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tv   Corey Lewandowski To Testify Before House Judiciary Committee  CSPAN  September 17, 2019 1:15pm-6:39pm EDT

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the committee on the judiciary will come to order. we welcome everybody to today's hearing of presidential obstruction of justice and abuse of power. before we begin, i would remind all of the committee members that we should refrain from
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making inappropriate references to the protected parties namely the president, the vice president, and members of the house, and this is accusations of dishonesty and treason or other unethical or improper motives. the critical issues that we are addressing today that go to core of the democracy understandably bring out strong passions in us as they do the american people. i hope that in what should, and i hope that in what should be a spirited discussion of issues today, you will stay focused on the issues, and take care frf having our comments directed to the president. i will recognize myself nor an openi op -- for an opening hearing. today's hearing is entitled presidential obstruction and abuse of presidential power. this is to determine whether or
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not to recommend articles of impeachment for president church. we have subpoenaed three people, and we have learned that the white house is blocking the first two from showing up, and tightly limiting the third. the white house has no authority legal or otherwise to give these orders. we wanted these people individuals to testify before the american people, because they are critical witnesses of obstruction of justice laid out in the mueller report n. five of those episodes, evidence laid out in the report show that all elements of the obstruction of justice were made. today, despite the roadblocks that the white house has thrown up, we will look at the president through his campaign manager cory lewandowski. and as we know mr. dearborn was
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enlisted as well as mr. porter. as the counsel and other outside experts have laid out, any other individuals involved with this would have been charged with obstruction of justice. anyone else. and the president is intent on preventing the american people from hearing the details so it is no surprise that the white house has blocked two of the witnesses from showing up today. on behalf of the president, the white house and the department of justice they are advancing the same spurious doctrine that they did when this committee called upon the obstruction of witness to testify former white house counsel dan mcgahn. they are immune to testify before congress, and there is no such thing. the only court ever to look at this doctrine totally rejected it. that is why we went to the court
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in the mcgahn case to set it aside. what is happening today is more troubling than mcgahn's failure to appear, because even if we apply doj's own made-up rules of the absolute immunity, i would like to know how mr. dearborn fits under those rules. according to doj rules, the immediate adviser serves as the president's alter ego, close quote. to disclose this from mr. dearborn who is far more removed from mr. mcgahn is a stretch. we should call this what it is, an absolute cover-up by the white house. mr. lewandowski is here with vital information about the presidential obstruction of justice. the white house wants to limit our and your ability to hear it all. mr. lewandowski was called one-on-one into the oval office on june 17th, 2019 and again july 19th, 2017, and the president did something they
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find startling. he dictated a speech to mr. lewandowski, and a speech not for mr. lewandowski, but for attorney general sessions to deliver. then attorney general sessions. he secretly told mr. lewandowski to put the following words into the a.g.'s mouth, quote, i am going the meet with the special prosecutors to explain that this is very unfair and let the special prosecutor to move forward with election meddling for future elections so that nothing can happen in future elections and this is from volume 2, page 92 of the mueller report. so as we found that limiting that would cut off the heart of the special counsel's investigation, and limited the president's condublgt. and so all of the elements have been met for obstruction of justice. mr. lewandowski is nervous about this demand from the former boss
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as he should have been because it raises criminal misconduct. he was certainly not allowed to curtail it. so mr. lewandowski tried to surreptitiously meet with the a.g. and when that failed he tried to pass the buck to mr. dearborn, and he gave him the script that had been dictated to the president all while telling the president that he would follow through on the president's orders and that is what we want to try to learn more about today. as we learned with special counsel mueller, the witness testimony is critical to any investigation. the white house does not want us or the american people to hear this story in full. late yesterday the white house sent us a letter claiming that mr. lewandowski's conversations with the president are protected from the disclosure by the executive branch confidentiality interest, close quote. they say that he can testify about what has been disclosed in the mueller report and no more.
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and they make that claim despite the fact that mr. lewandowski was at all times a political operative and apparently not offering any advice of any time, and rare prerequisite confidentiality. this has not been extended before. and the department of justice has said that executive privilege should be invoked to son seal wrongdoing on the part of the executive officers, the white house is advancing a new and dangerous theory, crony protection. where are the limits? this is a cover-up plain and simple. if it were to prevail and especially while the judiciary committee is to consider articles of impeachment, it would upend the powers of separation by our founders. today's cover-up is a pattern of the white house blocking congress, and the president announced the desire to quote fight all of the subpoenas,
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unquote. the white house's obstruction of congress ranges across every committee and virtually every investigation of every committee from children in cages or the protection of the country from foreign attacks. so mr. lewandowski, you are here under subpoena and you are required to answer our question, all of our questions completely and truthfully, and the investigation extends beyond all four corners of the mueller report. and we are looking at corruption of power more broadly, and so we will be asking about other areas as well. no one is above the law, and not even the president of the united states. and now i recognize the ranking member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins for his opening statement. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for
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introducing this hearing which is now as you said under the new rules, and you know, sort of the old school, and the new rules and new rules here, and those were the old rules and yet, here we go again. we will say that they are new, because we like the packaging. i havener seen never seen a maj excited with the packaging, because they can't sell what is inside. so i agree with the chairman we should call it for what it is, another oversight hearing and it has become this. let's read the mueller book for the audio book. we had mr. mueller here, and long day, and it did not go well for the proffers of what you have proclaimed for over one year and nine months, and what you claim is impeachment
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criteria. and now, the members have said that the president should be impeached, and so why are we investigating? 17, you don't have the numbers and even if you get it out of this committee, you don't have it on the floor and this is the problem. so what we are going to do so drag this committee through the oversight hearings and talk about things that have been talked ad nauseam and ad nauseam and put up the filters and say what it is and is not, and then we will try to imply that this president shouldn't be president. you know, it is interesting to me that it was said that the made up rules of doj and now it is interesting that they were made up, but they were not made up when the obama administration used them. were they made up rules then? just asking for a friend. this is amazing as we come into the situation that the chairman also said that while we are doing this, and stopping the committees from searching into
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the issues of immigration and foreign influence, and i wanted to remind everybody watching and here to see the show today and to remind the majority, they have complete jurisdiction over jurisdiction. we have complete and total jurisdiction over immigration for the most part. so if you want to fix the border. put up a bill. you don't want to that. you like that. you like the press here and the cameras, because it makes it appear that something is happening that is not, and the real thing coming out is that the american people are starting to get it. they are starting to get it that if you are howling at the wind, you are not doing anything, and you make them they that you are, and you are not. don't tell me that you want to do anything with the immigration, you want to bring people in here and yell at them. so i agree, we need to fix it, and bring a big. and stop talking about the foreign influence, and the only thing that we agreed on is
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foreign influence from russia, but, yet, where is the bill? where is waldo? where is the bill? we like to talk about it, because we think that it makes the president look bad and that is the implication for two years, and also, we don't want any information in this committee. if so, we would do it with the intel committee, and we have had that issue before, and we have had to work with the witnesses to get them come home, and mr. lewandowski said he would come without a subpoena, but he came anyw anyway. as i was told earlier from the chairman, that the subpoena is the start of the dialogue, but according to black's law it is not. but this is the problem of this committee. this committee does not want to interview don mcgahn behind closed doors, no, they want to do it up front. and that is what obvious sight is, trying to get information, but we don't do that. i understand it is tough to make
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a promise and not keeping it. i understand. all of us in this room can relate to a time when we made a promise, and we couldn't keep it. the majority made a promise, and impeach him, and investigate him, and most of them happened in november of 2016, because they can't believe that donald trump won and they can't get over it today. so today, we have hearings, and lots of flashbulbs and no investigation, but we like to issue subpoenas and we are setting a world record, 40 times faster than the previous chairman and we don't want answers, because we are not going to engage in dialogue to get the information from folks. and i believe it is more than just wanting to get it here, because it is not like mr. lewandowski has had silence on this issue. he has testified senate select committee on intelligence, and the house committee on the intelligence, and testified
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before special counsel mr. mueller, and we have had access to the testimony, and this is not new, but yet, it is new, because it is another time to rehash an old story. this is the fall, and this is when the abc and the nbc and the broadcast folks, they bring out the new shows. this is not the summer rerun season. we should get to something new, but i wanted to show you one last thing before i turn it back over and we will get the show going. and the judiciary committee is the judiciary committee for a reason, because we oversee the court system. if you have been here and any attorney who has appeared before the judge, the judge is a stickler for the rules. i just wanted to point out something, and it is trivial and some will laugh and some won't care, but it does matter. the subpoena for mr. lewandowski today said 10:00 a.m. this morning. this is just showing you how impulsive and how faux this
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impeachment charade is done. the subpoenas were here for all three to compel them at 10:00, and the hearing is at 1:00, and not 10:00, and the witnesses lack hearing notice, and that is a basic subpoena issue. and where is the -- i can understand with the natural resources they get it wrong. or the transportation. i don't understand how judiciary gets this wrong. the chairman wants to hold people in contempt for not showing up, and try to enforce this court, because there is no extra letter, and there is no clarification of time and when i gave a subpoena for my client to appear in court, what do you appear in court? whenever you feel like it? no, the time that it says. and the only chairman's offer for success, and we do this, because we have wasted enough time, and we can reissue subpoenas for a new date and time and there is a date in october that we have not filled
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up with this mess somewhere, so with this, here we go. mr. chairman, there is so much that we could do together. there is so much. but as long as we don't have time, we will continue with the rerun season, and the popcorn still tastes good, and i don't know why we do this except maybe we just have, maybe it is a deficiency of the flashbulbs, i don't know, because we like the show. and the show is going to get even more as it ghos goes toda oh, the new rules are in effect, wait, it is the old rules, but they are new today. and i will have more when we get to questions later and with that, i will yield back. >> thank you, mr. kol lincollin now i will introduce the witness, cory lewandowski. he is a commentator and he first served as the campaign manager in 2016 for president trump.
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he has a master's degree in political science from the american university. he also attended the naval war college. former white house deputy chief of staff rick dearborn and the white house chief of staff rob porter have refused to appear today despite dually issued subpoenas. i disagree with the white house's assertion of immunity from mr. porter and mr. dearborn and we will look to reissue these subpoenas. we thank mr. lewandowski for participating in today's hearing. if you will rise, i will begin by we swearing you in. do you swear or affirm to the best of your knowledge that you will testify to the best of your ability, so help you god. let the record show that the witness has answered in the affirmative. your written statement is going
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to be entered in the entirety and i will ask you the please stay within five minutes. to help you there is a light on the table, and when the light turns red, it is going to signal that the time has expired and mr. lewandowski, you may begin. >> chairman nadler, and ranking member collins and members of the committee, good afternoon. i would like to start off my hope that today's hearing is productive and in revealing the truth both to the committee and to the american people. for the record and as you likely know, i have already testified before congress on three separate occasions. i sat at length with the staff at the special counsel's office, and there, too, my time and answers were given freely and without hesitation. in one form or another, i have already answered questions for well over 20 hours, and now here i am before the house judiciary committee to answer the same questions again. just last week this committee
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over the objections of the minority changed the rules to make it an impeachment hearing which sun fair, but in the spirit of cooperation, i am prepared to move forward. i would like to start by recounting the events of bringing us here. working through the trump campaign and the historical election and being part of the greatest political movement in this nation's history. i submit this summary in truth and transparency to the american people and the same reason and rationale that this committee offers for the basis of the hearing. growing up in a blue collar family in lowell, massachusetts. prior to becoming a congressional staffer and peace officer in the state of new hampshire and the world of politics has always been a passion. in 2016, donald j. trump asked
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me to help play a part in his campaign. it was an honor. it started as a small group of individuals to help mr. trump to make decision in june of 2016 to ride down the golden escalator to seek the nomination of the presidency of the united states. then i served as campaign manager to candidate trump, and i ran a lean operation to help him to capture the presidency. my job was simple, provide mr. trump with the best advice and spend the money like it was my own, and give him the support to win. i set long term objectives and it was a privilege to help transform the trump campaign from a dedicated but small organization to historical and unprecedented juggernaut. i am proud to say that he won 38 primaries and caucuses and
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received more votes than any kind da candidate in the republican party. he secured the republican nomination, and ultimately the president of the united states. however, since election day, whether it was bad actors at the fbi and the intelligence community or lies coming from the current house majority, that there is evidence of collusion, the american people continue to be sold a false narrative with the purpose of undermining the legitimacy of the 2016 results. but no matter the size, the campaigns are not the most efficient organizations. while you run in a congressional district, imagine what is it like to run a campaign for all 50 states. during the time, there were a effort to get the candidate's attention and ideas, and i also received hundreds of thousands
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of e-mails and some days as many as 1,000 e-mails and unlike hillary clinton, i did not delete them. and they were throughout it all to the best of my recollection, i don't recall any conversations with foreign entities or any offering to help in the outcome of an election. and i have said it many times anybody who has affect ffected outcome of an election should be spend their life in jail. and so rather the obama/biden committee seen with james clapper and james brennan had the integrity of the american people to ensure the 2016 free and open election and i will leave it to this committee to
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see how effective they were doing the job. there was no conspiracy or collusion with foreign governments on my watch or afterwards and after the mueller report was made public, the narrative of the fake russian collusion has fallen a part. in conclusion, it is sad to say that the american people have spent three years and over $40 million on these investigations and populated by trump haters to take down a duly elected president of the united states, and for the act of collusion or conspiracy, there was none. but what there has been is harassment of this president from the day he won the election. we as a nation would be better served if elected officials like yourselves would combat the true crises of the country as opposed to rabbit holes like this. and instead of being involved in
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petty investigations, imagine how many people we could help or lives we could save. as i have said earlier, i have voluntarily appeared before congress for three occasions and spoken for multiple hours. i will continue to be forth right and cooperative and as sincere in my answers as this committee is in its questions. >> thank you for your testimony. we will now proceed under the five-minute rule for questions. at the completion of the member's questions pursuant to the chairman's 2012 investigative procedures this is followed by one hur of staff questioning equally divided between the majority and the minority. i will begin by recognizing myself for five minutes. mr. lewandowski, we received a letter from the white house yesterday that they will not let you answer any questions beyond what you told the special counsel and publicly released.
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the white house's instruction is base on a bogus privilege, because you did not work a single day for the administration or in the executive branch. my colleagues will get into the significant events in detail, but i am especially troubled by the president's ability to obstruct the investigations and prevent the american people to learn about what he has done and i want to ask you questions relative to that. mr. lewandowski, is it correct that as reported in the muell ir report on june 2017, that you met alone with the president in the oval office? >> is there a book and page number that you can reference me to, because i don't have a copy of it in front of me. >> i simply ask you if it is correct in the mueller report on july 17, 2017, that you met with the president? >> can you read the langualangu because i don't have that in
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front of me. >> i don't believe i have to do. did you meet -- >> i don't have a copy of the report, congressman. >> mr. chairman, i request that this clock be stopped while this charade is sorted out. >> i am sorry, congressman, what page was it? >> the clock should have been stopped and remain stopped. page 90, volume ii. >> which paragraph, sir? >> i don't have it in front of me. >> i'd like a reference, sir, so i can follow along with what you are asking. >> you don't have an independent recollection of whether you met with the president on that date? >> congressman, i am trying to find in the mueller report where it states that. >> you have it in front of you, and you have the page number.
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>> where on page 90. >> you have to start the clock. >> no, i don't when he is filibustering me. >> filibustering is across the hall in the senate and this is actual questions here. >> parliamentary inquiry, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman with the parliamentary inquiry. >> it is approapriate for a question to refuse to answer a question, and i ask that mueller report to be closed, and the witness answer the question. >> it is not appropriate, however, it is on the bottom two lines of that page. >> point of order, when will the clock start, mr. chairman? >> once the question is asked, mr. chairman, the clock should start. >> parliamentary inquiry, mr.
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chairman. >> point of order. >> the question of the witness. >> the point of order overrides that, and mr. chairman, you know that. >> the gentleman will state the point of order. >> once you have asked the question, the clock should start. he cannot be held while you and your counsel go over notes. >> the gentleman is correct, the clock will start. and the witness will answer the question without further delay. >> yes, i see that in the report. >> thank you. >> during that meeting, did you tell the president in quote asked to deliver a message to sessions who was then the attorney general of the united states, page 91. i asked you a question, sir. >> i am looking for that reference. >> do you not have an independent recollection. mr. congressman i am trying to
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adhere the white house's request to answer the questions only in the mueller report and i am trying to reference that with your question, congressman. >> were you a white house employee at that time? >> no, congressman. >> and did you have, okay. you did not hold any position in the government whatsoever, did you? >> correct. >> now, sitting behind you are counsel for the white house, correct? >> that is my understanding. >> you understand those lawyers actually work for the president at the white house? >> i believe that is accurate. >> and nevertheless, the president's lawyers have told you not to answer any question by this committee other than what has been disclosed in the special counsel's report, is that correct? >> congressman, i have to read from the letter that the white house provided to the committee, if that would help you the clarify. would that hel snp >> no, want you to answer the question. >> i have never spoken to any of
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the counsel members other than hello, 15 seconds ago. >> by letter? >> i was give then letter as explained before, mr. lewandowski's conversation with the president and with senior advise force the president are protected by disclosure of long settled precedent of longstanding confidentiality and therefore the white house is asking mr. lewandowski not to answer any questions that were not addressed in the mueller report. >> and so we will take that as a yes. and the answer is that you are not going to answer the question. so we have established that you were not employed by the executive branch of the white house? >> i have never been employed by the white house. >> were you asked to be here? >> i have not explained to anybody in the white house counsel. >> the answer is no. was it your idea not to answer questions based under the
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executive privilege. >> i have not had any conversation with the white house counsel. >> so it is your idea -- >> i have not had any conversation with the white house counsel. i can only go by this letter. it was not my idea. >> not your idea. was it the president or anybody else that you felt that your communications were official white house communications. >> the white house has asked me not to disclose the substance of any president or advisers, and i recognize it is not my privilege, but i am respecting the white house decision. >> let me talk about the relationship with the president after he assumed office. how many times has the president asked you to meet alone in the house white. >> i am asked not to disclose. >> how many times has he requested? >> i don't know the answer of that. >> and how many times. >> i have been told not to
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discuss -- >> that he may have committed a criminal offense. >> i am not to reveal any -- i recognize this is not my rule. >> pursuant that the gentleman is out of order and extended the five minute rule. >> i challenge the ruling of the chair. >> the ruling of the chair is challenged, and all of those overriding the ruling of the chair aye. opposed? >> roll call. >> where is the clerk? >> i mean this is -- >> the clerk will call the roll.
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>> mr. nadler? >> the question is will, the question is will the ruling of the chair be overruled and my vote is no. >> mr. nadler votes no. mrs. jackson lee? ms. jackson lee votes no. mr. cohen. mr. cohen votes no. mr. johnson of georgia? mr. johnson of georgia votes no. mr. deutsche vote nos. ms. bass. ms. bass votes no. mr. richmond. mr. jeffries. mr. jeffries votes no. mr. cicilline? mr. cicilline votes no. mr. swallow. mr. swallow votes no. mr. lieu. mr. lieu votes no. mr. raskins. mr. raskins votes no.
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ms. deming? ms. deming votes no. mr. correia votes no. ms. garcia. ms. garcia votes no. mr. nagusse. he votes no. ms. stanton. ms. dean. ms. carswell powell. mr. collins. mr. collins votes aye. mr. sen sen brunner. mr. radcliffe is voting yes. mr. robey. mr. gates. mr. gates votes aye. mr. johnson of louisiana. mr. johnson of louisiana votes aye. mr. biggs. mr. biggs votes aye. mr. mcclinton. mr. mcclinton votes aye.
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ms.lessko votes aye. mr. reshenthaler voting aye. mr. armstrong votes yes. mr. stube votes yes. >> has everyone voted who wishes to vote? madam clerk? >> mr. buck you were not recorded. mr. buck votes yes. >> anybody else? the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, there are 13 ayes and 19 noes. >> the gentleman is not recognized. >> i will be. >> the point of order is
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sustained. >> mr. chairman? >> i am very troubled that the white house counsel sitting behind you are preventing you from answering these questions. >> mr. chairman, i have a motion? i have a motion. >> you will wait for your motion until i finish this. >> point of order then? point of order has got to be recognized? >> not in the middle -- >> yes, it does. >> since the chairman is not falling the rules, i motion to adjourn. >> a motion to adjourn -- >> if the republicans on the motion to adjourn, does that mean there will be no hearing. >> i have a point of -- >> the motion is not debatable. as many are -- >> i'm in motion of -- >> many -- >> it's not debatable.
