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Nadler slams White House for blocking testimonies and limiting Lewandowski

Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) listens to comments during a House Judiciary Committee markup, on September 12, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Jerry Nadler. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler slammed the White House Monday for blocking 2 former aides from testifying before the committee and placing "unprecedented limitations" on former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski ahead of his appearance Tuesday.

Why it matters: The House Judiciary Committee is trying to step up investigations in order to determine whether to recommend Trump’s impeachment for obstruction of justice and abuse of power.

"This is a shocking and dangerous assertion of executive privilege and absolute immunity. The President would have us believe that he can willfully engage in criminal activity and prevent witnesses from testifying before Congress — even if they did not actually work for him or his administration.
If he were to prevail in this cover-up while the Judiciary Committee is considering whether to recommend articles of impeachment, he would upend the separation of powers as envisioned by our founders.
No one is above the law. The House Judiciary Committee will continue our investigation of the President’s crimes, corruption and cover-up and get to the truth for the American people."
— Nadler statement

The other side: White House counsel Pat Cipollone said in a letter to Nadler Monday that having worked previously as senior White House aides, former staff secretary Rob Porter and former deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn were "absolutely immune" from congressional testimony.

  • Cipollone said in a separate letter that Lewandowski would be free to discuss his work on the Trump campaign and matters that have already been made public by Mueller, but not any other additional communications he may have had with Trump, the New York Times first reported.
  • Porter's lawyer to Nadler said in a letter obtained by the Washington Post confirming that he would not testify, "The committee’s dispute is with the White House, not with Mr. Porter."

Between the lines: It's a blow to the judiciary committee's investigations that Porter is not testifying as he was a key witness for the obstruction portion of former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.