Listen: Hearing with Trump loyalist Corey Lewandowski ends after 6 hours
"If you read the early reviews of today's hearing in the House Judiciary Committee by which I mean the reviews written about four are four and a half hours into the five and a half hour hearing then you would think the hearing was a mess the daily beast headline at five fifty five pm. I'm said Corey Lewandowski testimony quickly devolves into a mess but a minute later literally a minute after that was filed everything having changed it was a half hour left in that hearing when everything changed in Corey Lewandowski change coralline Dusky ran out of ways to avoid answering questions when he faced a full half hour of concentrated cross examination by lawyer hired by the committee to question witnesses in its impede from investigation the Republicans on the committee were determined to make a mockery of the committee process from the start we have never seen a more childish and abusive the use of committee process and committee rules than what the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee did today. This was the low point in the history of house hearings procedurally the Republicans made repeated motions to shut down the hearing to just adjourn the hearing close it down and when those motions were defeated instantly by voice vote the Republicans then called for as is their right roll call votes that they knew would take time. They knew they were going to lose and they were just trying to waste time and add to the circus atmosphere that they created corey. Lou Dusky was ready for a circus. He was was not ready for serious questioning. When Republicans took their five minute turns questioning the witness they ignored corey. Lewandowski is role in the president's attempt to shut shutdown the muller investigation as described by Corn Corey Lewandowski own testimony in the mullahs report and his own notes that are reproduced in the mall the report Republican questioning deliberately did not make any sense but the question on the democratic side also mostly didn't make sense because of Republican publican interference with that questioning and the simple fact that should be obvious by now that most members of Congress are not very good at this they did not run for the district attorney they ran for the House of Representatives and every once in a while they have to play district attorney in committee hearings and generally for most of them. It doesn't go oh very well except for the people who have actually been prosecutors and so for hours on end it was a chaotic hearing with Corey Lewandowski becoming increasingly singley emboldened in his refusal to answer any question for which the answer was not already contained in the report he was asked by several Democrats to read passages the report and he repeatedly refused to do so cars when Eric Swallow Zeroed in on page ninety one of the Mullahs report which reproduced Corey Lewandowski own connotes of a speech Donald Trump dictated to him for Attorney General Jeff sessions to deliver about the Mueller Investigation Wild Wild Jeff sessions recused from supervising or commenting on the Muller Investigation in the trump written speech jeff sessions would announce that the special special prosecutor's investigation of the president is unfair and the special prosecutor would only be allowed from this point forward to investigate the possibility of quote election meddling for future elections so that nothing can happen in future elections harassment ex well well ask Corey Lewandowski to read his notes outs of his conversation with the president as reproduced in the mall report and Lewin Dusky refused to read his words allow were you were ashamed to read them out loud and you didn't deliver those words to the person the president asks you to did. You have a conscious of guilt. I have nothing to be guilty of congressman. Thank you still feel guilty today. And that's why you can't read it out loud cars when you're welcome to read the words if you'd like when the members of the committee finally finished their questioning almost five hours after hearing began it was finally time for the thirty minutes of questioning reserved for attorney. Barry Burke who is serving as a consultant of the Committee Hybrid Chairman Nadler Adler and chaos broke out once again as the Republicans pretended there was something wrong with having council ask questions in the committee even though the committee has done that many many times before especially in investigations of a president and after another round votes trying and failing to close down the hearing completely finally finally Barry Burke closed in on Corey Lewandowski for what was the worst public half hour of Corey Lewandowski life. My question to you sir is on national television. Did you lie about your relationship with the special counsel and whether they sought your interview I I don't know prior to the Muller report being published in redacted form. Did you ever misrepresent what you did on behalf of the president. I can't think of an instance where that would have occurred. Let me show you an interview that you did on May Fourteenth Twentieth Nineteen. Excuse me a I'll show it to you from February twenty-second twenty one thousand nine. Let me show it to you. Excuse me Ma'am number twenty nine thousand nine. Thank you don't ever remember the president ever asking me to get involved with Jeff sessions or the department injustice in any way shape so did you hear that Sir that was used saying on MSNBC. You don't ever remember the president ever. We're asking you to get involved with. Jeff sessions or department of Justice in any way shape or form. That wasn't true. Was it sir. I heard that UH and that was not true was it. I've no obligation beyond to the media's because there's just as dishonest as anybody else so you're admitting sir. You're not being truthful in that clip correct my interview with remember. This can be in any way you'd like. Did you lie on national television. Sorry about the president giving you a message. It's the attorney general about the special counsel's investigation. I don't recall that particular day and my mindset at the time I couldn't answer that. Corey Lewandowski told Robert Muller's investigators that he didn't want to deliver the president's message to Jeff Sessions at the Justice Department Jeff