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say aye in favor, oppose no. >> no. >> the nos have it. roll call. roll call is requested. the question is on the motion to adjourn. >> mr. nadler? >> no. >> ms. jackson lee votes no. mr. johnson of georgia votes no. mr. deutsche votes no. m ms. bass votes no. mr. jeffries votes no. mr. swalwell? >> no. >> mr. liu votes no. >> ms. demings votes no. ms. scanlin votes no.
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m ms. dean votes no. ms. escobar? mr. collins votes aye. mr. chabot votes aye. mr. jordan? mr. jordan votes aye. mr. buck. mr. ratcliffe votes yes. ms. roby? mr. gates votes aye. mr. johnson of louisiana votes aye. mr. bigs votes aye. mr. mcclintock votes aye. ms. lesko votes aye. mr. kline votes aye.
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mr. steube votes yes. mr. chairman, there are 12 ayes and 19 noes. >> i will finish what i'm saying. i'm troubled that they're preventing you from answering these questions that go to the heart of the president's conduct we are investigating. not only were you not a government employee, but these questions are about the president's efforts to interfere with the criminal investigation of himself and have nothing to do with official government business. this is clearly just part of the president's continued attempt to cover up his actions. his obstructing our congressional investigation by preventing you from telling the american people the truth about
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his misconduct. he will not succeed and we will not be deterred. i recognize the gentleman from georgia for his opening -- for his questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this past few minutes was avoidable and frustrating. it's now raised the question of the privilege of the rules of the house which could be discussed on the floor and probably will be and possibly just the running over of house rules. my concern is ethics violations as well. at this point, mr. lewandowski, you have testified before congress multiple times, correct? >>. >> yes. >> correct me if i'm wrong, you've testified twice before the house intel committee. >> yes. >> how long were those sessions? >> i think the first session was about seven hours and the second session was maybe four hours. >> you've testified before senate intel, correct? >> yes. >> how long was that? >> eight hours. >> you testified before the special counsel's office,
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correct? >> yes. >> how many times? >> two separate occasions. >> and for about how long? >> probably 15 to 16 hours. >> okay. and those were voluntary, correct? >> yes, sir. >> you agreed to come here voluntarily as well? >> i did. >> there was no need for a flawed subpoena to be issued to you, correct? >> correct. >> okay and i want to know -- our staff has red the full summary of your testimony because everyone has access to your summary for months. have you had the opportunity to review the summaries in preparation for today. >> no, sir >> which goes to the point about why he won't be able to remember so many details outside of what is written in the mueller report and that's something that needs to be made aware of. were you given any guidelines on the topics or subjects of your questions today. >> not to the best of my recollection. >> that is a problem that we seem to have here is basically what we say is overbroad
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subpoenas around here. there's -- we could have talked about your favorite football team. i'm not -- >> the patriots. >> you're pretty happy right now, right? >> tom is a winner. >> we don't follow procedure because if it gets in the way of a story, we do whatever we want around here. in any of the times that you've had today and especially not being questioned, you said you plan to answer as best as you possibility can, is that correct >> yes, sir. >> but you realize that there are certain things -- does that concern you having to keep coming back and back again without having proper reference if somebody said i want to know the reference of which you're speaking to. would that be a problem to you? >> my memory to events were clearer the first time i testified to it because it was a year and a half ago on many occasions or longer. if i could have a specific
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reference of something, i would be happy to have that. >> you want to make sure you give an accurate response since you've testified on these issues many times before? >> yes, sir. >> to imply otherwise is taking a shot at your testimony here, correct? >> it is. >> when you worked on the trump campaign, you said this earlier, i want it to be stated again because we've had these hearings again, did you engage in collusion, coordination or conspiracy with the russians? >> never. >> did you observe anyone else doing that? >> no, sir. >> when we look at what's going on here today, i think the concern that we have, and many of us on this side, we have a narrative that's failed, the failed narrative is continued. you're being asked to come in here and do something you've done many times over. if you're following the premise of what the chairman says the majority is looking for, they're finding a reason to impeach the president. they have found 17 of them -- 17
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of them have said they've found a reason, but they can't get more on the floor to do this. this is dragging this out. mr. lewandowski, i would encourage you to answer the questions fully, you voluntarily come here, even though we threw a flawed subpoena at you and the others as well. i think as we go forward here we'll see how this moves forward. this is concerning to me, mr. chairman. i'm going to take this for the moment. it's okay to try and get your stuff out, but it's also not okay to overrun house runs. the five-minute rule is a house rule. it's not debatable. we've already discussed -- we're going to have a lot more discussion here in a little while, there's plenty of time to get that questioned asked by somebody else. but at the end of the day, you're accusing a president of
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very high issues that we got to look at. you're accusing him and dragging this through committee for eight months. i think following procedures is something you have to look at because your -- >> point of order, mr. chairman. the time has expired. >> if he wishes. he doesn't wish. >> good morning, mr. lewandowski. i'm questioning you right now. thank you. the president asked you who had no role at all in the white house to deliver that message to attorney general sessions. the president could have just picked up the phone himself at any time and called the attorney general. the president also had a full staff of executive employees right down the hall. so this made me wonder, if the
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president thought what he was doing was legal, why didn't he just pick up the phone and call attorney general sessions or why not ask any member of his staff who worked right down the hall to deliver a message. it is clear to me that the reason he went to you, mr. lewandowski, is because everyone said no. so i want to ask you about that. two days before meeting you, the president had called white house counsel mcgahn at home on a saturday to fire the special counsel saying and you can see that on the screen, mueller has to go. call me back when you do it. plain and simple. but mcgahn refused. when the president asked you to deliver that message, did he, the president, tell you that two days before your meeting his white house counsel had refused to fire the special counsel? volume 11, 86 is where you'll find that language.
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volume 2. when the president asked you -- did you hear the question. when the president asked you to deliver that message, did he tell you two days before you meeting the white house counsel had refused to fire the special counsel. >> the white house has directed me that i do not dis -- >> you're not allowed to answer whether the president told you he called his counsel at home on saturday to remove on a saturday the special counsel and his counsel said no. the president called sessions at home and asked him to unrecuse himself and oversee the special counsel's investigation and sessions said no. when the president asked you to deliver his message to sessions, did the president tell you that sessions had already said no, volume 2, page 107? >> again, i recognize that the privilege is not mine, but i've been asked -- i'd be happy to answer your question, or you can have a conversation by yourself.
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>> i'm going to continue. the reason -- >> don't ask me a question -- >> this is a house judiciary not a house party. >> if you ask me a question, give me an opportunity to answer the question. >> i would like my time restored please of his interruption. so he was a witness to the special counsel's investigation, for that reason, sessions said publicly that federal law prohibited his involvement in the special counsel investigation. you can read this on the screen. yes or no, did the president tell you that the attorney general was not allowed to take any part in the special counsel's investigation when he asked you to deliver him a note about that very investigation? did the president tell you that? >> what you've read is not on the screen, congresswoman. >> you need to look at the
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screen. >> there it is. >> yes or no, read the screen? >> you're welcome to read it, congresswoman. >> you're welcome to be stalling. you answer the question, your honor -- yes or no. >> that you can answer "yes" or "no." >> i will not disclose any conversation. >> you are obviously here to block any reasonable inquiry into the truth or not of this administration. the white house counsel, quote, shortly after sessions announced his recusal directed that sessions should not be contacted about the special counsel investigation. in fact, the white house counsel note states no contact with sessions and no communications serious about obstruction. can you read that. i just said it. did you hear me? >> yes. is there a question? >> yes. did the president tell you his white house counsel told him no contact with sessions because of
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serious concerns of obstruction when he asked you to deliver a message to sessions. >> i am respecting the privilege of confidentiality and i will recognize at this time -- >> let me say that you knew -- you know the president was putting you at risk when he asked you to deliver a message to the attorney general. i want to be very clear. the president knew what he was doing was wrong because everyone else had already said no. he called his white house counsel to fire the special counsel, mcgahn said no. he called the attorney general to ask him to unrecuse himself from the special counsel's investigation, sessions said no. his white house counsel said there should be no contact with sessions because of his recusal. what does the president do? he calls you in to do what everyone else wouldn't do. he called you in to do his dirty work in secret. because he was wrong. we will expose the truth. >> the time -- >> you should be -- >> the time has expired.
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>> the truth will set you free and the american people, i yield back. >> the time has expired. the witness may answer the question. >> i don't believe there was a question. >> yes, there was. >> can you repeat the question? just a rant. >> the gentle lady's time has expired. >> did you know the attorney general recused -- >> the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> thank you. mr. lewandowski, thank you for appearing this afternoon to testify before this committee. i understand that you've spent many hours testifying voluntarily before congress over the last few years, isn't that correct? >> it is. >> and have you had to hire and retain counsel to represent you for all of the investigations that you've had to endure simply because you served as the president's campaign manager? >> yes, sir. >> that's unfortunate because
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you didn't solicit or receive assistance from the russians, did you? >> no, sir. >> are you an agent working on behalf of the russian government? >> no, sir. >> as a close friend of the president, you don't believe that the president is working on behalf of the russian, do you? >> absolutely not. >> and to your knowledge, there is no effort on the part of the president to intentionally obstruct justice, is there? >> no, sir. >> thank you. and yet again, coming here to tell this committee what we, special counsel mueller, and the american public already know, that president trump did not collude with the russians, nor did he obstruct justice. that's not to say that the russians weren't trying to interfere and influence our 2016 presidential elections. it's clear that they were. by sending fake texts and operating fake facebook pages
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and holding fake rallies, all in an effort to dry to influence the outcome of the election. democrats want to ignore all of the real evidence of russian interference and hold this fake impeachment because it happened under a different president's watch. this all happened under president obama's watch, isn't that correct? >> yes, sir. >> and it was the obama administration that failed to protect us from the russian interference and influence in our election, isn't that also true? >> yes. >> president trump wasn't president. he wasn't the one that failed to protect the country. if anybody failed, it was the obama administration, is that right? >> yes, it is. >> i'll say it before and i'll say it again, we're wasting valuable committee time engaging in this impeachment investigation. the fact of the matter is, one thing this committee could be doing is to question inspector general horwitz concerning the
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biassed against the president at the origins of the russia investigation. we could be questioning horwitz about his recent report about how then fbi director comey mishandled memos. his jurisdiction over a whole lot of very significant things, we're spending our time on this fake impeachment but we could be focused on something that really matters like immigration, asylum, we have hundreds of thousands of people that have entered our southern border, generally they're brought up either individually or in groups, caravans. usually oftentimes connected with cartels. cartels make a lot of money when they come up here. they're told the magic words. come across the border. they say they're in fear. and come right into our country and we put them on a bus or on a plane and sent to communities all across the country. that's something this committee
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should be working on. opioids. we had about 70,000 americans who lost their lives to opioids last year. that's something in the jurisdiction of this committee. yet, we do virtually nothing about it in this commence. a balanced budget amendment, we got a $220 trillion debt hanging over our head, yet we do nothing in this commitment about attempting to pass something that would make us balance the budget every year like all of our states have to do. finally, i just want to thank you again, mr. lewandowski, for appearing at today's hearing. perhaps your testimony today will convince democrats that there are much more important things that this committee could be spending our time on rather than continuing to pursue this fake impeachment, a faux impeachment. the bottom line is, they don't have the votes in the house to move forward. for the house to vote for this committee to open up an impeachment inquiry. they don't have the votes.
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some of the democrats want to vote for it. some of the democrats would vote against it. but they don't have the votes. what they do is they spend value committee time that we could spending on other important things on this fake, faux impeachment. it's a shame. because this committee could be doing so much more on behalf of the american people. with that, i yield back. >> mr. chairman, point of parliamentary inquiry. mr. chairman, the witness just answered a long line of questions from the gentleman from ohio about whether donald trump has colluded with the russians and about the origins of the mueller investigation and so on, but he never testified as to any of those things before special counsel mueller. can he now continue to invoke this white house rational that he's confined to the four corners of the mueller report when he's got way beyond it to the questions from the gentleman
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from ohio. >> regardless of whether he went beyond the four corners of the mueller report in the answers he gave to the last questioner, regardless of that, and i'm glad to hear he favors the patriots, even though that's not in the mueller report. but regardless, the claim of privilege made by the witness is improper. for the reasons set forth in our letter today to the white house and to the witness's counsel. that same, i will take the claim of privilege under advisement. >> did you answer his parliamentary inquiry? you skipped on the executive privilege here. at least acknowledge it was not a parliamentary inquiry? >> the gentleman stated the parliamentary inquiry -- >> he did not. it was a statement. >> i answered his parliamentary inquiry.
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the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's been made clear you were not an employee of the white house. you had no w-2. you had no card. you had nothing. you were not an employee. and you were a policeman at one time, so you know something about the law. didn't you think it was strange that the president would sit down with you one on one and ask you to do something that you knew was against the law? did that strike you as strange? >> i disagree with your question. >> you didn't think it would have been illegal for you to ask mr. sessions to drop the investigation and go we're going to start with the next one about colluding about russia? you didn't think that was illegal to obstruct justice? >> congressman, the president didn't ask me to do anything
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illegal. >> all these people asked you, he dictated to you a message to give sessions, had you ever been a secretary for the president before and taken dictation or shorthand? >> many times. >> we got your qualifications now. you were a secretary. could it -- but he asked you outside of white house channels, and that's what mueller wrote, this was outside white house channels. do you think it was because he thought you would do whatever he asked, just like your former boss who said you were an implementer, news reports called you the president's enforcer. usa today said lewandowski's background is as a trump guy, a body man, and an enforcer. esquire went further and said the one-time campaign manager for donald trump has the traits of an enforcer and the conflict resolution skills to match. and you have -- you've even described yourself in your book,
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you said you were fine with whatever role the president wanted us to play. and donald trump's army, there were only loyal soldiers. your previous boss was convicted of corruption and lying to authorities. you were fired from americans for prosperity after being accused of voter fraud. either you are willing to break the law for politics and mr. trump or you're some kind of a forest gump related to corruption. did the president pick you, his enforcer, that he thought you would play any role because it was illegal? >> that would be a question for the president. >> donald trump was right. first the white house counsel refused to fire the special counsel. mr. mcgahn refused to do what he knew would be an illegal act. and then attorney general sessions was asked to unrecuse
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himself. but attorney general sessions also did the right thing and said i'm not going to unrefuse myself because i would have a conflict. can't do it. then the white house counsel advised the president not to contact sessions. but you his loyal soldier would do it. you were different than sessions and mcgahn, trump could depend on you. you did not ask any questions. you were a loyal soldier. you wrote down the message and agreed to deliver it. that's what he thought. you took the dictation, you gave it to hope hicks. you asked her to type it up for you, not that you couldn't have done it yourself, and asked somebody else to deliver the message to sessions when you decided not to. donald trump talked to you outside normal channels so there would be no record of anything that he asked you to do to obstruct justice. nothing to do with that at all. the president knew what he was doing was wrong, mr. mcgahn knew what he was doing was wrong. you seem to be the only person who didn't think it was wrong. but mr. trump was wrong. because at the last minute, you
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got cold feet. you chickened out. the president's trust was misplaced. you decided not to do what you told the president you were going to do and you handed it off to somebody else. did you realize at some point that your former boss got involved in criminal problems and went to prison, and maybe you were going to be the next one? did you think about that situation? >> he went to jail many years after i left his employment. i'm sure you were going to clarify that for the record. >> and you were his employee and you had great respect for him. did you learn from his experience and realized what you were asked to do was illegal and you didn't want to follow the same trail as him and end up in prison. >> i was not doing anything illegal, congressman. >> the public will determine that. this has been more obstruction of congress by this administration and you followed their instructions. you're a loyal soldier except
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you didn't follow trump's instructions, you chickened out at the last minute. you got cold feet. i yield back. >> mr. lewandowski you president trump's campaign between january 2015 and june 2016, is that right? >> yes. >> you were at the helm of the campaign when president trump secured the republican nomination? >> yes. >> pretty good campaign you ran. >> thank you. >> you beat, what, 17, 18 different opponents, senators, governors, some good senators. of course you had a pretty good candidate. >> the best. >> after you left the campaign i think you left in june of 2016, after you left the head of the campaign, were you still involved with the campaign throughout the rest of the election, all the way up through november 8, 2016. >> yes. >> and that entire time, you were part of the campaign operation at some level or another, from january 2015 to
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november 8th, 2016. during that entire time, do you guys work with russia to impact the election? >> no. >> you know what's interesting, when james comey was asked that same question, he gave the same answer. when bob mueller was asked that same question, sitting at that same table, he gave the same answer. falsely accused, the president is falsely accused of working with a foreign state to impact the election. james comey said after 10 months of investigation we didn't have a thing. bob mueller gets named special counsel, he wastes $30 million of taxpayer money, he sits at that table just a few weeks ago and gives the same darn answer. but these guys over here, they don't care. they don't care. they don't want to get to what mr. chabot said. they just want to drag people in front of this committee and keep trying to find some way they can go after the president. let's go back to the process that the ranking member raised.
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did you testify in front of the senate intel committee in 2017? >> yes. >> did you testify in front of the house intelligence committee in 2017? >> yes. >> and you went before the special counsel and answered his questions in 2018, is that right? >> it is. >> and you did that all voluntarily? >> yes. >> no subpoena? >> no, sir. >> said i'm willing to comply. >> yes. >> i think in your opening statement you said -- how many hours? >> more than 20. >> more than 20 hours. and for this committee, did you get a letter from this committee back in march asking you to comply with certain document requests that chairman nadler wanted to have? >> i believe so, yes. >> and you complied with that? >> yes. >> and you got another letter asking you to do an interview, a transcribed interview in front of the committee.
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and your lawyer contacted chairman nadler and said, we'd be happy to do that, is that right? >> yes. >> give us some dates, we'll come in. >> that's right. >> what happened next? >> next about five weeks ago, the committee issued a subpoena for my appearance. >> so you're willing to come voluntarily, just like you did for the others, bob mueller, special counsel, 20-some hours, you complied with when they asked you for certain documents. and then when they want you to come in for an interview, and you said, you'd do it, they hit you with a subpoena. >> correct. >> they're the ones who started it, they're the ones who slapped you with a subpoena when you were willing to come here voluntarily. >> i was. >> and then the question the demeanor you bring here today. first they change the rules last week in the middle of the congress, change the rules of the committee in the middle of the game and then today they're
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not even going to follow the rules because the rules they changed last week talked about staff asking questions after members are done. we've got this whole issue with consultants. this may be -- may be we would be better served if we did exactly what mr. chabot said. maybe we would be better served as the house judiciary committee if we actually focused on how this whole false accusation started in the first place. what do you think, mr. lewandowski? >> i think it would be a great idea. >> maybe the american people would be better served than spending more time investigating something that's had 32 months of investigation from both james comey and the fbi and bob mueller and the special counsel. you know a great place to start? a great place to start would be the inspector general's report that was issued just three weeks ago, the scathing report about jim comey. that would be a nice place to start. when i asked the chairman when we might have an opportunity to
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question mr. horwitz, he said, i don't know, i haven't thought about that. of course you haven't thought about that. too busy trying to impeach the president. too busy slapping subpoenas on corey lewandowski. i yield back. >> the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. lewandowski, you are about like a fish being cleaned with a spoon. it's very hard to get an answer out of you. but let me ask you this, sir, based on the president's past statements, everybody knows that the president does not like for anybody to take notes when he's talking. in fact he asked lawyers not to take official notes, and you're aware of that, correct? >> i'm aware of the public accounts, sir. >> all right. fair enough. but when the president met with you in the oval office one on one on june 19th, 2017, to
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dictate a message to attorney general jeff sessions, he told you to, quote, write this down, isn't that correct? >> that's accurate. >> and it was just you and the president in that meeting, correct? >> it was. >> and you knew that you needed to write down as fast as possible what the president was telling you so you could make sure to capture the content of what he was telling you correctly, correct? >> i don't know if speed of writing was a criteria, but i tried to capture it to the best of my ability. >> thank you, sir. and he dictated exactly what he wanted you to put into the mouth of attorney general jeff sessions, correct? >> i believe he asked me to deliver a message for jeff to consider delivering himself. >> and it was a message that he intended for jeff, meaning jeff
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sessions, to deliver outloud and publicly. he wanted the public to know what he was saying but he wanted jeff to say it, correct? >> i believe the mueller report accurately depicts that. >> and mr. lewandowski, we've projected on the screen the message that the president dictated to you that he wanted you to deliver to the attorney general. it's on the screen and i'd like for you to read the first two sentences, if you would entertain that. >> as director mueller stated when asked to read from the report and i quote -- >> no, no, no. >> look on the -- would you prefer for me to read it instead of you? >> please. >> it says i know that i recused myself from certain things having to do with specific areas, but our potus is being treated very unfairly. that's what he told you to write down. and that's what you wrote down. and i'll continue.
