski never actually worked in Trump’s administration, which means that even the administration’s absurdly broad claims to executive privilege won’t be enough to block his testimony—although that won’t stop the White House from trying.

Lewandowski likely has important inside knowledge not only about Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice, but also about the collusion Trump was trying to cover up. His testimony will hopefully be an important step forward in exposing the truth about Trump’s corruption and lawlessness.