Sep 15, 2019

Corey Lewandowski's Senate tryout

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Watch for Trump's former campaign manager at the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday — and not just because of the prospect of a fiery exchange with Chairman Jerry Nadler.

Why it matters: If Corey Lewandowski goes forward with a run for the Senate in his home state of New Hampshire — which he's seriously considering, a spokesperson says — he'd be the first in Trump's inner circle to test those coattails.

What we're hearing: “Corey will use [the hearing] as part of the campaign. He will be confrontational to the Democrats. He will be totally loyal to Trump. And he will be playing to the right wing of the party who need to unite behind him in a primary," Thomas Rath, former attorney general of New Hampshire and adviser to several GOP presidential candidates, tells Axios.

Yes, but: A former Trump administration official tells Axios that "the ultimate risk with Corey running is that the negative coverage he receives in New Hampshire could drag Trump down."

  • Lewandowski currently leads the hypothetical GOP Senate primary field, according to a recent Emerson poll. The same poll shows that he trails Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen by 10 percentage points.

Sources involved in members' preparations expect the hearing to be full of theatrics.

  • The Judiciary Committee plans to press for more information about possible obstruction of justice by Trump outlined in Robert Mueller’s report, including his asking Lewandowski to press then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Russia investigation. 
  • "Corey says he is willing to talk about the campaign and the Mueller stuff, but his conversations with POTUS are off-limits," a GOP committee aide said. "He’s obviously not going to pull a Michael Cohen and try to hurt the administration. I think he thinks he can fight back against Nadler."
  • "We don’t buy into the bullsh*t privileges that he's asserting. If you didn’t work for the president, you don’t have that privilege," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, tells Axios.

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Corey Lewandowski stonewalls House Democrats in impeachment hearing

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski refused to answer questions from the House Judiciary Committee that involved conversations with President Trump not referenced in the Mueller report, dealing a blow to Democrats hoping for new revelations in what the committee has labeled its first "impeachment hearing."

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Lewandowski hearing boosts Pelosi's anti-impeachment plan

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.

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Pelosi tells Democrats Lewandowski deserves to be held in contempt

Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference on Capitol Hill, Sept. 12. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told other Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski should've been immediately held in contempt for refusing to cooperate with lawmakers during a Congressional hearing, the Washington Post first reported.

I would have held him in contempt right then and there."
— Nancy Pelosi's meeting comments, per WashPost
Go deeperArrowSep 19, 2019