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he said he shouldn't have a special prosecutor because he hasn't done anything wrong. now, that's what he wanted you to deliver to attorney general jeff sessions, correct? >> i believe that's an accurate representation. >> and he wanted you to deliver it to jeff so that jeff could say it to the people, right? >> i believe so. >> and you felt kind of squeamish about delivering that message? >> no, sir. >> why did it take you so long and you never even delivered it? >> correct. i never delivered the message. >> you chickened out? >> i went on vacation. >> you went on vacation. >> and so you put the message in your safe in your home for safekeeping, correct? before you went on vacation? >> i took my kids to the beach, that was more of a priority. >> and president trump was
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hounding you about when are you going to deliver that message, correct? >> completely inaccurate, congressman. >> well, he asked you about it a few times, didn't he? >> no he did not. >> he never asked you whether or not you had delivered that message. >> not on multiple occasions, no. >> one occasion, okay? you did mention on one occasion to you. >> i don't know if that's in the report, sir, or not. >> and you told him, i'm going to get around to it, i'm going to deliver it, correct? >> i would have to see the reference to the mueller report -- >> it's in the report. >> direct me to the book and page -- >> i don't need to waste any time with that. but let me tell you something, the next three sentences after those first two, would you read those, please. >> you're welcome too. >> he said he shouldn't have a special prosecutor or counsel because he hasn't done anything wrong. i was on the campaign with him for nine months. there were no russians involved
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with him. i know it for fact because i was there. now the president wanted attorney general to say that but you didn't deliver the message and you knew that attorney general sessions had recused himself at that time and since he had recused himself, you knew that it would have been against the law for him to comment in any way on that investigation, isn't that right? >> i did not know that. >> you did not know that. you did not know that? >> correct. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from colorado. >> thank you for putting up the harassment that you're putting up with right now. according to the alliance for securing democracy, russia interfered in the elections of
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belarus, finland, france, georgia, norway, poland, turkey, united kingdom, ukraine and the united states. they specifically targeted the scottish independence vote, the brexit vote and angela merkel. despite knowledge of these kinds of election threats, the obama administration sat by. instead of warning the trump campaign, the doj and fbi used secret surveillance to spy on members of the trump campaign all while allowing election interference to occur. why isn't this election focused on holding leadership accountable for this terrible malfeasance and lack of judgment. a former fbi agent said it is to
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attack and undermine democracy. he said the goal is to leave voters either the institutions are corrupt or you can't trust the vote. vladimir putin was a former leader of the kgb. in 2016, putin's goal could have simple, sow seeds of distrust, make it impossible for whoever won to governor. with america weakened at home, we would be weakened on the international stage. putin wins regardless of who won the election. after overthrowing a russian czar, the communists utilized western journalists as propaganda tools. a "new york times" journalist defended them.
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l for the past three years, democrats have focused on undermining america's president instead of working with president trump and republicans and congress to harden our election defenses. i think there would be broad bipartisan support that we need to prevent future election meddling. the mueller report makes clear that mr. trump wanted to protect our democracy from future attacks. it's clear that putin attacked america with the goal of dividing the american people and today's hearing is being held for the sole purpose of attacking america's president which will weaken our country on the international stage. do you believe that vladimir putin is sitting in his office right now in the kremlin laughing at what those on the other side of the aisle are doing and believing that those on the other side of the aisle
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are useful idiots helping -- >> objection. i have a point of order. i have a point of order. according to the rules, and the rules of this committee and the house rules, we cannot attribute derogatory names to our colleagues or motives to our colleagues and i believe the gentleman said those on the other side of the aisle are idiots. this is a sacred responsibility. i've taken an oath of office. my good friend just like you did. i'm concerned about the constitution just as you are and i would not engage in any behavior that could be described as idiot. never in my life have we ever discussed behaving by idiots. that's an inappropriate descriptions of the members of this house or republicans or democrats, no matter what position -- >> i will -- i will overrule the
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point of order. the rules of decorum refer to motive, calling someone an idiot is not flattering but it does not go to motive. and i believe we should have the most robust debate. but i don't think we should -- but -- i don't think that goes to motive and i'm going to overall the point of order. the gentleman will proceed. >> i didn't call anybody an idiot. i said useful idiot. and secondly i asked the witness whether he believed as part of vladimir putin's strategy, vladimir putin was being aided by useful idiots in america. your answer, sir? >> i can't be sure to the motives of vladimir putin or the russians who want to interfere with our election process in
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2016. donald trump is a private citizen at the time and he had no more responsibility or authority to secure the integrity of the 2016 election cycle than i did. that responsibility fell to the intelligence community and the obama/biden administration and they clearly failed. never did they contact me to inform me or anyone at the campaign at the time of any potential hacking which may have been transpiring, never did they contact us to alert us of any potential security violations as it related to the election and so i think mr. comey, mr. brennan, and mr. clapper ultimately own the responsibilities ahead of the intelligence community to understand why they did not do a better job of protecting the american electorate in 2016 to ensure we didn't have foreign interference. >> and had they contacted you, what would have been your response in terms of notifying others on the election in terms of their dealing with russians? >> we would have worked with
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them. i would have recommended working through counsel. if we would have had any, i would have made sure we notified the appropriate authorities immediately. >> thank you, i yield back. >> the gentleman from florida. >> thank you. mr. lewandowski, i just want to follow up on mr. johnson. the mueller report says one month later, a month after your june 19th meeting after you returned from vacation, the president met again with mr. lewandowski and followed up. just to clarify that he did do that, but i want to go back to that meeting on june 19th. the president asked you to write down a script that he wanted the attorney general of united states to deliver. >> can you give me the reference again? >> well, let me do this, previously you testified because it's reported in the mueller report that the president asked mr. lewandowski to deliver a message to sessions. this is page 91. this is the first time that the
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president asked him to take dictation. the notes that you took at that meeting are on the screen. if you could -- i don't know that the notes are. i'm going to read the section of the notes that you took that were, again, this is what you were asked to deliver to the attorney general of the united states to announce in public. i know i recused myself from certain things having to do with certain areas but ou potus is being treated very unfairly. he shouldn't have a special counsel because he hasn't done anything wrong. there were no russians involved with him, i know for a fact because i was there. he didn't do anything wrong except run the greatest campaign in american history. that's, again, that's what president trump wanted the attorney general to say in public about the special counsel's investigation. is that right? >> i believe that's an accurate representation. >> so this is in june of 2017. you said that you didn't know
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about -- you didn't know about the attorney general being barred from participating, speaking out about the russia investigation. the public didn't know about all of these attempts to influence the investigation at this time. what we did know, what everyone knew, mr. lewandowski, was that the president's campaign was under investigation and they knew the attorney general couldn't touch it because he was a major part of the campaign. he advised on national security matters and back in march, he had recused himself from anything having to do with the investigation. you didn't -- you weren't aware of that at all, that what he did in march and the fact that he had rusecused himself? >> i was aware of the attorney general's recusal. >> when the president asked you to deliver a speech that he wanted the attorney general who could not participant in the investigation, he recused himself, when the president
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asked you to deliver that word for word speech for him, that -- there was no inconsistency with that and the fact that the attorney general had recused himself, you knew that he had and you knew he couldn't participate in any away. >> i'm not an attorney general, congressman. >> that's not what i'm asking. i'm asking you if you knew he had recused himself. >> i'm aware of the public reports. >> and you're aware of the public reports and his statement that he wasn't going to participate in any existing or future investigations of any matters related to the campaign for president, you knew that was out there. so when the president asked you to specifically go in there and ask him to deliver a speech which was contrary to that, forget about being a lawyer, did it strike you as off in any away? were you concerned in any away? >> no, sir. >> was it the right decision for sessions to recuse himself? >> i can't comment on jeff
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sessions' decision-making process. >> so here's what he did. the script says, a group of people want to subvert the constitution. i'm going to meet with the especially prosecutor to explain this is very unfair and let the special prosecutor move forward with investigating election meddling for future elections. the president was trying to force the investigation to focus only on the future so i didn't focus on him, isn't that right? >> i don't agree to that. >> when you look only in the future and you're not allowed to look at the one investigation into the president, that's not how you interpret that? >> that could be your interpretation. >> i'll close with this, a month -- he asked you to do this -- he brought you in to talk to the attorney general because the president was terrified, mr. lewandowski. a month before your meeting, the
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special counsel was appointed and the president said, oh, my god, this is terrible. he wanted you to pressure the attorney general, someone who wasn't allowed to talk about the investigation to block him from looking at his own conduct. mr. lewandowski, that's abuse of power and as we go on through this investigation, i hope you'll be able to further elaborate on how you could have seen this in any other light than the obvious way the president attempted to abuse his power. i yield back. >> the witness may answer the question? >> thank you. >> the gentleman from texas. the gentleman from texas, mr. ratcliffe. >> welcome to what my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have described and argued over the past week as an impeachment probe and an impeachment proceeding. now, if you're confused which
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one, i assure you you're not alone a. lot of the folks who are watching today, they might be confused. you see, the democrats, now the party of impeachment, tried that three times and failed miserably three times. twice before the mueller report and then once again after the mueller report. so last week, the party of impeachment which is in charge of this committee, changed our rules so that they could get to impeachment in a different way, and mr. lewandowski, you're lucky, you're the first witness for the party of impeachment's new impeachment procedure. >> i feel very lucky, thank you. >> i know you've testified before the house, before the senate and before the special counsel, but in fairness, that's when my colleagues on the other side of the aisle were promising the american people that there was going to be impeachment by collusion or impeachment by
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conspiracy which didn't exist and the special counsel said i didn't exist. and then it had to shift and say it's going to be impeachment by obstruction of justice. remember they promised that special counsel mueller was going to breathe life into impeachment by obstruction of justice, but instead he put it to death. i asked him, can you give me an example other than donald trump where the justice department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined and your answer was they were not. as it turned out, nearly 200 pages of the mueller report and the analysis of -- in volume two of obstruction of justice was done under a legal standard and legal burden of proof that is not recognized and ever been used before. but the party of impeachment, we're going to gloss over that today. they're going to gloss over the
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fact that the inspector general criminally referred the fbi director who leaked the information to get the special counsel in the first place and the same inspector general who found that facts establishing that that same fbi director was targeting donald trump at the same time in an investigation where he said he wasn't investigating donald trump. now, you might think that this committee would be interested in hearing from that inspector general for the first time rather than hearing from you for the fourth time. but maybe you can be helpful. the party of impeachment, they don't care, mr. lewandowski, what kind of impeachment you can deliver for that. there are 135 democrats and socialists in the house of representatives that have publicly come out for impeachment. they're in agreement the president needs to be impeached. the problem is, they've come up with more than a dozen different reasons that is the bases of that impeachment, impeachment by
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collusion, impeachment by conspiracy, impeachment by obstruction of justice, let's cover a few more. did the first and only president rich enough to largely self fund a successful presidential campaign ever admit to you that he secretly ran for president to get rich? >> no, sir. he's already very rich. >> do you have any information or evidence, mr. lewandowski, about crimes the president committed for ignoring congressional subpoenas as a basis of impeachment? >> i do not. >> how about dangling pardons. did the president ever admit or say to you that he would pardon anybody in law enforcement who was trying to enforce or protect our territorial borders? >> at the request of the white house i can't discuss conversations that may or may
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not have occurred by the president. >> did the president ever admit or say to you that he intentionally committed an impeachable, high-crime by magic marker as some of my democratic colleagues are contending? >> i can't discuss any private conversation i may have had with the president -- >> you're not being helpful at all, mr. lu ewandowski. the party of impeachment are not picky at all. if you got anything on donald trump, how about on justice kavanaugh? because now this morning they say they want to impeach justice kavanaugh? >> he's a good man. >> listen, i -- i know you're disappointed that you've only been here four times. this committee has become the search party for impeachment and they're going to bring back anybody as much as they have to to find something, anything to keep this hoax alive. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back.
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15 seconds over time. the gentle lady from california. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. lu , i want to follow up. after the president dictated the message, he told you to tell the attorney general that he would be the most popular guy in the country if he delivered that message to limit the investigation to the future, is that correct? >> could you remps ference me t that in the report? >> yes, volume two, page 92. >> is that correct? >> the president is telling you how to convince sessions to do it. it's page 92, first paragraph. to tell sessions that he'd be the most popular guy in the country if he did what the president ordered. and the president picked you for a reason because he knew that you had the traits of an
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enforcer and described yourself as his loyal soldier. this was no exception. did you find it now? >> i have it here. >> okay. the attorney general that he would be the most popular guy in the country if he delivered that message, do you see that on page 9 t 92. >> i do. >> is that correct >> i believe it's accurate. >> same page. and you did understand what the president wanted. he knew not to create a trail. so looking at the slide, mr. lewandowski wanted to pass the message to session in person rather than on the phone. where is that? after you left the oval office, you didn't schedule an official meeting with sessions, instead you called the attorney general at home, correct?
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>> if that's what's in the report. >> you told sessions you wanted to meet in person rather than on the phone. you could have just read the message from the president over the phone, but you knew it would make it harder, so you wanted to meet with him in person, correct? >> if that's what the report states, yes. >> the attorney general works at the department of justice, but you told the special counsel that you didn't want to meet in the department of justice because you knew that if you went into a government ability, there's a public log of the visit and you told the special counsel that you did not want to, quote, a public log of your visit, isn't that right? >> that's accurate. >> why is that? why didn't you want to leave a paper trail for your visit. >> jeff and i are friends socially. and i wanted to have the opportunity to have a meal with jeff and have the conversation which the president asked me to
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ask jeff to consider giving. >> why was there a problem with you having to do it in secret, essentially? it was a very important message you were delivering from the president and it was a message that could certainly be viewed as completely inappropriate considering you were not even an employee of the white house. you're a private citizen. you're delivering a message to the attorney general to limit the investigation? so if you didn't think you were doing anything wrong, then why would it matter that there was a public log. >> i wanted to have the opportunity to speak with jeff in a relaxed atmosphere and have a meal with him to have the conversation. >> you said another reason for not meeting at the doj was because you, quote, did not want sessions to have an advantage over you by meeting on session' turf. is that right? >> that's right. i wanted to have a private conversation in a more relaxed atmosphere. >> again, if this was an appropriate message to deliver and if it was just about that,
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why would it matter who's turf it was on? why couldn't you go to his office and meet with him there? >> i suppose i could have. but i wanted we have had so many occasions before that. >> exactly. i mean, i. >> never inside the department of justice. >> i believe sessions knew it was wrong and sessions cancelled his meeting with you if you guys were good friend, why he have bothered to cancel it? did he call you up to rereschedule it. >> that would abquestion for jeff sessions. >> after you testified -- you testified earlier after the inauguration you didn't communicate with the attorney general often the your geend good friend. is isn't it fair to say that sessions knew you were calling on behalf of the hpt president and the mental was from him. >> i have no idea what was in jeff sessions' mind. >> to be clear the attorney general knew it was a message from the president and still refused to meet with you. mr. lewandowski it's clear that sessions knew what we all know
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sitting here today, that what you were doing was wrong. he wanted nothing to do with secret messages because he knew it was entirely improper for the private citizen to go behind the backs of the white house counsel and secretly meet with him without any record of the meeting on your turf toed persuade the attorney general to protect the general from president into investigation. and i'm grad the misconduct can be brought to public attention so the president can be held accountable. >> the gentle lady ace time is expired. the witness has requested a short recess. the committee will resume in five minutes. the committee stands in recess.
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the house judiciary committee taking their furs breaking in the hearing with corey lewandowski, president trump's first presidential campaign manager. the committee holding this hearing on whether president trump obstructed justice. and special counsel robert mueller's investigation. this, again, the first break in the hearing, got under way at about 1:00 and we expect to resume shortly, live coverage on cspan3.
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live from capitol hill this afternoon. the house judiciary committee meeting to hear from corey lewandowski, president trump's first kpaun manager. to hear whether president trump obstructed justice in robert mueller's investigation. the chair of the committee, congressman jerry nadler has called this first break in the hearing. we do expect it to reconvene shortly. president trump has been paying attention to this hearing. the president from the associated press, president watching formerly campaign aide testify before the mouse's first impeachment hearings high pressure lewandowski wasn't already answering questions that aren't already answered in the mueller report. the committee sfrus trait ppd trump tweeted from air force one. such a beautiful opening statement by corey lewandowski.
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thank you, corey, that from the president. and if you miss any coverage, we will reair it tonight on cspan beginning at 9:00 eastern.
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the committee will reconvene. the gentleman from florida, mr. gates is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. well the mueller report was supposed to be the end all, be all, the ground grounds swell of support for impeachment. ensuring the public would want to tar and feather the president. run him out of rail. grief the american people of the president they duly elected that didn't turn out to be the case then it was all about the attorney general coming in bill barr would point out the inconsistenty as flaws in the analysis. that didn't happen because the marmgt wanted to insist that their unelected staff ask
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questions of the attorney general of the united states. but no they said we'll go to court. we'll win. we'll forepersons bill barr and don mcgahn to testify. they're not winning in court. they're not here. it's a joke. for the last four months the path the the marmt has taken us on has rambled from disorganized to just downright dizzying. in june speaker pelosi i had said the house democratic caucus was i'm quoting not even close to an impeachment inquire that to cnn. in july house judiciary committee jerry nadler said, quote, an impeachment inquiry is when you consider only impeachment. that's not what we're doing. we're investigating all of this. but then in august in a cnn interview nadler said, this is formal impeachment proceeding. then in september when asked if the democrats are nijd in an impeachment inquiry, the house jarjt leader answered, no.
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it was the gentlelady from washington who said just recently miss jieple. we have been in the midst of a impeachment investigation to politico but in the the same sore mr. himself from connecticut said no we are not in an impeachment investigation. then the gentleman from new york. gregory meeks said when asked if the house was investigating impeach, he said, well be process maybe there is -- we don't know whether impeachment investigation investigation has begun. it just didsing eying. last week the jordin chairman jerry nadler said who what we're doing very clear. it's been very clear. it continuing tobs clear the speaker backed us at every point along the way. this process has been about as clear as joe biden's last answer to race relations that involved turning on the record player. we content know where we are or what we're doing. now mr. down doukz i am not
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allowed by house rules to impugn the motivesive of my colleagues or speculate as to what might be dmting this businesses bizarre circumstance but those rules don't apply do you have a thought we why we engage in the char aid overwhelmly opposed by the american people and fundamentally misunderstood by my democrat colleagues? >> you know, congressman i think they hate this president more than they love their country. >> mr. lewandowski, mr. lewandowski, you were the campaign manager for the president's campaign when the obama biden administration was notified that there might be efforts by the russians to interfere with our election. isn't that right? >> yes. and can you describe us the briefing you got as the campaign manager to ensure that our system was resilient and american democracy was protected? >> there was no briefing
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provided by anybody from the obama-biden administration. members of the intelligence committee or the fbi to our campaign when i was present or during my tenure as a campaign manager. >> that's just baffling to me. i mean our democracy is so preshz. we have to cherish and protect it. and yet when the obama-biden administration knew that there might be nefarious efforts to interfere or cooperate or any way disturb our democracy they didn't say anything to you. now as you sit here today watching the facts unfold, do you have any -- any rationale as to why maybe the clapper, brennan, comby ob obama, biden team didn't want to give the the trump campaign about o a fir defensive briefing about the threats we were facing. >> it's unfathomable they didn't contact the major political nominee for president of the
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united states and inform them of potential threats against the election process in 2016. >> and we can be finding that out now. i could we could have the people before our committee to figure out what happened that didn't allow us to get the answers. one final question for you mr. lewandowski as an inspector general employed by the united states government ever accused you of breaking the law. >> no. >> but they have with james comey. yet the leadership of this committee will not bring james comey before even though the inspector general said his work impaired the credibility and efforts of over 35,000 fbi agents and the brave people fighting for our country. it's a shame that you're here mr. lewandowski. jim comey should be sitting in the chair answering questions about why he did so much damage to the fbi and our country, chewing not giving you the briefing that you were entitled to. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new york. >> thank you, mr. nadler.