Sessions Office because he did not want the justice this apartment logs to show that he visited the Attorney General. He didn't WANNA public record of that meeting. Barry Burke pressed Corey Lewandowski on why he didn't want a public record of of him entering the Justice Department. So is it a fact. He didn't want to public log because you knew what you doing wrong so the just as the president went to an unofficial official nongovernment employees you wanted to make sure there was not a record of it isn't that right sir. No log creates a record of your visiting with the Attorney General so I would think a log world creator record degreaser that you admitted to the special counsel. You didn't want to have a record of your visit and that's why that's one of the reasons why you didn't go to the Department of Justice because she did not want to public log of your visit correct. I've never been to the Department of Justice. I don't know what goes on the Department of Justice. I don't really want to find out what happened. Department of Justice based on what's happened to other people involving the Department of Justice to be honest with you. Barry Burke insisted that the reason Corey Lewandowski did not personally deliver the president's message to Jeff. Yes actions is that Corey Lewandowski knew that would not be legal. You said so. You never did anything other than what was completely legal when you said that circus you knew if you delivered that message that told the Attorney General to instruct the special counsel delimit the investigation to exclude the president that would not be illegal. Isn't that correct surf Mr Burke. I didn't have the privilege of going to Harvard Law School. I'm not an attorney so what I know is. I didn't think at the time that the president asked me to deliver a message that anything was illegal about it. I didn't have the privilege to go to Harvard Law. So if you're telling me that in your opinion that would have been illegal then that's your opinion too but I never assume that that never thought about at the time I haven't thought about now. Why didn't you deliver the message that the president ask you delivered unless you didn't deliver it because you knew it was improper to deliver. Mr Burglar wasn't a priority. It sure reads like a priority in the mullahs report throughout the day. Corey Lewandowski refused to answer multiple questions agents about his conversations with anyone working in the White House. Berry Burke showed that this was not exactly a sacred principle to Corey Lewandowski. I can't speak to conversations that may or may not have with senior staff members of the administration to preserve the privilege they've invoked so it's such a sacred privilege as you would not disclose private communications because that would be wrong you testimony sir now. My testimony is at the White House directed that disclosed the substance of any discussions with the president advisors to protect executive branch confidentiality and I recognize that's not my privilege but I am. I am respecting the decision of the White House. Didn't you publish a book in which you disclose these very conversations. You had with senior White House officials which book you reference. I've written to New York Times bestsellers on a year so you refresh my memory with one. I'm asking you about the bestseller lead trumpy trump leading off our discussion. Tonight is democratic. Congressman Eric Swallow of California is one of the able questioners on the House Judiciary Committee because because he is a former deputy district attorney himself also joining us Mimi Roca former assistant. US Attorney Southern District of New York an MSNBC legal legal contributor cars. I WanNa start with something you brought up to Chairman Nadler when when it was your turn already been one brief recess in the hearing and so I'm not sure whether this was I could tell us whether this was coordinated with the chairman. Not specifically said you asked the chairman to consider holding holding Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress for the way he was testifying in that hearing which I have to say in any previous in Congress he would have been held in contempt of Congress in the first five minutes based on what we saw what's going to happen with the question of contempt of Congress for Corey Lewandowski in Dusky. It's certainly on the table and I also think the to witness chairs next to him. empty chairs should mean empty pockets and they need to be fine. There need to be consequences and when you when you by the way I could listen to that Barry Burke Exchange all day and then he he he's just masterful and finally the truth came came out but that's not how an innocent person conducts themselves. That's how he wants to help the Congress understand. You know what the president did would present themselves. That's how a guilty person acts and so are the chairman is going to consider contempt and we're not going to stop it in Lawrence and I I saw just like you did the you know the twitter. you know hot takes on what all this meant and people said it was messy. It was frustrating and that's all true but if the opposite of of this is to do nothing and let the President get away with further obstruction. We're not GonNa do that either and we have court battles that are ongoing right now so the president may benefit in the short term from confusing people and telling people to obstruct but in the long-term there's going to be a cascade of court decisions in our favor and it's not going to be very good for the trump team. Carson there is one another alternative for the mess of it and that is letting Barry Burke to either all the questioning or let Barry Burke have the first half our and then let the mess follow that yeah and it also just depends as well on the witnesses. We should assume that most witnesses are going to be like Mister Lebowski. That's just the trump style. They haven't had to have any consequences for that as of late and yes I think you know just just like you want more cowbell. Give us more burke. He was very very good. maybe Roca one of the things that you don't have in the courtroom is the other side when in the middle of your questioning jumping up in all sorts of history on equate object to something in a courtroom you better be doing it based on the rules of evidence the Democrats"