Lewandowski hearing was a disaster

Article Image

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) floats holding President Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in contempt during a heated impeachment hearing.

Posted: Sep 17, 2019 11:20 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2019 11:20 PM

Corey Lewandowski's congressional testimony on Tuesday highlighted the fundamental paradox facing the House Judiciary Committee. On one hand, Lewandowski -- despite openly antagonizing House Democrats and preening for his Republican cronies -- testified fairly casually about misconduct by President Donald Trump that, in normal times, would be presidency-defining (and potentially presidency-ending). On the other hand, Lewandowski's testimony changed little about the longer-term prospects of impeachment.

Through all the sarcasm, personal insults, and tortured debate about Congressional procedure, Lewandowski confirmed that Trump instructed him to have then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions intervene in, and derail, a criminal investigation of Trump and his close associates. This is a big deal -- or should be. But it also was nothing new. The entire summer 2017 episode is set forth in detail in the Mueller report. Lewandowski's testimony simply confirms that Mueller got it right -- contrary to the repeated claims of Lewandowski's chief benefactor Trump, who has repeatedly attacked Mueller's impartiality and veracity.

Lewandowski was a truly horrible witness. His demeanor was the stuff of a trial lawyer's nightmares. He was angry, combative, sarcastic, and more intent on getting off personal insults and pumping up his impending Senate campaign than actually answering questions or getting Congress or the public any closer to truth. When questioned by Republicans, he was an eager beaver, responsive and sharp. When questioned by Democrats, he turned hostile and suddenly seemed unable to hear, read, understand, or respond to even the simplest question.

And Lewandowski's credibility is trash. He gave laughably implausible explanations for any conduct that suggested impropriety by Trump. For example, when asked why he did not transmit Trump's initial message to Sessions, Lewandowski glibly responded that he went on vacation instead. That's not an answer, that's a non sequitor. Obviously, Lewandowski could have delivered the message before or after vacation. Plainly, Lewandowski did not deliver the message because he knew Trump's message to Sessions was wrong and illegal. And he invoked the White House's legally unsupportable "privilege" -- "the White House has directed me not to disclose the subject of any discussion..." -- only selectively, whenever he wanted to dodge.

While Lewandowski's performance on Tuesday was an abomination, it is the fault of House Democrats that it probably won't make a dent. Here's the problem: House Democrats -- particularly Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- have set the bar impossibly high by claiming publicly that "The public isn't there on impeachment" and that impeaching Trump is "just not worth it."

By those statements, House Democrats essentially have conceded the Mueller report is not enough -- perhaps politically more than legally -- and there needs to be something more to proceed. But there very likely won't be evidence relating to Russian interference or obstruction beyond what's already in the Mueller report. House Democrats have set themselves up for failure.

Moving forward, House Democrats need to address this question squarely: Is the conduct in the Mueller report enough to impeach? If so, then why are we wasting time with the kind of absurd hearing we saw on Tuesday? (Note: they don't need more -- the House impeached President Bill Clinton based on the written report of Independent Counsel Ken Starr, without calling live witnesses). And if not, they're not going to magically get some brand new, previously unknown smoking gun, especially not from partisan, dishonest favor-seekers like Lewandowski.

House Democrats need to make a tough decision. Will they continue to slow-play this process and shy away from impeachment because of the perceived political downside? Or will they take bold action to uphold the oath of office and defend the Constitution, whatever the speculative political cost? All indications are they will stay on the former road. And if so, we can expect plenty more hearings like Tuesday's: plenty of sound and fury, ample evidence of wrongdoing and abuse of power, and no meaningful consequence.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36716

Reported Deaths: 1482
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin11892776
Ramsey4724218
Stearns228719
Dakota221889
Anoka2124107
Nobles16556
Olmsted105815
Washington102540
Mower9282
Rice8247
Scott6714
Clay57637
Kandiyohi5651
Wright4485
Blue Earth4222
Todd4002
Carver3481
Lyon3002
Sherburne2974
Freeborn2860
Steele2190
Benton2083
Watonwan2060
St. Louis16915
Martin1615
Nicollet14912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1248
Winona11915
Pine1030
Crow Wing10212
Chisago951
Otter Tail921
Le Sueur861
McLeod850
Carlton830
Dodge810
Polk812
Unassigned8137
Chippewa761
Itasca6512
Isanti640
Douglas610
Meeker581
Waseca580
Morrison571
Becker550
Jackson540
Faribault530
Murray510
Pennington510
Sibley482
Mille Lacs342
Brown312
Wabasha310
Rock290
Yellow Medicine290
Beltrami280
Renville282
Fillmore270
Pipestone261
Houston240
Norman200
Swift201
Wilkin203
Redwood170
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Cass122
Marshall120
Pope100
Lincoln90
Roseau90
Grant80
Clearwater70
Mahnomen71
Lake60
Hubbard50
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 29429

Reported Deaths: 716
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6120178
Woodbury317744
Black Hawk213058
Buena Vista169711
Linn121582
Dallas119429
Johnson11818
Marshall101618
Story7223
Pottawattamie70111
Wapello70130
Crawford6672
Scott66410
Muscatine62044
Dubuque53922
Sioux4570
Tama45129
Wright3750
Louisa36013
Jasper31817
Plymouth3054
Dickinson2492
Warren2491
Washington2299
Hamilton1851
Webster1682
Boone1361
Allamakee1264
Clarke1262
Clay1260
Mahaska11517
Shelby1060
Cerro Gordo1051
Poweshiek1048
Clinton991
Bremer886
Carroll861
Des Moines853
Pocahontas841
Henry823
Taylor790
Franklin780
Cedar771
Emmet750
Cherokee730
Monona710
Floyd662
Marion660
Guthrie644
Hardin630
Sac630
Benton591
Osceola560
Jones550
Jefferson530
Harrison510
Humboldt511
Iowa500
Monroe506
Lee492
Butler472
Calhoun472
Hancock470
Buchanan461
Delaware451
Lyon400
Clayton393
Davis381
Madison372
Grundy340
Mills340
Fayette330
Kossuth320
Winneshiek320
Palo Alto310
Lucas304
Greene280
Mitchell280
Chickasaw270
Howard270
Winnebago260
Jackson250
Union250
Ida220
Appanoose203
Page200
Keokuk191
Van Buren190
Cass170
Audubon161
Adair150
Ringgold150
Worth140
Decatur100
Montgomery102
Adams80
Wayne80
Fremont70
Unassigned40
Rochester
Few Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 87°
Mason City
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 88°
Albert Lea
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 87°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
Charles City
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 86°
HOT AND HUMID
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

City Administrator Transition Out Of Position

Image

Domestic Pet Act Signed Into Law

Image

AI Driven Emergency Medicine Platform

Image

Governor Reynolds in North Iowa

Image

Restaurants in Minnesota might shut down again

Image

SMART Transit delivered thousands of meals

Image

The miraculous catch

Image

New Swine Flu

Image

Charles City athlete is taunted with racial comments

Image

RPD Policy Listening Session

Community Events