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about before i begin let me remind plu lewandowski this is not a republican primary campaign. you are not on the campaign trail yet. this is the house judiciary committee. act like you know the difference. you've never worked for the trump white house in any official capacity, correct? >> that's right. >> but you do speak with president trump with some regularity, true. >> inch that's a fair statement. >> in fact during the summer of 2017 according to testimony to the special counsel you were summoned to the white house by president on teeft at least two ongdss, correct. >> i don't believe the report says that, congressman. >> well you met with the president one-on-one on june 19th 2017 and then again july 19th, 2017, correct. >> yes, i believe that's accurate. >> okay let's try to get some clarity on what exactly you do for donald trump since you're not a government employee. you it staed during the 2016
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republican national convention that i got the reputation as a tough guy. that's my reputation. do you recall making that statement mr. lewandowski? >> i don't. >> okay. it's in the public record. your job is donald trump's political enforcer, correct. >> no, i don't believe so. >> let me ask you the question another way are you the hitman, bagman, lookout or all of the bo. >> i think i'm the good looking man, actually. >> president trump told you on june 19th, 2017, to personally deliver a message to attorney general sessions that would have end the criminal investigate investigation to the trump campaign, correct. >> i don't believe that's what the mueller report states, no. >> president trump wanted attorney general sessions to limit the special counsel's investigation to future incidents of election foreign interference, true? >> which page is that on, congressman. >> that's in the public record, in this hearing in the mueller
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report. now the white house has a legal protocol for presidential statements under the presidential records act they must preserve all memos letters emails, papers like the note he dictated. you wrote down the president's message which you stored in a safe in your home. isn't that correct? >> yes, it is. >> okay. you told the peshl counsel that was your standard procedure with sensitive items, correct? >> where is that referenced sensitive zbliemts volume two, page 92. >> just reference that one second. >> you don't have to reference it. the president asked you to. >> you say page 90. >> the president asked you to -- reclaiming my time, the president asked you to record a message from him on june 19th, because he wanted to hide his message from eventual disclosure. isn't that right? >> no. >> okay. but you never delivered the message to jeff sessions after
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that june 19th meeting, true? >> that's accurate. >> instead you testified that you went on vacation, correct. >> i did. >> how long was your vacation, mr. lewandowski? >> oh it was lengthy, at least two weeks. >> at least two weeks. but you were summoned against to the white house on july 19th, 30 days after the original june 19th meeting, true. >> i believe that's accurate. >> you with weren't on vacation the entire time, correct. >> i didn't say i was on vacation the entire time. i was on vacation two weeks, congressman. >> but you still failed to deliver the message appear had nothing to do at least in part to the so-called vacation. now the july 19th meeting occurred just a few days after new information came to life about russian operatives meeting with high-lechl trump campaign officials. when you were summoned to the white house after the july 19th meeting by that time you still hadn't delivered the message to jeff sessions. you said to the president you would do it soon according to
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volume 2, page 93, correct. >> if that's what the report says, that's accurate. >> okay. president trump also asked you to deliver a message to attorney general sessions that you didn't do with what was requested he would be fired, correct, volume 2, page 93? >> i think that's what was reported, yes. >> okay, president trump wanted you to intimidate attorney general sessions. >> you'd have to ask president trump that. >> you stated earlier that president trump asked you to take down dictation, quote, many times. is that correct? >> it is. >> but on page 91, volume 2 of the mueller report states the quote the president asked lewandowski to delivered a message to exceptions and said, write this down. close quote. the first time the president asked lewandowski to take direct dictation, the first time. >> those are not my words those are the investigators words. >> did you lie about it to mueller or lying to us. >> i didn't lie. >> you're not really here to tell the truth, you are here to
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participate in a continuing cover-up, russia interfered with this action and sweeping and systematic fashion. the trump campaigned remgd the assistance at the highest level there was squint acts of obstruction of judges investigation wrekts to the. >> the american people. >> mr. chairman. >> the gentleman yields back. >> i think it was 19 seconds over to help you, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from louisiana mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. lewandowski, my colleague mr. jefferiys started the last line of questioning with a sort of an admonition to you. he said this is the house judiciary committee and not a political forum and it would be nice if you recognize that. i think it would be nice if all the members of the committee would recognize that. because that's the reason that this is this has turned into such a fares. it's been said so many times today, this medicated is so important to the country has one of the broadest jurisdictions so many critical issues facing the country. you referenced some of this in the opening statement.
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and i among many cleeks are ready to get to work for the american people but we're here today. hasn't been any gork rks there is a lot of disappointed people operatives around the country really hoping for fireworks. . but we're not sacrificed taufl. i have a couple of questions for clarification for the record. but first, is there anything been said today or any question you've backup asked or something you would like to compensate on to clarify the record? >> no, sir. >> all right in questioning today, is the majority investigating any new allegation or issue or fact not already investigated by the house and senate intel committees or the special counsel's office? >> not to the best of my knowledge. >> do you have any more information on any other matter related to either collusion or obstruction that you can offer to this committee that you have not already shared with congress or the special counsel's office? >> i don't believe i have any new information. >> in your prior testimony to the special counsel, is it true
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that you answered every question asked of you truthfully and to the best of your ability and your recollection? >> to the best of my recollection i did answer truthfully, yes. >> a couple of things just for further clarification, we are afraid some of the record will be obscured today. these will be quick rapid fire. do you agree there is no evidence that the president intended to obstruct justice. >> i do. >> do you agree the president has been harassed politically sense the since the day he took office. >> yes i do. >> do you agree that the president's supporters have received vastly durcht treatment than the supporters of hillary clinton. >> unequivocally. >> you called in a witch hunt i wonder if you'd like to elaborate on that any further. >> i think -- i think that this fake russia collusion narrative is the greatest crime committed against the american people in our generation if not ever. this is a president who was duly elected by the american people and mentals of certain bodies refuse to accept the election results. if this were done by a different
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president to a different party the same way it was done to donald trump, that person would already be thrown out of fs office and people would be in jail. but when you support hillary clinton and barack obama its a different set of rules. i think the american people find it unfair and there's been no accountability at the highest levels of gov government for the pfizer abuse frans pierd pierg. the fieing in vital of the fourth amendment or the lives ruined because they wanted to support a candidate for president of the united states and it's shameful. >> we do as well. that's a pretty good recitation some some of issues keeping us up at night. part of the think we're concerned about is the american people's distrust now of institutions. when people begin to doubt that the rule of law actually replies equally, that justice really is blind in this country, that we reach somewhat of a tipping point it's did you have to put that genie back in the bottle. i know the republicans and
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kefbts on the macare concerned will the eroding faith in institutions. i commend you for your wanting to take the fire food. and your story being self-made and i'm concerned about young people who may have a disincentive to get into politics and is everybody this their country because of the abuse they have suffered yield to mr. jorden >> i thank the gentleman. you know why you didn't get a defensive briefing from the fbi? >> i do not. >> i got a good idea. i think they were trying to trap the president. page 17 of the inspector general's report points this out. january 6, 2017, they go up to the trump tower whep it's president-elect trump and trying to set him up about a pending investigation. all the while mr. comey has been telling the president, you're not under investigation. of course they didn't give you as defensive briefing during the campaign or even up until that date because they were trying to is set him up. but we can't ask about that.
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because mr. nadler hasn't even thought when he is going to bring mr. horowitz in to ask our questions he'd rather subpoena you even though you're willing to come voluntary that's the problem thank you for vaelding i yield. >> i yield back mr. kmarm. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman rhode island. >> in between the first meeting on second meet meeting with the president on july 19ing you went on vacation and during that time there was public are the rowing about the trump tower meeting, correct, this is on page 92. >> if it's in the report i believe it to be accurate. >> july 19th when the president for a second time asked you to deliver the meng to sessions you said -- i quote wsh the message would be delivered soon, page 93, correct? page 93. >> but you didn't -- you didn't call jeff sessions didn't try to meet with him. the president asked you twice in the oval office to deliver a secret message to the attorney general of the united states and
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a message that you quickly wrote down word for word at the president's direction, correct? >> sir. >> i believe i wrote it down. >> and when you worked for the president during the campaign it you ever ignore or disobey directions from president trump. >> i didn't believe it to be an order. >> aflt you were not working for the president in any capacity you wanted to give the president the impression that you were going to follow his orders, correct? >> no. >> well you said i'm going to take care of it? >> is that referenced in the report. >> did you tell the president you were going to deliver the message. >> i can't comment on the private conversationsky read the statement the white house trekted i not disclose the substance of any discussion was the president or his advisers to protect the executive branch confidentiallety. >> do stoent skaul me on the questions. >> would you like me to answer the request he. >> rather than bin -- you are here with the president of the
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united states. in the oval office. he is directing you to deliver a message to the chief law and -- law enforcement officers in the united states which you understood would effectively end the ongoing investigation into this president and his campaign. so you told the president that the message would be delivered soon. but then this is on page 93 you immediately follow in the meeting with the president you gave dearborn the message, the president abt dictated to be delivered to sessions. >> i believe that's what the report says. >> you didn't tell the president you had already asked dearborn to deliver the message. you just said it would be delivered soon. on page 92, correct? >> it's on page 92. you didn't want to tell the president that you were passing off his message to someone else? did you you knew he wanted you it someone he described as his enforcer, a loyal soldier to do it because the president trusted you, isn't that right. >> that's a question for the president, sir. >> then -- why didn't you
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deliver the message to mr. dearborn -- to jeff sessions directly. >> why did you give it to mr. dearborn to do. >> i think i've testified i was out of town. >> for two weeks. >> that's right. i don't live in town. unlike you sir i don't live in town. >> during your second meekt the oval office the president told you if sessions wolbert meet you to it testimony him he was fiertd. >> did you ever threaten the attorney general that if he didn't meet with you he would be fired? >> no. >> did you tell mr. dearborn to tell sessions that he would be fired if he didn't take this meeting as the president directed. >> congressman the white house what is skresed i not disclose the content any the discussion with the president or advisers to protect confidentiallety. >> you didn't deliver it because you know it was wrong, isn't that correct? >> no. >> well the the president wasn't woor you ignored the directive to tell jeff sessions he was fired if he didn't meet with you was he. >> what was the question. >> i'll move on to prove to the attorney general that the threat
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was real four days later on july 22nd, the president directed priebus to to get session foss resign immediately. do you know that. >> no. >> this evidence as a whole strongly suggesting that the president was reinforcing to sessions that his job was on the line at the same time the the president believed you were delivering the mental to enthe investigation into the 2016 campaign. all of this made everyone very uncomfortable. including mr. dearborn which is a at page 93. and he told you that he was uncomfortable being a messenger to sessions be with correct? >> no. >> well, were you aware when you asked rick dearborn to deliver this message to the attorney general on behalf of of the president of the united states it created the same legal kulpability for you as if you delivered the mental to
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yourself? are you aware of this. >> congressman, the president deduct didn't ask me to do anything lefl and never asked me to keep a secret. >> are you aware when you asked mr. dearborn to deliver the eng to end the eggs investigation and focus on future investigations you thought you were protecting yourself but you were in fact committing a crime. rick dearborn snu delivering the message it was wrong. you knew it was wrong. that's why being asked to deliver it you passed it to him had and never followed up. fwes what, i also think it's very, very wrong. nask i think the president private citizen to scare the attorney general is obstruction of justice plain and simple. i yield back. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the witness may answer the question. >> i don't believe there was a question. >> very well. the gentleman from -- gentleman from arizona is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. lewandowski, thank you for being here today.
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you've come voluntarily. you've heard slanderous i can't aed on you had people refer you to as a gutted fish a, a chicken. people implied you are here to lie. that's unfortunate. and it's -- it's beneath this committee, quite frankly. here ostensibly thet tell me to hear the truth our here to tell the truth correct mr. lewandowski. >> yes, sir. >> you've told the truth reemtedly. i see a list of 302s when you were talking to the fbi, right. y he. >> zblier and those 302s they didn't record that. those are afterward, after notes, right. >> i believe that's right. >> you gave testimony to the intel committees of both houses, right? >> i did, yes. >> yeah and so here you sit here today, and you gave testimony
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to -- and you gave interviews i think roughly 20 hours of interviews to the mueller team, right? >> yes, sir. >> and if we look at this mueller report we see your name in various places throughout the mueller report, right, fair enough. >> i've never read the report but i think that's accurate. >> you're not unwise to have read the report. >> nobody's read the report. >> i read the report. >> we've been looking for you. >> your name is all over this report. oddly enough when you were asked by a member of the other side to look at volume 2, page 86 and they wanted you to testify to it, you might be surprised your name is not mentioned on that page. do you know that? you're in the even mentioned there. they were asking you questions to comment about things where your name is not there. did you know that? >> knows. >> that same person asked to you talk about page 49 and 50, volume 2. guess whose names don't appear there, yours? did you know that. >> no i didn't.
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>> it's odd isn't it that they would be asking you to comment on pages that you weren't even there. so let's -- let's a little bit more about some of what members of congress have done. they've spent two years claiming without evidence that then didn't o candidate drufrt and the trump kban colluded with russia as a emin of the campaign you responded today. how do you respond? would you like to expand on that again today. >> during my tenure at the campaign, congressman as i said in my opening statement never do i believe i had any interaction with any foreign agents. foreign agencies or foreign governments attempting to impact the outcome of the election. i've said publicly if nib did impact attempt to impact the election in a legal manner i hope they spend the rest of heir lives in jail. >> we flo that on january 2019 on the chris matthew's show a member of this committee was asked do you believe the president right now ha has been an apgt of the raasch russians. >> that was me. >> that member said yes. chris matthews sfold up and said
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agent like in the 1940s for a foreign power that individual responded he is working on behalf of russians yb we. >> still believe that. >> mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from mr. >> arizona has the time. >> arizona has the time. >> i'd like -- i'd like ten seconds added back. >> he has ten seconds in any event. >> so as at a close friend personally and adviser of the president member of the trump campaign how do you respond to that accusation bay a member of the committee made months and months ago even before the mueller report came out and said there was no collusion or coordination? >> you know, congressman i find it beneath the dignity of the president of the united states to accuse somebody of that while i didn't support president obama when he was the president, didn't vote for him i still wanted my country success so i wanted him successful. en and i think the faceless, baseless accusations against our president and are unfounded and
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unwarranted >> i want to cover the last little bit of this. we here today -- lots of questions about a meeting you had with the president regarding jeff sessions and some note that was dictated to you. that was after special counsel mueller was appointed, wasn't it? >> i believe it was, yes. >> did the president ask you to stop mr. mueller or to encourage mr. sessions to stop the mueller investigation at any point? >> president -- congressman, i can't speak to or disclose the substance of discussion was the president or advisers to protect the branch confidentiallety. >> appreciate that. in. i will tell you in going through the report there is no indicia the president ever asked that you or mr. sessions stop the mueller investigation. in fact the mueller investigation went on unimpeded.
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thousands of interviews, millions of documents, and with that my time is expired, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. >> mr. lewandowski i'm putting a slide up and it's the words that president trump dictated to you on jug 19. can you read what you wrote down? >> i'm happy to have you read it congressman. >> why don't you want to read it mr. lewandowski. >> i think afford me the same privilege you afraided director mueller. >> would you like to read it. >> no you're welcome to read it. >> are you ashamed of the words you wrote down? >> president swal valuele i'm happy when i wrote you ared welcome to read. >> are are you ashamed of anything. >> why don't you read the words. >> congressman, i've asked and answered your question. >> mr. lewandowski why won't you read the words. >> if you had you'd like to read the words you're welcome to. >> you were ashamed to read them out loud and you didn't deliver the words to the person the
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president asked you to did you have a consciousness of guilt? >> i have nothing to be guilty of congressman. >> you still feel godly today. >> congressman you're welcome to read the words if you like. >> i wonder why you can't. >> i have the capacity to congressman i'll give you privilege. >> you said the president did nothing wrong why can't you read the words right now? >> why can't you read them aloud. >> tell me why you hold me a different asked than preach previous witnesses mo sat here. >> i want to give you one more opportunity to clear up something you said earlier per. you said nauchlt if it was in the mueller report it was accurate except as it relates to you stating that this was the only time the president ever asked you to write something down. are you saying that that part's not accurate? >> i'd ask the stop the clock while he confers with his lawyer. >> the clock will be stopped for five seconds. >> could i see the page and reference number on that, congressman. >> sure, page 9, line 7 and 8 i will read to you thchs the first
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time the president asked lewandowski to take dictation. are you saying that is not accurate. >> i'm saying those aren't buy words, congressman. >> i'm schooling you was that the first time the presidented ask you to take digtation. >> i've testified it's not the first time. >> this part would be inaccurate. >> i'm saying i have taken by dictation by the candidate and the independent the past. >> have you ever put any words the president asked you write down before in a safe or was this thes firps time you had done that. >> i believe it's my standard operating procedure when taking notes, congressman. >> every note you take of the president you put a safe? >>s how big is the safe sfl it's a big safe. there is a lot of guns in there. >> is the first time you put a secret message from the president he wanted you to deliver to someone else in a safe. >> i don't believe there is anything secret about the message. pip i was never told to keep the message secret. >> is this the tiers time you put a message from the president in a safe. >> not to the the best of my
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recollection. >> i want to go back to the day later after the president asked you to deliver the message he was interviewed by "the new york times." in the next slide shows that he said sessions should have never rekusz the himself if he was going to rekuz himself he should have told me before he took the job, i would have picked someone else. that's not what the president said to you during that meeting one-on-one with in the oval office is that right. >> the white house has directed that i not disclose the substance of any discussions with the president or his advisers to protect exclusive branch confidentiallety. >> i'd like to stop the clock for a parliamentary choir yao. >> gentleman will state the inquiry the clock will be stopped. >> i had like to request a ruling on the witness's refusal to answer. >> mr. lewandowski, when you refuse to answer these questions you are obstructing the work of our committee. you are also proving our point for the american people to see. the president is intent on obstructing our legitimate oversight. you are aiding him in that
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obstruction. and i will remind that you article iii much the impeachment president nixon was based on obstruction of congress. you are instructed to answer the question. the clock will start again. >> mr. chairman. >> parliamentary choir yao. >> the clock will stop again. >> the gentleman will state the inquiry. >> is it correct and i can reap repeat or you can let me see the sheet that reference you maid to nicken was after a formal inquiry put to the house and broad about a bought your name is different i wanted to point out strugt to the record i yield back. >> i have a parliament yes inquire joo zpl first of all not a parliamentary inquiry didn't ask anything. >> judge zbra will the sfat the inquire judge. >> did you threaten to kbech mr. lewandowski, a private citizen? >> no. and the plain import of of what i said was that he is violating the law by refusing to answer the questions. the president is violating the law by instructing him and
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others not to answer the questions. and article iii of the nixon impeachment was based on this kind of obstruction of congress by president nixon. >> one further inquiry mr. chairman. >> the jae gentleman will state the inquiry. >> does that mean then pursuant to your statement that this is an official impeachment that we're in. >> i have stated repeatedly that this committee is -- and we amended our rules to empower the chairman to designate specific aerg hearings i with i did for this hearing is pursuant to finding out -- to determine whether we should vote articles of giannecchiniment against the president that's what this is. >> thank you. >> the gentleman from california za will continue. >> mr. lewandowski i'll ask you again, this -- what's kplad displayed on the side is not what the president told you in the one-on-one meeting, is that correct? are you refusing to answer mr. lewandowski? >> no, congressman as i've explained in a letter from the
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white house dated september 16th, 2019. >> mr. luna. >> from my attorney. >> mr. lewandowski's conversation was the president and with senior advisers to the president protected from disclosure. >> can we stop the clock for the instructive. >> int po of order and i'd ask the clock be stopped. >> clob will be stopped. >> i'd ask. >> excuse me the gentleman will state the point of order. >> point of order mr. chairman is this witness continuing to obstruction obstruct the work of the committee by refusing to answer questions. he has been ordered to do so by you i ask that you judge him in contempt in the proceedings. >> pinpoint of order that's not a proper parliamentary inquire. >> it was a point of order. >> i will take that under advisement. >> thank you, mr. kmarm. >> the gentleman will continue. >> are you refusing to answer yes or no. >> congressman i'm anticipate to answer the question let me have the privilege to do so. as explained below mr. lewandowski's conversations with the president and with senior advisers to the president are protected from disclosure by long set of principles
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protecting executive branch confidentiality as a result the white house has directing mr. lewandowski not to provide information about such communications about the information provided in the portions of the other than the portions of the row already disclosured to the committee >> the gentleman ha has the time not the witness. >> i'm asking if you're not g going to answer just say a refusal to answer we don't need to be read the instructions from the white house. i'm moving on. in that "new york times" interview hours after the president's spoke to you, he never said in fact i just enlisted mr. lewandowski to deliver a secret message to the attorney general for him to direct the special counsel to limit the investigation. he said to you something that he did not say just hours publicly, is that right. >> i have no idea what he said to the "new york times." >> mr. lewandowski would you agree that delivering a secret message in the way in president did as a former law enforcement officer hass who has investigated gangs and mob-like behavior that this is consistent with that? >> i take exception to your premise of the question.
