The Trump White House is desperate to stop Corey Lewandowski from testifying in the Democratic-led impeachment investigation hearing because he has knowledge of the campaign’s work with the Russians to cheat in the 2016 election and he carried out Trump directives to get Jeff Sessions to ignore his own recusal in an attempt to obstruct justice for Trump.
The bottom line: The Mueller report revealed Lewandowski knew what he was doing was wrong regarding helping Trump obstruct justice.
Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was subpoenaed to testify before the House Judiciary on Tuesday about events described in Robert Mueller’s report on the Trump campaign working with Russia against the United States, in its first hearing to determine if impeachment proceedings are warranted.
But of course, the Trump White House is obstructing his testimony, in addition to two of his former aides also subpoenaed. The Trump White House is claiming executive privilege for conversations and events that took place before Trump was “president” and conversations with private citizen Lewandowski after he took office. They cite the privilege of confidentiality in the discharge of a president’s duties; however, working with Russia to subvert U.S. democracy is obviously not a part of any United States duly elected President.
The Trump White House is additionally making the very dubious, alternative facts claim that any discussions involving the presidential transition period might relate to decisions Trump would make in office, and thus Lewandowski can’t answer. He can, they say, answer what is “expressly contained in the report.”
As amusing as it is to read this administration cite “profound separation of powers” concerns and additionally absurd given that Lewandowski never actually worked in the Trump White House, the more important issue is why.
There are a lot of whys. But most pressing would be Lewandowski’s knowledge and alleged participation in obstructing justice for Republican president Donald Trump, as well as his knowledge and alleged participation regarding the Trump campaign conspiring to work with Russia in an effort to cheat to win the 2016 election.
The Mueller report reveals that Lewandowski was a participant in Trump’s obstruction of justice efforts. (You can also listen on Audible to the Mueller report, and if you haven’t yet, I’m positive you will be shocked by the level of wrong-doing laid bare in the report.)
In June of 2017, Trump tried to use Lewandowski, who did not work for the White House, to pressure AG Jeff Sessions into ignoring his own recusal on the Russia investigation. (For the Trump White House and any elected Republicans reading who have managed not to read this report regarding an attack on our country, this is discussed in Volume 2, p. 90-93, of the Mueller report.)
Importantly, The Moscow Project pointed out that the Mueller report indicates that Lewandowski seemed to know what he was doing was wrong, noting this section from Volume 2, “According to Mueller, Lewandowski 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’.”
While the Trump White House will try to claim Trump wasn’t behind these efforts, Trump himself made it clear that he wanted Sessions to recuse himself.
Trump, in fact, gave an interview to the New York Times criticizing Sessions’ decision to recuse. He added that if he had known Sessions was going to recuse, he would have picked someone else, which is an admission that Trump was attempting to stop the Russia investigation.
Then, Trump pressured Reince Priebus to force Sessions into resigning, which Priebus warned would end up turning the country and Congress against Trump. Trump assured Priebus that he could just make a recess appointment to get around Congress.
And then there is the matter Trump is trying to obstruct justice to cover up – his campaign’s willing work with Russia to cheat the 2016 election.
The Moscow Project pulled:
Michael Cohen and Felix Sater spent from December 2015 to June 2016 working toward Trump Tower Moscow, a project that involved contacts with high-ranking Russian government officials.
In April, George Papadopoulos learned that Russia had stolen and planned to publish emails from Trump’s political opponents—making him the first known American to learn of Russia’s plan.
Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates shared internal polling data and campaign strategy with a suspected Russian spy on the understanding that he would pass the information along to Kremlin-linked oligarchs.
Carter Page got approval from the campaign to travel to Moscow, where he spoke to multiple Russian government officials about his involvement in the Trump campaign.
Legal analyst for NBC and former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, in examining the Mueller report on “Incident Five: Efforts to Curtail the Special Counsel Investigation (pp. 90-98)” in Just Security wrote that these acts detail an “Obstructive act”, “Nexus to an official proceeding,” and “Intent,” concluding, “That evidence raises an inference that the President wanted Sessions to realize that his job was at stake as he evaluated whether to comply with the President’s direction to publicly announce that, notwithstanding his recusal, he was going to confine the investigation to future elections.”
Corey Lewandowski holds important knowledge about Donald Trump’s campaign working with the Russians and Donald Trump’s attempt to obstruct justice to keep that fact from coming to light and being acted upon.
Trump’s former campaign manager told reporters Tuesday morning he was “excited” to defend his former boss, which sounds less like a commitment to truth and more like something a mob boss’ close confidant would tell the press to signal to his boss that he was staying loyal.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.