While Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee were looking for answers, it was clear President Donald Trump's former campaign manager had an entirely different agenda. The purpose of the House inquiry was to investigate potential obstruction of justice by the President.
However Corey Lewandowski—who was fired by the Trump camp in the spring of 2016—took the opportunity to get back in the good graces of Trump in advance of his own political campaign. Lewandowski is planning a 2020 Senate run, hoping to unseat Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire and launched his campaign website as part of his congressional testimony.
@SethAbramson Seth, CL asked for a break so he could go on twitter and announce his campaign for NH Senate and fund… https://t.co/zBX91uEgjB— Karen Myatt (@Karen Myatt)1568758135.0
If President Trump's response to Lewandowski's antics is any indication, his ultimate goals were achieved.
Such a beautiful Opening Statement by Corey Lewandowski! Thank you Corey! @CLewandowski_— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1568742540.0
@realDonaldTrump @CLewandowski_ Corey is a great friend, brilliant guy and steadfast and loyal advisor to our great… https://t.co/nbafg1oV7c— David Wohl (@David Wohl)1568743015.0
Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee were less pleased however. In testimony that was characterized as "trolling" Lewandowski drew more ire than admiration from members of the House of Representatives.
Lewandowski stalled repeatedly, asking for copies of documents or citations. He outright refused to answer questions from the Democrats—including rejecting Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee's request he read from a screen.
The former Trump campaign staffer recited—on repeat:
"I will not disclose any conversation I've had with the President."
The Texas Democrat had words for the hostile witness.
Watch the exchange here.
“You are obviously here to block any reasonable inquiry into the truth or not of this administration,” Rep. Sheila… https://t.co/sDwnHwPp93— CBS News (@CBS News)1568743900.0
Democratic New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries told Lewandowski:
"Let me remind you, Mr. Lewandowski, that this is not a Republican primary campaign. You are not on the campaign trail yet."
While others credited powers above Lewandowski for the circus.
Rep. Jerry Nadler tells Corey Lewandowski that by not answering the committee's questions, he is "proving our point… https://t.co/D4wHWfKFBD— ABC News (@ABC News)1568749369.0
Congressional Democrats were far from alone in that assessment.
@realDonaldTrump @CLewandowski_ If #DonaldTrump has nothing to hide, why is he instructing everyone associated wit… https://t.co/jwJZ70VTLS— Jules Morgan (@Jules Morgan)1568743211.0
@realDonaldTrump @CLewandowski_ This hearing is obstruction of Congress and its a disgrace. Corey Lewandowski shoul… https://t.co/bEQhcfC01z— Jules Morgan (@Jules Morgan)1568743888.0
@realDonaldTrump @CLewandowski_ It was all propaganda ... same old lies we've been hearing. It's pretty obvious t… https://t.co/bUHWJDXgur— Sally Deal (@Sally Deal)1568742780.0
@realDonaldTrump @CLewandowski_ Bottomline ... YOU DON'T WANT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO HEAR TRUTHFUL ANSWERS FROM C… https://t.co/kQCkxVpJj9— Sally Deal (@Sally Deal)1568743090.0
The hearing was not a total loss however despite Lewandowski's best efforts.
At today’s Judiciary hearing, Corey Lewandowski confirmed this impeachable conduct from Mueller’s report. Thank you… https://t.co/JQhrGJHBV6— Justin Amash (@Justin Amash)1568755848.0
.@RepJayapal backs Lewandowski into corner about disconnect between what he's saying (he was truthful w/Mueller) &… https://t.co/xBXhCMtJ9v— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1568751679.0
I'm glad the Lewandowski hearing went as it did. In a nation without rule of law, witnesses testify under oath wit… https://t.co/3MFieJucRm— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1568754440.0
1/ Trump falsely claimed executive privilege for someone (Corey Lewandowski) who never worked in the White House, a… https://t.co/vp9ik3VyoV— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1568754579.0
2/ Trump then sent his lawyers to sit behind Lewandowski at the hearing—but if you believe this was to intimidate L… https://t.co/A2FvNjODk2— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1568754696.0
3/ Lewandowski then went on to commit contempt—refusing to answers questions asked to him and filibustering by talk… https://t.co/eE4QJSDqKi— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1568754805.0
4/ The definition of Obstruction now in use by the GOP has never been used in the history of our criminal justice s… https://t.co/mQw6N3CJfn— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1568754891.0
5/ I've said before and say again that the GOP no longer stands for rule of law, free/fair elections, democracy or… https://t.co/AYbZL53zJM— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1568754997.0
6/ Impeach this criminal president. Ignore his rhetoric and that of his cronies. Do the right thing no matter the c… https://t.co/QoCQnu0FB0— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1568755081.0
7/ Make clear to witnesses who commit perjury before Congress that they will be *aggressively prosecuted for perjur… https://t.co/dzaRJJiDfI— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1568755156.0
@CBSNews @KPIXtv Trump told all his co conspirators to cover for him. What a corrupt president.— Elmano Gonsalves (@Elmano Gonsalves)1568744949.0
The White House instructed two others called to testify before Congress, Rick Dearborn and Rob Porter, to skip the hearing.
As of Tuesday, September 17 the 2020 presidential election is 412 days away.
The book The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump is available here.
Listen to the first four episodes of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!' where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
Be sure to subscribe here and never miss an episode.