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it was a secret message. >> mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back, the jae from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. well mr. lewandowski welcome to the judiciary committee. you know, you and the president are accused by the majority of a cover-up of foreign collusion, but the mueller team of partisans, try though they did couldn't find evidence of collusion. since you stand accused of this crime i'm kind of curious, how do you cover up a crime that never happened? >> it's a great question, kmsz, i don't know the answer. >> you've been watching the crux of the majority's case is that the president asked you to suggest to the attorney general that he should say that the president is being treated unfairly and had done nothing wrong. is that essentially the accusation against you? >> it seems to be, yes. >> well i think the president is clear the president was being
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treated unfairly and he had done nothing wrong. yes yet it's upon this pretext the democrats feel justified to invoke impeachment. the solemn power reserved to the congress for treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors. it's the power to nullify the constitutional election of the president of the united states, a decision made by the american people. does that sound like an abuse of power in this case to you? >> it does. >> certainly does to me too. for more than three years now our nation mab torn apart by this monstersous lie that the president of the united states was a willing agent of a hostile foreign power. i'd like to ask you where do you think this whole lie of russian collusion started? >> you know, congressman i don't have the facts on it. but i think when inspector general horowitz has the privilege of coming and testifying he will testify this this began at the highest levels of the government and was
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perpetrated through the intelligence committee ch community to come up with a narrative of kwie hillary clinton lost the campaign as as opposed to the real narrative of why donald trump won the campaign. >> in actually began before the election. do you believe the u.s. government through its justice appear intelligence agencies deliberately interfered with the 2016 presidential election? >> i believe there are members of the intelligence community who have been referred for criminal referral for perjury and other crimes, should be held accountable for using badges and guns to influence the election, spy on american citizens in a clear violation of the 4th amendment and falsifying fisa applications for the explicit purpose of trying to prevent of an individual from being ekt eyed president of the united states. >> if we're serious about protecting the american political process from unwarranted interference, either by foreign governments or by our own government, where should we be looking? >> i would recommend inspector general horowitz, u.s. attorney
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dlam in the mid-of investigation finance if i were a chairman or maybe some day in the upper chairman will bring before us james clab clapper come yn and brenty o in ask the questions under oath that seemed to ee lieu them. >> we have subbed suggested to the majority that we need to do that but so far the requests have fallen on deaf ears. but here is the picture as more information comes to light. we have a phoney dossier produced by the clinton campaign and disinformation channelled to george papadopoulos through joseph mifsud who turns out has a long history of involvement with intelligence agencies including cia. used to justify a sham investigation. the investigation was then leaked to the the press to give credence to the false narrative. is that what you see taking shape with the evidence that's slowly coming out.
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>> i think that's exactly right. pap and you look at the role that bruce orr and nellie oorr has the fusion gps. they at least notified the fisher the lack of credibility of christopher steele and of the information he provided. just give us pause that sum such a small number of individuals at the fbi had the power to set in motion to prevent a person from being elected president of the united states with no evidence what so far. >> i think the importance of this can't be be overstated. we entrust the most stretching powers the government possesses to the agencies, hitler lir the power to ruin lives, spien you, incarcerated you, to launch predawn raids on your home. the abuse of the powers for political purposes would be a direct threat to the most fundamental freedoms we have as americans and fundamental institutions of ou democracy. i should think that that would be of some passing interest to
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every member of the committee. yield back. >> earlier in your testimony i the love of country which the members of the medicate i don't question your love of the country. you made a stunning concession which is you had not read the mueller report. that explains a lot about your testimony. i'm thinking maybe you don't know what the special counsel actually found. i'm going to tell you. volume 1 of the mueller report found that the russians attacked american elections in a sweeping and systematic manner. it also found that the trump campaign knew about the attack, gave internal polling dat to
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russias planned a campaign strategy around the attack. it's no robert mueller's testimony under oath in frocht of the intel committee as well as this committee. the reason we are today is because volume 2 finds that the president tried to obstruct that investigation into the russian attack on at least ten instances, five of which robert mueller found there was substantial evidence. i'm putting up a slide about what the special counsel found about this particular incident in which you are involved. he found substantial evidence gnat president's effort to have sessions limit the scope of the special counsel investigation to future election sbrerchs was sbrent intended to prevent future investigation and skrutly of the president and his conduct. that's why we are here today. i think it's important to look at the time line to understand how this all unfolds. you previously testified that on march 2017 that you were aware that attorney general sessions recused himself, did that march 2017. i'm putting up a slide about
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what the white house counsel office directed about communications with sessions. it said that sessions should not be contacted, no contact with sessions and no serious concerns about that instruction. did you ever get that instruction from anyone not to contact sessions at all? >> no. >> okay, thank you. a few months later the media reports that the obstruction investigation -- russian investigation turns obstruction investigation to the president himself and when donald trump learns about this, he goes nuts. is that correct? >> i don't know that to be accurate. >> the president launched over ten tweets very shortly thereafter, calling the investigation a witch hunt. that's correct, isn't it?
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>> i don't know that to be accurate. >> he did. so then he calls don mcgahn at home and says that mueller has to go. call me back when you do it. were you aware of that, that he called don mcgahn at home to fire robert mueller? >> no. >> few days after that, the president calls you into his office, you admitted that he dictated a message to give to jeff sessions. you said you didn't give it to jeff sessions because you went on vacation. the attorney general canceled that meeting, correct? the attorney general canceled the meeting that you tried to give the note to. >> where is that reference in the report, congressman? >> page 92. i'll give you the courtesy, i'll read it for you. lewandowski called sessions. sessions had it canceled due to a last-minute conflict.
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do you remember that? >> i believe that's accurate. >> a little later on july 8th, the media writes additional negative information about the president's campaign, including that his senior advisers and his son met with russian operatives who had dirt on hillary clinton as part of russia and its government's support for mr. trump. donald trump calls you back into his office again, alone for a meeting. and this time he tells you that sessions is going to be fired if he doesn't meet with you. do you recall that conversation? >> i took that as a joke. >> you took that as a joke? after that, the president goes on tv and he says, sessions should never have recused himself and he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he tookt job and i would have pecked somebody else. do you think the president was joking about that on tv? >> i don't know whether he was
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or not. >> when the president met with you alone, to ask whether you delivered the note to sessions, did you think that was a joke? >> i can't discuss a private conversation with the president. it's in the note, sir. >> okay. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. gentle lady from arizona? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. lewandowski for being here today voluntarily. first we have the steele doss r dossier, which turned out to be a false report funded by the clinton campaign and the democrat national committee and apparently was used to spy on the trump campaign and initiate the special counsel investigation. then for two years, we've heard from democrats on tv, heard it over and over again from some on
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this committee that they had proof, proof that the president had colluded with russia. guess what, the mueller report comes out and they lied. it was totally false. there was no collusion, no conspiracy. then my democratic colleagues had to switch gears because they knew that one failed. they said it's obstruction of justice. they brought in robert mueller, tried to question him, did everything they could. that one flopped. here we are today, hauling you in. who knows who they'll haul in next. they're trying anything and everything. and, you know, i just don't know when it's going to end. i want to read a quote from on april 19th, 2019, shortly after the release of the mueller report, emmitt flood, special
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counsel to the president, wrote about the abuses by executive branch employees. he said in the partisan commotion surrounding the released report, it would be well to remember that what can be done to the president can be done to any one of us. do you agree with this statement? >> i do. >> and mr. lewandowski, i have to tell you, i'm scared for our country. i'm scared when i read this mueller report, what's been going on with a false dossier that was apparently used to spy on americans. and if that can be done to the president of the united states, this can be done to anyone. and so i ask you, mr. lewandowski, do you think that the democrats will go to any length to undermine the president of the united states
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and influence the 2020 election? >> congresswoman, i believe in this democracy of the united states and i love this country. and i think partisan politics is so important, i think the fact that we're the greatest, freest country in the world is paramount to everything that we do. although we may disagree in this committee and i believe that this president treated exceptionally unfairly, i think at the end of the day, we all believe that a free and fair election is the best way and the best method for ensuring the safety and security of our democracy. do i have concerns based on the 2016 election? seeing the abuses of a small minority that have impacted so many? you bet i do. am i concerned that as our children and grandchildren grow up we look back on this time in our nation's history and say that should never have been
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allowed, not to a republican and never to a democrat? you bet i do. but at the end of the day, partisan politics aside, and to mr. lieu's point, we all love our country. we may have disagreements but i don't think anybody wants to see someone not elected properly or the interference of foreign agents or individuals in this country to negatively impact the outcome of an election, because we are better than that. this country is the greatest country in the history of our planet and we should never forget that. and sometimes, maybe just sometimes, partisan politics can take a backseat to doing what's right for our country. >> thank you, mr. lewandowski. i yield the balance of my time to mr. jordan. >> i thank the gentle lady for yielding and thank the gentleman for his well-worded answer to the last question. with the campaign that you ran and were involved with, george
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papadopoulos and carter paige, mr. papadop ochoulos was done overseas with foreigners. major party's nominee for the highest office in the land spice on two american citizens. were you, as the campaign manager, ever notified or was anyone at the campaign ever notified that that was going on when it was happening? >> no, sir. >> i yield back. thank you. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. >> mr. chairman, some of our gop colleagues have suggested that our time would be better spent work on protecting the 2020 elections. we must assume that they just have completely forgotten about the passing on june 27th, 2019, the securing america's federal elections act, which authorizes $600 million to modernize and secure our election infrastructure, mandates the use of verified paper ballots and
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risk limiting audits and bans alcohol'sability on devices for which ballots are marked or counted. perhaps they forgot about it because all of them voted against it except one republican and the entire democratic caucus voted to support it. we're still hoping mitch mcconnell decides to take up that legislation. so who are the useful identiiot? i suppose we could have a conversation about that later. mr. lewandowski, you said some things about what you want to investigate about the deep state when you become a u.s. senator. about your upcoming service as a senator, would you accept this view of so-called confidentiality interest, executive privilege which you have been invoking today on behalf of the president's ability to prevent congress from collecting testimony from private citizens? will you accept that in your
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service if elected to the senate? >> congressman, i appreciate your confidence of my ability to win in new hampshire and i'm sure many people in new hampshire have that same confidence in me. >> i'm going on your representation today. >> i appreciate that. thank you. that being said, it's not my privilege to waive, congressman. it's the executive office's prifl and i'm not an attorney. >> i am one. let me ask you a question. are you representing that the white house has told you that they are invoking executive prifl on behalf today? >> i don't believe it's an executive privilege and we submitted a letter for clarification. it's not my privilege to waive. >> i don't think it's anyone's prifl to waive because i don't think it exists, mr. lewando lewandowski. it's imaginary like the tooth fairy. >> my children are watching. thank you for that. >> i hope the president isn't on
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then. you never worked in the white house? >> no, sir. >> you were a private citizen when you were with the president in the circumstances we're discussing today? >> yes i am. >> the white house says you shouldn't have to answer any questions because discharge of his duties are highly kfls, pushing white house obstructionism to a surreal, new extreme. let's make this keer. i see no evidence at all that the president was seeking your advice or that you were helping him discharge his official duties. first of all, i want to make sure this is on the record. when you went to the white house in june and july 2017 to be with the president, you were not a white house employee, were you? >> i was not a white house employee. >> you have never been a white house employee. >> that's correct. >> and there have been no other white house employees present for that meeting. >> i believe that's accurate. >> and while you claim that you were advising him during those
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meetings, the president didn't seem to be seeking your advice at all. nfblingt, you never testified to the special counsel that president trump once asked for your advice. here is what you told the special counsel about your meeting on page 91, volume 2. put it up on the slide if you would. lewandowski recalled after some small talk the president brought up sessions and criticized his recusal. the president told lewandowski that sessions was weak and if he had known about the likelihood of recusal, he would not have appointed sessions. then the president asked lewandowski to send a message and write this town. i assume you told the truth and the whole truth when you spoke to the special counsel. there's nothing in there about him asking your advice, is there? >> nothing in the report, no. >> you weren't helping him perform his official duties in office, were you? >> i can't discuss my private
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conversations. >> just based on what's up on the screen. did you help him implement any duties of his office at that point? >> i can't discuss the substance of the discussion outside of the report. >> no one told us what duty you were performing, if you were performing one or what public policy you were advising on. all of america is reading the same text. we don't see him asking your advice about anything. did he ask your advice about national security, for example, the only context i know about an executive privilege. now it seems as if that's not even being waved around. one can only regard with amazement the logic of this argument. the president tweets out various fox news advise him. is he covered by this privilege to? >> the gentleman's time is expired. the witness may aebs the question. >> that is a question you should address to the white house. >> the gentleman from virginia
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may inquiry. >> willingly for you to be here, voluntarily, i doubt the others have as much political theater as this one has had. i appreciate you being here today. this hearing is yet another grand display of political theater we've seen from this committee over the last several months. the mantle should be focused on sound congressional oversight, in particular ig report about abuse in the fbi. we should be having a hearing with the inspector general but desperate attempts to keep this impeachment at all costs narrative alive. i don't know what they're calling it today. is it an inquiry, an investigation, a proceeding? whatever word that google thesaurus throws back at them when they type it in, that's where we're at. it's embarrassing, as a member of the judicial committee, to have you here to have to go through this. but the majority is propping up
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this mueller report like a bad remake of "weekend at bernie's." it's impeachment based on the mueller report is dead and everybody seems to know it except the chairman and several members of the party conference, the mantle. we should be hearing from the ig report about the fbi abuse. we are now hearing about the president's mood when he's talking to you in the oval office. there was collusion with russia, but not by president trump. i want to go back to questions by the gentleman from florida. not the gentleman from florida who is still standing by the belief, proven false by volume i of the mueller report that president trump is a russian agent but gentleman from california who is asking you about the steele dossier. you've heard of the steele dossier, correct? >> yes, sir. >> opposition research document created by christopher steele, paid for by the clinton campaign
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and dnc. have you ever met christopher steele? >> i've not. >> but you're familiar with who he is? >> i am. >> hired by a firm called fusion gps to produce the steele dossier. have you heard of gps? >> yes i have. >> that's one more than we had from mr. mueller because he didn't know what fusion gps. do you know who hired fusion gps to produce the steele dossier? >> i believe a law firm, perkins. >> and do you know who christopher steele's sources were? >> i couldn't speak directly to it. >> russian sources, correct? >> that's the report, yes. >> and they did not reveal the truth about donald trump, did they? >> that's my understanding. >> most of it has proven to be false, relied on it to get a fisa application to spy on the trump campaign, correct? >> i believe so, yes. >> and all of this should have
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been laid bare but volume 1 clearly indicated there was no collusion between the trump campaign and russian government. that mueller report that we are still propping up and hashing over, week after week after week, you wrote an op-ed about on march 29th when you clarified that you thought the report was comprehensive. you clarified that it found no wrongdoing by the president or his advisers but that it is being used -- was being used back in march and still being used by conspiracy-minded democrats and hostile media for their own political purposes, thwarting the president's re-election. do you stand by that op ed and still believe it's being misused in that way today? >> i do believe it, sir. >> is there anything else you would like to add to the questions that have been answered or asked? >> no, sir.
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>> with that, i yield back. >> the gentle lady from washington? >> thank you. mr. lewandowski, we're seeing a pattern of the president doing anything and everything to hide his misconduct from congress and from the american people. president tried to get you to deliver a secret message to the attorney general, all in an attempt to prevent the special counsel from exposing the president's own misconduct. as soon as the special counsel published his report and the president's miscontact was exposed, the president tried to cover that up, too. isn't it true that the president has repeatedly tried to discredit your and other witnesses' testimony? >> not to my nonl. >> do you follow the president on twitter, mr. lewandowski? >> that's a good question. i may be the only one who doesn't but i'll fix that immediately. i'm sorry. >> didn't the president say --
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and i'll put up a slide for you. certain statements are made about me written by 18 angry democratic trump haters fabricated and totally untrue from april 19th, 2019. that's the president saying that all the statements given by witnesses in the investigation, all those statements are untrue. mr. lewandowski, you were a witness in the investigation. you sat for interviews as part of the federal investigation, is that correct? >> i did sit, yes. >> special counsel's report includes statements you made to the special counsel during the investigation duchlt lie at any point during those interviews? >> not to the best of my recollection. >> so those are not, quote, fabricated and totally untrue? you didn't lie to the special counsel, did you, mr. lewandowski? >> not to the best of my nonl. >> that's just the president
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trying to discredit all of the witnesses who said that he obstructed justice. isn't that correct, mr. lewandowski? >> that's a question for the president. >> which is it? did you lie, mr. lewandowski or is the president wrong when he said all the statements are fabr fabricated. >> i believe it says statements made about me by certain people. it doesn't say all unless i'm misreading it. >> mr. lewandowski, did you lie to the president and the president correct that everything in the report is fabricated? >> i won't comment on private conversations but i don't appreciate the insinuation that i lied about anything. i've answered it multiple times. i've answered your question multiple times about my truthfulness to the committee and special counsel's office. >> i appreciate that. >> to my nonl i've not lied to the special counsel. >> you are not yet in the senate. you are a witness to the judicial committee. please act like it.
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this is my time. i control it. watch out for the people that take so-called notes when the notes never existed until needed, referring to the mueller report, referencing people taking notes of meetings with the president, notes that documented the president's obstruction. mr. lewandowski, you had notes of your meeting with the president. you testified to that before us, correct? >> yes. >> you were dictated those notes by the president, correct? >> i believe that's in the report. >> you told the special counsel the president dictated a message to you and said write this down. volume 2, page 91. you gave those notes to the special counsel. correct? >> i can't speak to the way the special counsel conducted their information. >> did you give the notes to the special counsel? this is not how it conducted its investigation. it's about whether you gave the notes to the special counsel. >> that's a question for special counsel. >> they were your notes, in your safe, dictated to you and written down by you. did you give them to the special
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counsel? >> i complied with all legal and lawful requests by the special counsel. >> refusing to answer questions -- >> i just answered, i complied with all requests. >> so you gave the notes to the special counsel. >> i asked and answered your question. >> did you make up that the president told you to write down that note? >> i can't speak to the private conversation i had with the president of the united states. >> did you lie about the president telling you to write down the note? it's not a private conversation. >> i believe what is in the report is an accurate description. >> you gave the special counsel notes of the meeting with the president that are not fabricated and totally untrue. when the president said all those notes never existed until needed, that was his quote, that's another instance of the president trying to discredit anyone who tried to document his misconduct. now the president is going further, isn't he? you said previously that you have nothing to hide and you would answer all questions.
