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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Corey Lewandowski's grudging, impudent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday may have wound up bolstering Speaker Pelosi's hands-off approach to impeachment.

Why it matters: Among House Democrats we interviewed, there was overwhelming consensus that the chaotic hearing did nothing to galvanize public support for impeaching President Trump.

Instead, Democrats once again showed their frustration at Trump's brazen strategy of simply refusing to cooperate with Democrats' probes.

  • The White House prevented two former Trump aides, Rob Porter and Rick Dearborn, from testifying.
  • Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager who's eyeing a Senate race in New Hampshire, was so unforthcoming that at one point, all he freely volunteered was that his favorite NFL team is the Patriots.
  • "I will be as sincere in my answers as this committee is in its questions," Lewandowski said as the hearing began.

The big split: A division remains between Democrats who want to move toward impeachment regardless of how it plays politically — and those focused on preserving the House majority, and a broad enough public appeal to win the White House.

Several members on the committee tell Axios that despite personally supporting impeachment, they recognize Pelosi has a different job, and respect that she has to protect the caucus and the new majority.

  • "There are differences about timing and whether we do it at all," Rep. Gerry Connolly, who serves on the House Oversight Committee and recently came out in support of impeachment, tells Axios. "But we can live with ambiguity and we're not going to be pushed into arbitrary deadlines."
  • "The Speaker has to have the ability to see the entire field. She has to consider a lot of things I don't," Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla). said.
  • "The Speaker is a pretty good person to measure her own barometer. She'll know when she needs to act or not act," said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.).

In one victory for Democrats, Lewandowski confirmed as "accurate" the Mueller report's account that Trump had asked him to direct then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit Mueller's investigation. Trump said that if Sessions would not meet with Lewandowski, Lewandowski should tell Sessions he was fired.

  • Lewandowski never delivered the message. When Democrats asked if he "chickened out," Lewandowski said he took his kids to the beach instead. (AP)

Between the lines: Many Democrats still think there's an impeachment case to be made, but that investigations and court rulings need to run their course for months to come.

  • "We can’t get this close to getting some answers and then say we’re going to move forward with impeachment without getting the answers,” a Dem leadership aide told Axios.
  • "When we compile our record here in the Judiciary Committee, I believe it'll be so compelling that impeachment resolutions will flow naturally," said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), a key questioner yesterday.

Go deeper: Corey Lewandowski stonewalls House Democrats in impeachment hearing

Go deeper

47 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.