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here is what you said. can i play that clip? >> i never asked whatsoever i sat there for 12 hours. before i left after the last four hours i said i will sit here for another four hours to answer every single one of your questions to the house intelligence committee. before we leave today i want to be very clear. i will sit and answer every one of your questions. there's no reason to subpoena me. i'm willing to volunteer. i'll be happy to answer their questions because i have nothing to hide. >> it's interesting, mr. lewandowski. the president obviously has something to hide because the white house is telling you not to answer the question in front of the judicial committee. that's a shameful thing. the american people deserve to know the truth. i think they deserve to have you answer our yes sfwlt time of the gentle lady is expired. the gentleman from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the american people know the
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truth, if they've read the mueller report and have come to their own conclusions. sir, and you the trump campaign fully cooperated with the mueller investigation. is that correct? >> i believe so, yes. >> and multiple times that you've been asked to testify voluntarily before numerous different congressional committees, you've complied in that request, even voluntarily, not needing subpoenaed? >> to the best of my knowledge, yes. >> after 18 lawyers 5rks 00 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, the mueller report concluded that there was no evidence that the trump campaign colluded with russia. is that correct? >> i haven't read the report. i believe that's the final conclusion. >> now that we've established that the mueller report itself doesn't find that there's any collusion between the trump campaign and russia, this whole contention about the president firing, not firing, directing
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people to fire, is it your understanding -- you may not be able to answer this because it's outside the scope. is it your understanding in article ii of the constitution that the president could fire the attorney general without cause, for any reason whatsoever? >> let me preface it by saying i'm not an attorney but it's my understanding that the president has broad authority over members who serve in the executive brarchl and has broad latitude to hire and fire at his discretion. >> also under that constitutional authority, obligated to him under article ii, he could fire the fbi director without reason, for any reason whatsoever at any time? >> again i'm not an attorney, but that could be a very realistic interpretation of the article ii powers provided by the president in the constitution, yes. >> he could have also had mr. mueller fired during the course of the investigation if he wanted to under his powers of article ii? >> i think that would be a question for attorney general or
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white house counsel but i think that would be his prerogative if he so chose, yes. >> he didn't choose to exercise any of that authority? in fact, he allowed for the campaign and members like yourselves to coordinate with them, cooperate with them and until now that we've gone through 22-month investigation where the american people have been sold a lie of russian collusion, now we're just going to try to rehash this narrative amongst the american people despite the fact that it has been investigating by investigators, lawyers, fbi agents for 22 months. i would be happy to yield to any other members of my congress that would like to yield. if not i yield back to the chair. thank you for your time. >> the gentle lady from florida? >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. mr. lewandowski, for the record i do love this country. i spent 27 years enforcing the law and now i have the honor of
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writing of the law. when special counsel visited us and in his testimony he talked about a spectrum of witnesses who were either telling half truths to those who were outright liars. today, i do have to wonder how many untruths, how many members of congress neglecting their duties and their oath and how many white house attorneys does it take to protect one innocent president? mr. lewandowski, during your opening statement you talked about being a certified police officer in new hampshire. is that correct? >> yes. >> do you believe that police officers have a very tough job? >> i do. >> but even with all of the stuff that law enforcement officers have to put up with, not only enforcing the law and patroling their communityies, bt just working horrible hours -- i'm sure you know about that.
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with all of that stuff, do you believe that law enforcement officers, when they engage in wrongdoing, that they should be held accountable? >> i do. >> mr. lewandowski, you said if anyone was wr trying to coordinate with russia, they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. is that correct? >> i believe congresswoman i said if anybody attempted to impact the outcome of the election illegally, they should spend the rest of their lives in jail. >> do you believe that a person who coordinated with russia should not be held to the full extent of the law? >> whether it's with russia or any other foreign entity should spend the rest of their life in jail. >> mr. lewandowski, i know you know and i'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you care about the special counsel's report concluding that russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a sweeping and systematic fashion.
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do you believe that? >> i believe they attempted to influence the election, yes. >> over 100 contacts between russian nationals or those acting on their behalf and the trump campaign, or those advising then candidate trump. the report focused that those contacts with russia included offers of assistance to the campaign, invitations for candidate trump and putin to meet in person. mr. lewandowski, you said you knew nothing about this. is that correct? >> i don't believe i had any conversation with any russian or russian contact. >> you knew nothing about them offering assistance to the campaign at all? >> i don't believe i have. >> you said that i never spoke to a russian, i never contacted a russian. i never coordinated with a russian. i don't know anything about russia, okay? i never spoke to them. and i was the campaign manager. do you remember saying something similar to that? >> i think it's an accurate
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statement. >> you also said, and i quote, you had sole control over the campaign other thant candidate himself. i sat next to candidate trump for thousands of hours during the period of time. would that be pretty close to what you remember saying? >> it would depend on the timeframe of the campaign we're speaking about. >> when you served as campaign manager. >> right. there were multiple periods of time from -- >> would you say that you had sole control over the campaign other than the candidate himself? >> not on the day i was fired, i didn't have sole control. >> prior to that day. there is nothing funny about -- there is absolutely nothing funny about this whole thing. >> you asked me a question. if you don't like my answer i can rephrase it. no, i don't think i had sole control the day preceding my firing, multiple days before that. >> let's forget the firing.
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the first month that you were the campaign manager, would you say that you had sole control over the campaign other than the candidate himself? >> are you talking about in june of 2015. >> you talked to then candidate trump pretty much on a regular basis, right? you established that you talked to him on a regular basis. is that correct? >> yes. >> and being the campaign manager, being very close to the candidate, the campaign has over 100 contacts with russia and you didn't know anything about that? >> that's correct, best of my knowledge. >> did you ever ask the president if he knew about his campaign's contacts with russia after the reports came out, that there were over 100 contacts? did you ever ask him after that report, those reports come out? >> i'm sorry, did i ask who, congresswoman? i missed that. >> did you ask trump if he had ever had -- did he know that the
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campaign had regular contact with russians after the report came out? after you heard that report, those reports, did you ever ask? >> the gentle lady's time expired. >> i cannot disclose a personal conversation i may or may not have had with the president. >> thank you, madam chair. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. i'm sorry, the gentleman from texas. california. >> from nevada. >> georgia. >> thank you, madam chair. mr. lewandowski, i'm glad to hear that we both share a deep love for this country and distaste for any foreign agents that may want to interfere with democracy in this country. are you familiar with george papadopoulos?
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>> i am. >> do you agree he was a foreign policy adviser in april 2016? >> to the campaign, congressman. >> to the campaign, correct? >> to the campaign, yes. >> lying to federal investigators, he pled guilty. we've got his indictment up on the screen. one of those things he pled guilty to was lying about how often he was communicating with russians, with russia, when he was an adviser to the campaign. correct? >> i don't know if that's what he pled guilty to your honor, sir. >> in fact, i'm quoting the mueller report now. throughout april 2016, papadopoulos continued to correspond with and meet with russians and seek russian contacts. that's volume one, page 87. the report says papadopoulos
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tried to schedule then candidate trump to travel to russia to meet with putin. is that correct? >> i don't know what's in the report, sir. >> the report also documents emails discussing this potential russian trip and i'll show them to you in case you've not read them, correct? you can put those up, please. on april 27th, the trump campaign foreign policy adviser papadopoulos sent you, circumstances an email telling you he had been receiving a lot of calls over the last months about putin wanting to host trump and the team when the time was right. you know about that? >> if that's what's in the report. >> volume one, page 89. >> okay. it's the first i've seen it. >> on june 1st, papadopoulos forwarded another email to you,
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asking you if that was something you wanted to move forward with. is that accurate or not? >> i don't know. >> volume 1, page 89. slide, please. >> i see the report, sir. >> okay. so, i would say this was not just about you receiving information butb coordinating potential meetings with russia, but actually you responded to papadopoulos, telling him to connect with sam clovis because he was going to be the running point man. is that correct? >> i believe that to be accurate. >> okay. did you tell papadopoulos to stop communications with russians? >> i don't believe i did. >> okay. you actually encouraged that communication, correct, by referring him to a running point man, which is mr. clovis, yes?
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>> no. congressman, what i was attempting to do with contact from mr. papadopoulos who i had very limited sbrks with, was to put him in touch with a staff person who could have a more articulate and thorough conversation. it wasn't while i ran the day-to-day responsibility of the campaign, 1,000 emails a day did not allow me the privilege to respond in detail to each of them. >> candidate trump said you and he were communicating then 12 to 14 hours a day. is that correct? >> i'm not sure. f that's what the president said, sir. >> he did. did you at all mention to canned kate trump these xhupgss that russians were having to the campaign? >> not to the best of my recollection. >> did you communicate to the family about the communications going on? >> not to the best of my recollection. >> you and i both have a distaste for foreign agents affecting our democratic process. did you report these incidents to the fbi?
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>> i did not. >> did you bring it up to anybody's attention? >> i think just mr. clovis. i did not see that outreach to me as an offer to interfere with the outcome of the election. >> what did you see it as? >> i saw out reach from a potential foreign agent to a policy adviser and that's why i asked him to get in touch with mr. clovis. >> for the safety -- just to be on the safe side wouldn't you call the fbi and say these guys are calling us, please check it out? >> in hindsight it's something that mr. clovis probably should have done. >> russians are hacking our elections. your campaign adviser is talking to another campaign adviser about russians interested in communicating with the campaign. >> congressman, i don't believe i ever had a communication of any russians trying to offer, interfere in the outcome of the election. >> you did have knowledge of
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people in your campaign communicating with russians. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the witness may answer the question. >> yes, sir, thank you. >> the gentle lady from california? >> thank you, mr. chairman. one of the things that has always caught my attention was the fact that campaign chairman paul manafort shared with a russian operative, mr. klemnick the campaigns -- this is a quote from the report, strategy for winning democratic votes in mid western states, volume 1, pages 6 and 7 and he then shared with the russian operative internal polling at a tima. did you have any information
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that mr. manafort was sharing this polling data with russian operatives? >> i did not. >> you continued to advise the campaign even after you left and had an enduring presence, that's not something you were aware of? >> correct. >> i'm just interested -- all of us here, both republicans and democrats have something in common. we run for office and we know a little bit how to do that. one of the things that i think we all know is that internal polling data generally is something that you don't share broadly. you use it to base your campaign. wouldn't you say that's correct, as a general rule? >> i think that's a good general rule, yes, ma'am. >> so i'm mystified why the manager of the trump campaign would choose the one thing that would allow the russians, who we already know from other evidence
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were trying to influence this campaign, information that would allow them to guide their efforts, this internal polling data. do you have any insight into why that would happen? >> i don't know why mr. manafort would share that information. >> it seems to me that do you know whether the russians asked for it? >> i don't know. >> don't know. it seems to me that of all the things in the report, and there are many troubling things, that the russians and it's clear that they were trying to elect donald trump president. actually, putin said that publicly since then. they received from the trump campaign manager the internal polling data and the strategy to win in the midwest with democratic votes not once, but repeatedly. at the same time, there were over 100 contacts between russians and the campaign. can't you understand that would
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raise some anxiety, those facts? >> point of clarification, mr. manafort was never the campaign manager. >> are you saying he was not involved in the campaign? >> no. i'm saying he was not the campaign manager. just as a point of clarification. >> chairman, manager, a person in charge of the campaign for a period of time. i think when you add it up, who would know about this other than mr. manafort? who else would we need to call that would have the facts of this information? >> we know where mr. manafort is and is currently available for questioning if you're looking for him. >> in addition to him, who -- >> mr. gates potentially. >> mr. gates might know who initiated -- whether it was the russians asking for the polling data or whether it was the idea of the trump campaign to provide that? >> yes. >> do you think the president was advised of the day-to-day
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details of his campaign? >> i don't thiching the president was advised of the minutia of the day-to-day details of the campaign, as probably most candidates are not advised of the day-to-day minutia. >> what level was the president generally provided? would it be we've got a strategy to win the midwest or we're hoping for the best? what would be the level of information generally that the president as a candidate would receive? >> i can only speak it my tenure there about the information i would have shared. basically i would have shared his travel calendar for the next day or week, so he would understand where we were traveling to. i would share with him media opportunities if he wanted to be on a specific television show and messaging points of what we may want to be discussing during that tenure time of the
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campaign, particularly if we're going to be in a primary. >> i would assume, like all other campaigns that the messaging was informed by the polling data that you had? >> as a point of clarification, congresswoman, we didn't do any poll willing data for the approximately first 15 months of the campaign. >> my time has expired. i yield back. >> gentle lady from pennsylvania? >> thank you. mr. lewandowski, one of the major concerns raised by the special counsel's report is that the president has had a pattern of witness tampering conduct. so, let's look at some facts. we know that attorney general sessions was a witness in the special counsel's investigation because of his role on trump's campaign, right? >> if that's in the report. i don't know that to be accurate. >> that's why sessions recused himself. so you've confirmed today that the president dictated a message for you to give to attorney
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general sessions about what he should say about russian contacts with the trump campaign. correct? >> in general, that's accurate, yes. >> you told the special counsel that the president scripted what he wanted sessions to say in a public speech as if it were sessions' own words about his knowledge of the russian contacts with the campaign. right? >> that seems to be an accurate representation. >> now that isn't the only time that the president tried to influence witness testimony, according to the special counsel's report. white house counsel don mcgahn told the special counsel -- i see you've found your copy of the mueller report so if you want to follow along it's volume 2, page 1, 2, 3. the president discussed with aides whether and in what way former campaign chairman, manager, whatever he is, manafort, might be cooperating with the special counsel's investigation and whether manafort knew any information that would be harmful to the president.
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the special counsel concluded that -- again we have another quote, volume 2, page 132, evidence concerning the president's conduct toward manafort indicates that the president intended to encourage manafort to not cooperate with the government. did the president ever try to discourage you from cooperating with special counsel, mr. lewandowski? >> i can't speak to any private conversation i may or may not have had with the president other than it say i have always been told to tell the truth. ooich never been instructed to do anything but tell the truth. >> congressman radcliff asked what you knew about the president dangling pardons to his employees, you mentioned manafort, gates, flynn and cohen. the president suggested there might be pardons forthcoming for those folks. one of the reasons you're here
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today is that the mueller report identified you as a participant in the president's attempts to limit or shut down the department of justice's investigation of russia's sweeping interference in our 2016 election. has the president ever offered you a pardon? >> again, the white house has directed to not disclose any substan substance. >> the we've seen the letter. you're not going to answer whether the president has offered you a pardon? >> ma'am, it's not my privilege. >> i'm reclaim willing my time. thank you. the president did indicate that he's going to support your senate campaign. didn't he? >> i'm not sure. >> okay. well, i just want to know for the record when mr. le with wandowski asked for the committee to give him a little break an hour and a half, two hours ago, he took the time during that recess to launch his senate campaign website with a
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tweet. and i think that fact says an awful lot about the witness' motivation to appear here today and i've heard enough. i yield back. >> the gentle lady from texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do want to clarify for the record that i think earlier you said that democrats in this committee, perhaps democrats hate this president more than they love their country. that simply is not true. you're looking at someone that loves her country and, more importantly, as a judge i took an oath of office more than once to uphold the constitution and laws of this country. i take the work of this committee very seriously and i would hope that you, as a former peace officer, would do the same and show more respect to this committee and the work that we're undertaking. having said that, mr. lewandowski, do you agree that if anyone tries to meddle with
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u.s. elections, they should go to jail, right? >> i do. >> there's a clip of you saying that. >> if other people who were operating outside the realm of what their responsibilities were, were trying to coordinate to materially impact the outcome of an election, and if they did that, i hope they go to jail for the rest of their lives, because our democracy is too important to play with. >> i agree with that statement. i know on july 27, 2016, when you were still regularly communicating with candidate trump, publicly called for russia to find missing clinton emails stating july 27th -- >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. >> so plrks lewandowski, let's be very clear. in that speech the president was suggesting publicly to the whole world that russia should hack hillary clinton's emails.
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and it got even worse. after his statement, russia did hack his opponent's emails, as he asked them to. and when wikileaks released those emails, mr. trump tweeted how great it was. he said at campaign appearances in october and november of 2016, this just came out. wikileaks, i love wikileaks. he said that in pennsylvania 2016 of october this wikileaks is like a treasure trove. he said that in october of 2016. he said in ohio, boy, i love reading those wikileaks. and i believe all those quotes were there for the whole -- for you to see. so, again, let's be clear. this is then candidate trump tweeting congratulations to russia and wikileaks for stealing documents from u.s. citizens and i think, you know, if it could get worse, it did.
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multiple individuals have testified under oath that mr. trump, in fact, knew about the release of these stolen emails prior to their release. i'm going to read you the quotes. witnesses have testified under oath that, quote, trump privately sought information about future wikileak releases, in the mueller report, volume 2, page 77. the slide is up for you to see. deputy campaign manager rick gates told the special counsel that he, quote, was with trump on an airport. you can't read too much of it because it's redacted. shortly after the trump ended trump told gates more releases of damaging information would be coming. he knew t he said it will be coming, which turned out to be true. that's in volume 2 of page 18. the screen is up, the shot is up there. so, in fact, the white house redacted some of the information in the report. you saw those redaxs on your
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screen. there could actually be more in those redaxs. the president's personal attorney michael cohen testified under oath that, quote, mr. trump knew from roger stone in advance about the wikileaks. you've got the slide there showing us exactly what the testimony reflects. roger stone has been charged with serious federal crimes for his conduct during the campaign. in his indictment it also says, quote, stone was contacted by senior trump campaign officials to inquiry about future releases of organization wikileaks. stone thereafter told the trump campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by wikileaks. roger stone has known the president for years. they've been long-time friends. didn't you say, quote -- and here is the screen shot from cnn. roger stone's history with
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donald trump goes back 20 years. he has been someone who has known mr. trump and worked with him through business dealings long before we ever started a political campaign. the fact is that he stole materials, encouraged the hacking. don't you think that's doing what you said no one should do and, if they do, that they should go to jail for the rest of their lives? >> i stand by my statement that anybody who attempted to materially impact the outcome of an election should go to jail for the rest of their lives. >> do you believe the president should go to jail for what i just reiterated in my statement? >> i didn't say that, ma'am. >> it seems to me that even this president needs to be held accountable because no one is above the law. i agree with you that if someone does interfere with our elections, they should go to jail, including this president, if necessary. >> gentle lady yields back? >> yield back. >> gentleman from colorado. >> mr. lewandowski, i would like
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to get back to an exchange you had with mr. cicilline and mr. jeffries. we talked about the message that the president asked to you deliver to then attorney general jeff sessions. as you testified today and you informed the special counsel as well during the special prosecutor's investigation you, quote, stored the notes in a safe, right? as you'll see on the slide there, quoting directly from special counsel's report which you described special counsel as the standard procedure for sensitive items. but that was your standard procedure. that is not normal protocol for official white house documents. my colleague mentioned this earlier. since you're not a white house employee, have not been as you testified, i would remind you again that the white house has a legal protocol to follow for official documents. on this next slide, this screen is a memo from this white house, donald trump's white house, about the presidential records act. so the president is well
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informed about the record requirements for our commander in chief. as you'll see on this slide under the pra, the white house must preserve and maintain all memos, letters, notes, emails and written communications from the president just like the note he dictated to you. of course, those notes are not supposed to be kept in a secret safe in his former campaign manager's house. and so it's clear, i think, to folks who read special counsel's report that is why the president asked you -- he wanted this message to be hidden and knew you wouldn't keep a record. in fact, you took it out of the white house after miss hicks typed it up and stored it in your personal safe. i want to give you an opportunity to confirm this. in your exchange with mr. swalwell you talked a bit about the notes that you dictated from the president and in the special counsel's report, it makes clear on page 91, the last sentence of the second paragraph, that when
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you met with the president, this was, quote, the first time the president had asked lewandowski to take dictation and lewandowski wrote as fast as possible to capture the content correctly. that sentence cites your interview with the special counsel. in exchange with mr. swalwell you contradicted that. so i am trying to figure out that discrepancy. was this, in fact, the first time that you had been asked by the president to take dictation? >> to be clear the words written in this report are not my words. that's the representation of the summary of my conversation with the special counsel i can say i have on numerous occasions been directed by the president to write specific information down and deliver that. >> so, to that end, mr. lewandowski, have you turned
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over those notes? were those notes turned over to the special counsel? >> i've complied with all requirements of the specialcom. >> i appreciate you saying that. did you turn over any other notes that have been dictated to you by the president to the special prosecutor outside of this note that's referenced in the report? >> i've complied with all requirements. >> the record will reflect you won't answer that particular question. i think that's an important one for this committee to the get to the bottom to. ultimately, what you are saying is that the special counsel's statement in this report is incorrect and if that is the case, this committee has an obligation to ascertain the contents of those other notes you've described. i just want to go back to the message delivered to you by the president to tell the attorney general that if he did not meet with you, you should tell him that he was fired. that's in volume 2, page 93.
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you're aware of this slide that will pop up here. you can see it in front of you. i know that you're aware that the attorney general is a cabinet-level position. correct? >> yes, i'm aware of that. >> he is, in fact, the head of the department of justice, the chief law enforcement officer of the united states. you knew that you couldn't fire the attorney general, correct? >> yeah, i can't fire anybody. >> and as you told mr. priebus, as the next slide attests you told the chief of staff at that time, what can i do? i'm not an employee of the administration. i'm a nobody. so if that's the case, it is again pretty clear to anyone who reads the special counsel's report that the reason the president was delivering this message to you was so that you could scare the attorney general into complying with the directive that he had given you. he enlisted you to dictate a secret message, which you store in your personal safe at home for the attorney general. then he tells you to tell the
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chief law enforcement officer of the united states that if he won't meet with you, a private citizen, that he would be fired. at the end of the day, we know it's because the president didn't want anyone investigating him. special counsel's report certainly supports that. and i will leave the last slide as i see my time is expired. special counsel's words speak for themselves in this exchange. with that, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. gentle lady from georgia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. lewandowski, i want to pause here for a moment. we heard facts about foreign government attacking our elections. we heard about that quite a bit this afternoon. we know that's a serious crime. you've said so and i definitelily agree with you. it resulted in criminal indictments of more than a dozen defendants. that included guilty pleas, indictments of top trump official campaign officials. and these guilty pleas include multiple charges of conspiracy
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against the united states and lying, and misrepresenting statements to the department of justice officials. but it also included indictments of criminal charges against 13 individual russian nationals and three russian entities, primarily for conspiracy to defraud the united states. is that correct, mr. lewandowski? >> i believe that's what that says, yes. >> thank you. you agree, and you've actually said so today, that anyone, whether it's trump campaign official or russian individuals and entities, anyone who attacks our elections should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. correct? >> i do agree with that. >> thank you. i agree, too. to be very clear, the special counsel uncovered serious crimes by over a dozen individuals, including russian nationals for conspiracy against the united
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states. i'm a representative of georgia, and i'm very concerned with protecting our elections. georgia has actually actively been targeted for election for interference by the russians. unsealed indietmen unsealed indictments, and both of those reside within my own district. looking for vulnerabilities that they might be able to exploit, and you have said not once, but several times, and i quote, trying to coordinate to materially impact the outcome of the election that if they did that i hope they go to jail for the rest of their lives because our democracy is too important to play with. mr. lou and you on ski, those are your woods. you continue to stand by that and as i said earlier, i agree. our democracy is simply too important to play with so i'm
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glad that we are investigating and i am glad that we are holding accountable anyone who would attack our elections and that's why special counsel mueller's investigation was so important to expose people attacking our lechs in georgia and throughout the country and that is an issue that should never divide us among partisan lines. so we have to make sure that we are protecting our 2020 elections at all costs and every american deserves the right to vote and we must protect that right at all cost because democracy is, as you have said today, too important to play with, and i will yield the balance of my time to mr. stanton. >> thank you very much, congresswoman. i want to thank mr. lewandowski for being here today and answering these questions for many hours, with respect to mr. michael cohen. he communicated regularly with mr. trump during the campaign, is that correct? >> there was regular
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communication, yes. >> i want to read from the indictment which states cohen asked individual 1 about the possibility of individual 1 traveling to russia in connection with the moscow project and ask a senior campaign official about potential business travel to russia. the senior campaign official, mr. cohen references is yourself. is that correct? >> could be. >> mr. cohen testified before the house oversight committee on february 27th and is on the screen in front of you. he testified specifically that that senior adviser was yourself. i'll skip to the end. congressman asked who was the campaign official and mr. cohen responded, quote, corey lewandowski. now, most importantly, mr. cohen said to the special counsel that he discussed with candidate trump the subject of traveling to russia during the campaign, and that trump, quote, indicated a willingness to travel to
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russia, unget. that's volume one, page 78. mr. cohen then testified before congress that trump was individual 1 and that's on the screen in front of you. >> that's what mr. cohen testified to. >> looking at the indictment we can fill in the blanks. mr. cohen asked individual 1, president bush and a senior campaign official, you, about traveling to russia. >> mr. chairman, may i take my regular five minutes at this time? [ inaudible ] >> thank you very much, mr. chair. >> during your time as campaign manager you communicated regularly with the president, is that correct? >> with candidate trump, yes, sir. >> you sat next to him for, quote, thousands of hours while you were campaign chairman. during your time as campaign manager, did you ever have a
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conversation with candidate trump about his campaign team having contact with russians? >> not to the best of my recollection, no. >> the special counsel's report includes e-mails from george papadopoulos sent to you asking about mr. trump traveling to russia. mr. cohen also asked you about traveling to russia per his indictment. carter page e-mailed you about russia and in your thousands of hours speaking with the president you never mentioned any of these people e-mailing you, asking you about trump traveling to russia. is that your testimony here today? >>. >> i don't recall ever having a conversation with mr. trump about traveling to russia. >> what about after the time that trump was elected? did you ever discuss with the president his knowledge of his campaign's interactions with russians? >> again, at the advice of white
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house counsel i can't answer questions that would be privileged and i respect that privilege. >> i've asked before, and i'll ask again. is this an appropriate assertion. >> is this an appropriate assertion of privilege? >> this is most certainly not appropriate assertion of privilege for the reasons i stated before. the -- certainly there's no conceivable privilege for any time period before the president was president. >> to be clear, the white house is apparently directing you not to answer whether the president knew about his campaign communicated with russia. i think the american people want to know and are frustrated today, what, in fact, are you hiding? in mr. cohen's federal indictment it named mr. trump as knowing about campaign communications with russia. again, did you ever discuss this fact with mr. trump?
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>> again, to the best of my knowledge, during our campaign i never had a conversation with mr. trump about any contacts with russia. >> the president is name said as individual 1 in a criminal case by his former personal attorney. you are asking us to believe that you never discussed with the president this fact in all of your thousand was hours of conversations. >> again, congressman, to the best of my knowledge i don't recall ever having a conversation with candidate trump about any interaction with russia. >> mr. cohen's indictment states that candidate trump directed mr. cohen to make payments with certain individuals beginning in october of 2016 in order to prevent those individuals from telling negative stories about candidate trump. during the fall of 20 skaerngs at the time of these payments, did you ever discuss with candidate trump these payments? >>. >> to the best of my knowledge i never had a conversation about those payments. >> and what about after the time
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that mr. trump was elected? did you ever have a conversation with him about those payments? >> the white house has directed that i not disclose any conversations or the substance of those discussions with the president her his advisers to protect executive branch privilege. >> to be clear, you are being told you are not to answer whether the president told you that he directed his personal lawyer to make illegal payments? >> i'm simply going at the direction of the white house. it's not my privilege to waive, congressman. >> to be clear, the white house is telling you not to answer whether you discussed potential crimes with the president of the united states? mr. lewandowski, it is clear to me that the president -- >> would the gentleman yield for a moment? >> please. >> i believe the nixon case established the very iron clad principle that discussions regarding criminal acts are not privileged. so there's no possibility of a privilege with respect to the question of whether you were asked about criminal activities. i yield back.
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>> mr. lewandowski. it is clear to me that the president, the campaign and yourself did not want the american people to know about any campaign contact with russia. you lied to cover it up. you lied when you publicly said you, quote, knew nothing about the campaign with russia. >> meeting with russians and each mr. trump possibly going russia. there's documentation that contradicts your denials including e-mails with you, personally. this committee, our committee, will not let anyone, not the president of the united states, not anyone to hide the truth from the american people any longer and no one is above the law. i yield back. >> point of order, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman will state his point of order. >> mr. chairman, the refusal by mr. lewandowski to answer the questions about whether he had discussions with the president about payments from personal lawyer to those payments about the personal lawyer about
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knowledge of the campaign's interactions with russia are not protected and i would ask as the chairman reconsiders whether to hold mr. lewandowski in contempt as he goes forward from this hearing. it's important to note that the white house directing mr. lewandowski not to discuss the substance of conversations about official government matter, the white house counsel is here. if the chairman would like to ask them whether they assert that those discussions about russia or personal payments are official government business they can be asked. otherwise, as you consider and weigh to hold mr. lewandowski in contempt, you should consider those. >> it is certainly the case. i'm not going to ask white house counsel. it is certainly the case that conversations about criminal actions are not official white house business, without question, and i will give mr. lewandowski in light of this ruling the opportunity to answer that question again.
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>> gentlemen? >> mr. chairman, with all due respect i'm not an attorney. i had to continue at the advice of white house counsel and you can take the matter up with them and i draw the line of having private conversations with the president of the united states during the transition or his time as president. i've been candid and open about answering questions about the campaign and i will continue to do so, but at direction of the counsel i've exerted executive privilege of which it is mine to waive. >> i will simply observe on the record that the white house has claimed privilege with respect to the question of possible criminal activity or instructions about criminal activity by the president of the united states. >> inquiry. >> the gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry.
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>> in light of the discussion and the gentleman from florida, was there ever a doubt that we were not trying to hold him -- >> were we ever trying not to hold him in contempt? >> it's not a parliamentary inquiry. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the witness has requested a brief recess accordingly. the commit will take a five-minute recess. the committee stands in recess.
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this house judiciary committee is in a short break, but numbers continue shortly to continue with testimony on possible obstruction of robert
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mueller's investigation by president trump. corey lewandowski, the president's former campaign manager started testifying about 1:00 p.m. and he'll continue answering questions when the hearing returns. until then, a short portion of the forring from earlier today with an exchange between judiciary committee leaders gerald nadler and doug collins. >> i recognize this is not my privilege. >> pure suant to clause 2j-11 that the gentleman is out of order and he's exceeded the time limit under the five-minute rule. >> will enforce the time limit. >> i challenge the ruling of the chair. >> the ruling of the chair is chal er challenged and all those of overriding the chair, aye. >> roll call. >> where is the clerk? >> we can -- >> the clerk will call the roll.
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[ roll call ] >> the question is would the ruling of the chair overruled? my vote is no. [ roll call ] [ roll call ]
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[ roll call ] [ roll call ]
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[ roll call ] >> has everyone voted who wishes to vote? madam clerk? >> mr. buck, you are not recorded. mr. buck votes yes. >> anyone else? the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, there are 13
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ayes and 19 nos. >> mr. chairman, it says the gentleman -- >> the gentleman is not recognized. the -- the point of order is sustained. >> mr. chairman. >> am very troubled that the white house counsel sitting behind you are preventing you from answering these very basic questions that go to the heart of the conduct of the president -- >> i have a motion. >> you will wait for your motion until i finish this. >> out of order has got to be recognized. >> not in the middle -- >> yes, it does! >> the motion, it says the chairman is not following the house rules i vote to adjourn. >> the -- >> if the republicans on this committee are successful in this motion to adjourn does that mean there will be no hearing and the american people will not hear from mr. lewandowski about his efforts to obstruct justice. >> it also means they can read -- >> i have a parliamentary
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inquiry. >> the motion is not debatable. as many as are in favor -- >> i have a motion. >> mr. sisilini -- >> as many as are in favor in motion of adjourn say aye. >> aye. >> opposed, no. >> in the opinion of the chair, the nos have it. >> roll call is requested. the question is on the motion to adjourn. the clerk will call the roll. [ roll call ] [ roll call ]
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[ roll call ] [ roll call ]
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[ roll call ] >> mr. chairman there are 12 ayes and 19 noes. >> the motion to adjourn is notnota adopted.
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the committee will come to order. we'll reconvene. when we left we were about to have the gentle lady from
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pennsylvania. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. lewandowski, america learned today that no one else would do what the president asked of you. not mcgahn, not sessions, not dearborn and to the president's disappointment, not even you, yet it was very important that you maintain a good relationship with the president because after you left trump campaign in december of 2016 you co-founded avenue strategies, isn't that right? >> yes, it is. >> i'm reading from their website, avenue strategies describes itself as having, quote, a core focus government affairs, public affair, strategic consulting, public relations and crisis management to engage policymakers in our clients' behalf. that's what avenue's website said, am i right? >> i don't know. i haven't worked there in two years. >> but that was the pitch when you did work there? >> yeah, i couldn't speak to that. >> you were pitching clients on your ability to engage policymakers. that means government access was
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important to you, yes or no? >> no. >> okay. you couldn't engage policymakers without having access. and you did have access to the president. you acknowledged and in fact, i would say you boasted you were very close to the president. isn't that so? >> i think it's a fair assessment i'm close to the president, yes, congressman. >> you visited him many times in the oval office and called him on the phone and you had access others didn't. it was important to you, wasn't it? >> what was important to me? speaking to the president? >> your access. >> no. >> you did use that access to pitch clients in december of '16 you co-founded avenue strategies and in december 17th of that same year you took a business trip to mexico to meet with mexican billionaire carlos slim, is that right? >> it is. >> politico reported you traveled to mexico on a business trip with slim.
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when you met with slim you pitched consulting services with him, is that right? >> no, that's fake news. >> you met with slim, and you didn't pitch your brand-new endeavor and your new enterprise. did you tell him you can get a meeting with then president-elect trump? >> i don't recall. no. >> i'm showing you a slide. isn't it a fact that on three days later trump tweeted a presidential statement, and quote, yes, it's true. carlos slim, the great businessman from mexico called me about getting together for a meeting. we met, all caps, he's a great guy, exclamation point. slim did meet with president-elect trump a few days later, isn't that right? >> i'm not certain. >> this is all coincidence, i suppose. >> in fact his spokesperson explained that slim's, quote, sitdown at trump mar-a-lago resort came days after lewandowski had traveled to mexico on a business development trip and met with slim. you also proposed to do work for a payday lender, community
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choice financial, isn't that correct? >> i think the previous company i was working with did that work. >> and you met or had some engagement with that client, is that correct? >> i'm not sure. >> i'll try to refresh your recollection. a source from that meeting said you pledged that you, quote, would get trump to fire that company's arch nemesis, the consumer financial protection bureauhead richard cadre. i think you will see the slide reveals that if they hired you and your firm avenue. is that source accurate? >> no. >> they're lying too? >> that's called fake news, congresswoman. i'm sure you've never been misquoted. >> isn't it true, mr. lewandowski that a few months later in a live "meet the press" interview you called for president trump to oust cfpb director to oust william cadre? >> it's my recommendation to the
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president of the united states to fire richard cordre. another situation where you are pitching what your client wantious to pitch. >> how is this relevant to the hearing? >> i'll ask the questions. >> okay. >> mr. lewandowski, you met with representatives from facebook and blackstone to pitch them on avenue services as well, am i correct? >> i don't recall that. >> you don't recall that? >> do you recall actually saying that you had access to the president's twitter account? >> those words never came out of my mouth, congresswoman. >> did you ever claim to have access? >> not to the best of my knowledge. >> did you ever have access to the president's twitter account. >> i don't recall. >> you don't recall if you had access to the president's twitter account. >> i don't believe i've ever had access to his twitter account. >> okay. i have just a few seconds left. mr. lewandowski, your role as
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the president's enforcer has evaporated. you can protect him no long or this 223rd constitution day we could not be in a more important place in this judiciary committee proving to the american people that their constitution, our constitution is stronger than a president in search of corruption and cover-up. i yield back. >> the gentle lady yields back. the gentle lady from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. lieu ewandowski my colleagu have gone through the president trying to obstruct through his conduct and then tried to cover it up. that conduct extended to preventing witnesses from coming to talk to this committee without lawful basis for doing so. let me be very clear we are right now in the united states of america and we have a president who is obstructing our congressional investigation into his misconduct, and we know why he's doing this. the president wants to prevent witnesses from testifying to congress and the american people
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because he wants to hide his misconduct. we've heard the name rick dearborn a lot today. the former deputy chief of staff -- >> the gentle lady will suspend. >> the gentleman will state his point of order. >> i would just ask, is the gentle lady accusing the president of a crime? >> i can -- >> she can reword, i'll be happy to withdraw. >> i'm not accusing anyone of anything. can i continue? >> not if you are continuing with the question saying that it's a crime. >> mr. collins, this is not a reality tv show. this is a serious judiciary committee hearing. >> it's a serious question. >> we are trying to investigate misconduct by the president. may i continue, mr. chairman? >> the gentle lady may continue. >> thank you. on august 26th, the committee served a subpoena on rick dearborn to appear here today. you gave him the message
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dictated by the president, we went over that message today it a ask the attorney general not to investigate, and it was during the campaign. in that meeting dearborn coordinated meetings for president trump and the trump campaign, meetings that were organized by russian organizations. dearborn himself communicated with russian officials, but once again, the president is trying to prevent us from learning the truth about his conduct. let's be honest here. mr. dearborn is not here today because the president is afraid of what he would tell us and the american people. the president directed him not to appear based on a fake claim of absolute immunity. even though we can't hear from this important witness about the president's potential be on jukz of justice and i would share some of the subjects i would
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have asked if he were here today. >> mr. lewandowski, we heard the prfs was directing's general, correct? >> can you remind me of what page that's in the mueller report. >> volume 2, right in the middle of the page. >> thank you. >> right under .2. following his june meeting with the president -- >> i believe that's accurate. yes, ma'am. >> thank you. and you gave dearborn that message and asked him to deliver it? >> i believe that's accurate, yes. >> thank you. well, what we know is that dearborn did not deliver your secret message. in fact, he told a special counsel, quote, and you can see it on the screen. being asked to
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fact, deerborne as an actual government employee was familiar with the president trump presidential records act. he knew that any official business must be documented, but he did not keep the notes. the president doesn't want us to know why dearborn didn't even want to keep that message. dearborn knew the white house policy that any messages to the attorney general were supposed to go through the white house counsel. the president doesn't want us to ask dearborn why it was so wrong for the president to call in his
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private enforcer instead of the white house counsel. so again, let's make something very clear here today. the presidents of the united states cannot ignore congressional subpoenas. richard nixon knew this and he had articles of impeachment of doing exactly that. no president can be allowed to violate his or her constitutional duties nor can any president be allowed to obstruct a congressional investigation or hide crimes. we will not sit back and let this president to continue to obstruct justice any longer. let me remind everyone that in this count reno one is above the law. thank you. i yield back my time. >> i still wanted to take down her words. >> which words? >> no longer allow the president to obstruct justice. she cannot do that.
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>> will rule that she can do that. the gentleman -- we will suspend for a moment. in the interest of time i
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will ask the gentle lady if she will withdraw that characterization? >> it is -- [ inaudible ] >> can i say no president can be allowed to obstruct? >> you certainly can. >> and we won't allow any president to continue to obstruct justice, is that okay? >> thank you, representative. >> you want to say that? let's say that. >> does she have any time left? >> the gentle lady's time has expired. >> today's hearing and those we've held previously have had serious obstruction of justice and the president didn't attempt to obstruct the special counsel's investigation and he's obstructing our investigation
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into his conduct. the president has instructed a number of witnesses to ignore our subpoenas in order to hide his wrongdoing from the american people. one of those people is rob porter, the former white house staff secretary who was served with a subpoena by this committee on august 26th and rob poert was prominently featured in the special counsel robert mueller's report with a detailed description to obstruct justice and directing then white house counsel don mcgahn to fire the special counsel and then ordering him to lie about it. the committee has many questions for mr. porter, but the president doesn't want us asking those questions. so the president directed mr. porter not to appear based on a bogus claim on absolute immunity. a pattern by that their president to cover up his obstruction efforts. let me be clear. mr. dearborn is not here today either for the same reason.
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the president's fear of what we and the american people could learn from their testimony, but their absence won't stop our oversight and i will still go through items i would have covered from mr. porter. in 2018 "the new york times" reported and it's up on the slide, quote, the president had ordered mcgahn to have the department of justice fire the special counsel. after the news broke the president went on tv and denied the story, but this is all public. following the article, the president pressured mcgahn to put out a statement denying that he'd been asked to fire the special counsel and mcgahn refused. mcgahn's attorney told the president's attorney that, quote, the times story was accurate in reporting that the president wanted the special counsel removed. the president didn't drop the issue. he then used rob port toer to convince mcgahn to have a false denial. the article was quote, bullshit,
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this he never tried to terminate the special counsel that mcgahn leaked to the media to make himself look good. we know from the special counsel's report that what the president told porter was not true. in fact, the report proves that the president did ask mcgahn to fire the special counsel over and over again and mcgahn refused. that's pretty bad, but it gets worse. according to the special counsel's report, quote, the president then directed porter to tell mcgahn to create a record to make clear that the president never directed mcgahn to fire the special counsel. to be clear, the president asked porter to tell mcgahn to create a false record to hide the president's conduct. the president was so desperate to hide his misconduct that he even told porter to threaten mcgahn if he did not create the
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written denial. in fact, the president said, quote, if he doesn't write a letter then maybe i'll have to get rid of them. porter delivered that threat, but mcgahn stood firm and refused to assist the president's misconduct. this should ring a bell. it's like the threat the president asked you, mr. lewandowski to deliver to jeff sessions. now, the president is attempting to bully his witnesses and directed you, mr. lewandowski not to answer our questions under our subpoena. we will not let this cover-up stand. that is why we are pursuing this impeachment investigation. obstruction of congress ignoring congressional subpoenas is a serious offense. nixon learned this, the third article of impeachment against nixon explained that he was, quote, violating his constitutional duty by blocking evidence under duly authorized
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subpoenas issued by this committee. today, the president is doing just that. willfully, disobeying subpoenas in order to cover up his conduct. i will now yield the remainder of my time to our chairman. >> thank you, mr. lewandowski, your behavior in this hearing room has been being completely unacceptable. it is part of a pattern by a white house desperate not to reveal the truth. i will ask the committee if they will hold you in contempt and that is certainly under consideration and there is a far more troubling display of contempt and that's president trump's role in your refusal to answer questions and the mueller report has not stopped. the you've shown the public that the trump administration will do anything and everything in its power to obstruct the work of the congress. the president's lawyers are sitting behind you right now to make sure that you do not answer us. well, this committee is focused on the evidence of potential corruption, obstruction and abuse of power and exposing that
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misconduct is our top priority. make no mistake, we will hold president trump accountable. >> mr. chairman d you have that speech before the hearing went downhill? >> it is not a proper inquiry and the answer is no. >> pursuant to the resolution to the investigative procedures adopted by last week, rather, and pursuant to notice we will proceed to staff questioning. >> mr. chairman -- >> the majority has designated barry burke. >> mr. chairman -- >> j2 jc. this gentleman is a private consultant. >> i can't understand you, i'm sorry. >> this gentleman is a private consultant whose very consultant contract states that he's not an employee of this committee.
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congressional handbook faces, contracts to work for standing committees are explicitly not employees of the committee and will not even approve a contract that will be performing regular duties of committee staff. any attempt to suggest that anyone can be an employee of the committee and not an employee of the staff defies the logic. the private sector consultants, constitutes an egregious violation of house rules under any circumstances. under the circumstances of the current so-called imetch poohment inquiry, it would constitute a privatization of impeachment. i have the employment contract here of the gentleman, mr. barry burke and also have the letter in which you are asking a question, and i also have the staff role, which he is not a staff, and he's a consultant. i have no problem because you have run through and bullied through a staff questioning.
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you have fine staff if your staff requests questions i will withdraw the point of order and neither one is allowed to ask questions under this rule and miss lofgren's committee is here and we do have the committee staff who agrees with this interpretation. >> am prepared to rule on the point of order. for the purposes of staff questioning under the resolution of 2019, there is no distinction between staff and consult apartments. first, the chair qualifies for staff for the purposes of the resolution and they function as staff rule, intents and purposes and they are paid at the budget and subject to all of the same ethical and legal responsibilities as any other house employee. >> second, it is consistent with prior commit practice. committee consultants have been with witnesses and other proceedings and they've assisted with significant investigations including impeachment
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investigations. for example, david shipper, the consultant to the majority and abby lowell to the minority during the clinton impeachment investigation. committee consultants have questioned without objection from members. in fact, just last congress, the republican majority of this committee hired consultants to assist with their investigation and to former secretary of state clinton's e-mails and they regularly asked questions during transcribed interviews and other matters connected to that investigation. it is to assist the oversight and investigative functions which is the purpose of today's hearing. accordingly, i overruled the point of order. >> mr. chairman. let's continue this for a second because this is the important part. >> do you wish to appeal the ruling of the chair? >> mr. chairman. >> i'm sorry. you can be heard on the point of order. >> you're going down an
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interesting road. woo are not in an impeachment inquiry. we're not. you may want it to be and you may think it is and if you want to bring it to the floor they'll clear it for us for an impeach inquiry. >> you cannot make it up on the fly and the chairwoman of the administration committee is here and we've talked to our committee staff on that part and they would not ever agree that a contract employee is a staff member. the folks that you just named were after an impeachment inquiry was formed. they were hired for that specific purpose if you want to continue this, this is a violation of the house rules and this is a privileged situation for the house rules and we've already had today the problematic issue of overstepping time, but this one, mr. chairman is one that cannot go forward. this is one that you have great staff members and they fit every definition and no contract approved by the committee including the chairman who is on this committee can actually contract services to be provided
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by a consultant that are regular, normal business of a committee staff. this is regular, normal committee oversight if you want to have it. however you dress it up, it doesn't matter. this is not anything different and to continue down this path puts your entire line already in question by millions of people and especially with this house put us in jeopardy because if it's win at all costs mrshgs chairman, then we have a problem. if it's win at all costs we have a problem. >> mr. chairman, i have a question for the chair. >> the questions are not in order. we are discussing a point of order. >> i have a question on the point of order. >> then you're recognized. >> if they're staff why were they called consultants in their employment contract? >> it's not -- it is not a point of order. >> mr. chairman, let me ask about this. did the -- did the rule change last week, one week ago today that we voted on, that you voted for and we voted against, did it
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mention the word consultants in what was adopted by the committee. >> i can't hear what he's saying. you're talking. >> i can't hear what mr. jordan is saying because he is talking, too. >> the resolution that the majority adopted last week, was the word consultant mentioned in there when it came relative to the ability of staff to ask questions? >> it was not. >> it was not. so let me get this straight. you changed the rules last week and this week you're not going to follow the rules we changed. >> all right. >> mr. chairman, i am going to rule on the point of order. >> i'd like to speak toward the point of order. >> it is not in order to have a debate on the point of order. the gentleman made his point of order. >> they're not an employee of the committee, mr. chairman. >> you've made that point. that's your point of order. i am prepared to rule on it. >> may i be heard on the point of personal privilege. >> gentle lady. >> since my name has been
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invoked i am the director on the administration and he has not been solicited. >> okay. >> because at this point -- >> i yield back. >> the issue here -- it was stated already by you. you don't have to repeat it. >> be careful going down this road. >> be careful, mr. chairman. >> i'm being very careful. >> we are in an impeachment investigation and that is whether or not we are is not relevant to this question so we're not going debate. >> yes, it is. it is not relevant to that question. >> it is an inquiry. which is it? >> that is not relevant to this question. the committee retention of consultants is consistent with prior committee practice and consultants, and witnesses add hearings and not only in impeachment hearings. this is consistent with past practice. i so rule and i overrule the
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point of order. mr. chairman, the point of order is overruled. unless someone wants to ask for a vote on the point of order. do you wish to vote -- >> no, i want to talk. i want to ask you a question here. >> no. >> regular order, mr. chairman. >> the point offed onner and you were recognized for the purpose -- you raised it, and i voted on it. do you wish to appeal the vote of the chair? >> i move to table the appeal. >> the ruling of the chair -- this is a sad day for this committee. >> the ruling of the chair is appealed. the gentle lady moves to table the appeal of the ruling of the chair. the eshg clerk will call the ro.
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>> the clerk will call the roll on the question of approving the motion to table the approval of the ruling of the chair. [ roll call ] [ roll call ] [ roll call ]
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[ roll call ] [ roll call ]
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[ roll call ] [ roll call pren [ . >> [ roll call ]
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>> the clerk will report -- no, no. wait. wait. >> we're still waiting for someone. mr. chairman? mr. chairman? >> we're in the middle of a -- >> you haven't called the roll? okay. >> the gentleman from arizona. i mean -- has the gentleman from arizona been recorded? >> mr. stanton, you voted aye. [ inaudible ]
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>> the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman there are 19 ayes and eight nos. >> the motion -- the point of order -- the motion to table the appeal of the ruling of the chair is agreed to. the majority has designated barry burk to appoint the questioning -- >> mr. chair, i have a parliamentary inquiry. >> i have one, too. >> the gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, you mentioned earlier that there were consultants used to question witnesses. as a parliamentary inquiry -- >> that's not a parliamentary inquiry. >> the gentleman is correct, that is not a parliamentary inquiry. >> mr. jordan? >> mr. chairman, was today's witness, mr. lewandowski, when he was subpoenaed, was he notified that the consultant
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would be questioning him? >> that is not a parliamentary inquiry -- >> it is a procedural question. >> mr. burke is questioned for 30 minutes. >> mr. chairman. i motion to adjourn. >> the motion to adjourn is not debatable and the clerk will call the role. >> mr. nadler? >> no -- mr. nadler votes no. [ roll call ] [ roll call ]
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[ roll call ] [ roll call ] >> motion to adjourn. >> mr. collins votes aye. [ roll call ]
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mr. johnson of louisiana. >> yes. >> mr. johnson of louisiana votes yes. mister mcclintock. mister mcclintock votes aye. mr. klein. >> aye. >> mister armstrong. mister armstrong votes yes. mr. stuebe. mr. gates, you are not recorded.
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mr. gates votes aye. >> the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, there are eight aye's and 20 nose. >> the motion to adjourn is not a grade 2. >> point of parliamentary inquiry. >> who has a point of parliamentary inquiry? the gentleman will state his point of parliamentary inquiry. >> thank you, mister chairman. this relates to the rule we changed last week where we mentioned staff conducting questioning and it has been expanded to include consultants today. my question is, did we contemplate the distinction
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between independent contractors, such as -- >> i couldn't hear you, what? >> did we contemplate individual contractors, vis-a-vis employees, which is what staff would be, being part of the distinction when that rule was changed last week? >> point of order mister chairman. >> mister chairman, the advice i received from the top staffers and the house administration committee was that staff is comprised of employees, interns, detail leaves, fellows, contractors, et cetera. staff and employee are not equivalent terms. and i yelled back. >> will you yield to a question? >> certainly. >> my question is, the indicate to me that they would not approve the services that are
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the regular and normal duties of staff. i was under the impression -- >> that is not pertinent to this proceeding. i would be happy after the meeting to go through it, but this was signed off by the committee itself. it met all of our requirements. >> the chairman has not stated a parliamentary inquiry. the time is mister burks. >> mister chairman, as you know i am counsel for mr. lewandowski -- >> you are not a witness and you should not be seated at that table. >> i understand that. i will leave after i register a protest based upon the debate that i heard. these seem to be unauthorized questions and i know you choose your words -- >> the gentleman -- >> -- it is my view -- >> point of order, mister chairman. we have a hearing to conduct. >> that is his legal counsel. >> point of order, i don't
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believe -- >> mr. lewandowski will answer all questions, if he has a legitimate privilege to assert, he may of course assert the legitimate privilege, other than that he is under subpoena. he will answer all questions. this is being done pursuant to the committee's rules and of his counsel doesn't like it, you don't interpret our rules, with all due respect. >> right. my point mister chairman, these are unauthorized questions. >> mister burke is recognized for 30 minutes. >> mr. lewandowski, did you ever become concerned that the president asked you to do something that could expose you to criminal liability? did you ever become concerned that the president of the united states had asked you to do something that could expose you to criminal liability? >> was i concerned that the president asked me to do something? not to the best of my
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knowledge. >> were you ever concerned that the president had asked you to do something that put you in harm's way? made you feel that you are in trouble? >> i think i have asked and answered that question. >> sir, i would like to show you a video of an interview you did on fox news on january 16, 2018. >> you take the fifth when you are in trouble. i didn't do anything and the campaign didn't do anything, so i have no reason to take the fifth. i am going to answer every question. >> you are answering that in regard to your appearance for the house intelligence committee. you said you take the fifth when you are in trouble, you didn't do anything, so you are going to testify. you didn't take the fifth before the committee in regards with questions about the campaign. were you concerned, sir, that you had done something regarding agreeing to deliver the president's message and therefore you could get in trouble based on what you agreed to do and attempted to
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do? >> i have no concerns. >> isn't it a fact, sir, that contrary to your testimony that you voluntarily appeared before the special counsel, when you were called before the special counsel you asserted your rights before the fifth amendment not to self incriminate. is that true? >> not to my recollection. is that in the report, sir? >> is nature that you refuse to testify without immunity? >> if you will show me that in the report i would be happy to answer it. >> is it your testimony under oath that you never received immunity prior to answering questions before the special counsel? >> that is a question for special counsel moeller and i won't be answering the mechanics of the investigation. >> my question to you is did you refuse to answer the special counsel's questions without getting a grant of immunity, protecting you from having your words used against you in a criminal prosecution? >> i have asked and answered
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your questions. >> are you denying that you have asserted your right to self incriminate unless the special counsel give you immunity? >> i have answered your question, sir. >> you agree with your statement that you would assert the fifth amendment if you believed you were in trouble, to quote your words to fox news? >> i don't think i was under any obligation when speaking with fox news to not engage in hyperbole if i so chose. i had been very forthright today. >> is it still your testimony sir that you made under oath earlier, that you appeared voluntarily before the special counsel and not under a grant of immunity? >> to the best of my recollection, i appeared before the special counsel voluntarily. >> did you receive immunity, sir? >> as director moeller stated,
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he said, and i quote, i am not going to answer that. if you want to direct that question, it is on page 77 of the report. >> did you receive immunity, sir? >> i've asked and answered your question. >> let me ask you, have you ever been untruthful about being asked questions by the special counsel? >> i've already testified to the best of my ability. >> let me show you another clip from march 25, 2018, meet the press. >> have you met with special counsel robert mueller, i know you've testified before the house, what about the special counsel? >> look, i have said very candidly i would be happy to speak with the special counsel if they would like to do that. i volunteered to testify for 12 hours in front of the house committee. i testified in front of the senate committee and i will make myself available, because i was there at the very beginning -- >> have they asked you yet? >> not yet, no they haven't yet.
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>> sir, was that truthful what you said on national television on march 25, 2018, that the special counsel had not asked to speak to you at that date? >> i don't know if they asked to speak to me at that date. >> you know your interview was on april 6, 2018. >> is that accurate? is that the date of the interview? >> yes. >> if that's what the report says, i will take it to be accurate. >> you have made statements denying giving answers to the special counsel when you actually had. you were untrue about that, weren't you sir? >> are you talking about the media or a jurisdiction where i have been sworn to testify? >> i'm talking about my public statements day >> i'm sorry, no one in congress has ever lied to the public before day >> is that an admission that you did lie? >> absolutely not. >> so you deny that you ever lied in public statements -- >> what i am saying is, when under oath, i've always told the truth, whether it is before
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special counsel, whether it is before the house intelligence committee on two separate occasions or before the senate intelligence committee. every time i raised my right hand of god, i've sworn and told the truth. >> that's not my question to you. my question is, on national television did you lie about your relationship with the special counsel and whether they sought your interview? >> i don't know. >> and did you lie because you are afraid the world would find out you could be exposed to criminal liability and would only address certain issues with a grant of immunity protecting your words from being used against you in a criminal prosecution? >> i will go back to what mister moeller stated. he will not answer the questions. i won't let you use me as a backdoor into his methods. if you want to question director moeller, you have the opportunity to do so, but clearly you didn't. so take them back here, bring them before the committee and ask those questions. those questions are not for me.
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>> let me ask you this, prior to the mueller report being redacted days did you ever misrepresent what you did on behalf of the president? >> i can't think of in incidents where that may have occurred. >> let me show you an interview you did on may 14, 2019. excuse me, from february 22, 2008 team. let me show it to you. excuse me, may 14, 2019. >> i don't remember the president ever asking me to get involved with jeff sessions or the department of justice in any way, shape, or form, ever. >> did you hear that, sir? that was you saying on msnbc that you don't ever remember the president asking you and to get involved with jeff sessions or the department of justice in any way, shape or form. that wasn't true, was it sir?
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>> i heard that. >> and that wasn't true, was it sir? >> i have no obligation to be dishonest to the media because they are as dishonest as anybody else. >> so you are admitting, sir, that you weren't being truthful, correct? >> my interview? you can interpret it anyway you like. >> would you like me to play it again? >> you're welcome to, please. >> i don't ever recall the president asking me to get involved with jeff sessions or the department of justice in any way, shape or form ever. >> and it is true in may 2019 you absolutely remembered when the president asked you to deliver a message to the attorney general for a speech intended to give for the special counsel investigation, is not correct? >> i would have to think about it. >> are you saying, sir, you may
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have forgotten it before you are interviewed, just before the report was publicly released? >> i'm saying my memory was much fresher when i give the testimony -- >> so when you said you did not remember the president ever asking you to get involved with jeff sessions or the department of justice, you were saying, you were being truthful? sir i don't believe there is any reason to consult with your counsel. the question is, are you a truth teller in that interview? >> i'm a truth teller anytime i stand before congress or a committee of jurisdiction and raise my hand and swear under oath. >> my questions are is when you said the president never asked you days >> i have no obligation to candid conversation with the media, just like they have no obligation to cover me honestly and they do it all the time. >> you are admitting on national television you are lying? >> i have been inaccurate on many occasions and many i was in
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inaccurate that time. >> you are under oath and the reason why you didn't admit that the president had asked you to deliver a message to the attorney general about investigations was because you knew it was wrong and you are concerned about your own exposure and he didn't have immunity in that interview. isn't that correct? >> which interview? >> the one we just watched three lied about the president asking you to deliver a message. >> i didn't know i could get immunity from a media outlet. >> i want to clarify, that interview was february 22, 2019, just to be clear. sir, let me ask you a question. >> what was the inaccuracy earlier, because i miss that? >> did you say that because you wanted to protect the president? >> not to my recollection. >> sir, did you deny it because you wanted to protect yourself? >> not to the best of my recollection, mr. berke. >> why did you lie on national television about the president giving you a message about the
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special counsel investigation? >> i don't remember that particular day and my mind at the time, so i couldn't answer that. >> could you offer any reason why you would lie on national tv other than protecting yourself and the president? >> i know earlier the chairman asked pretzel witnesses not to guess, so i will not guess unless the chairman is changed his mind. >> you determined you would be criminal exposed -- >> i didn't say that. i said if you would like me to take a guess, which the chairman asked previous witnesses he didn't want guessing. if we are changing the rules again, will be happy to take a guess with the caveat that i don't remember that interview. i don't remember the particular day and what was transpiring in my life. with that said, i don't recall it. >> sir, let me ask you about your earlier testimony, a few minutes ago that your truthful when you take an oath, as you did earlier today before this committee. i would like to pull up a slide
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you are asked about earlier today. this was the actual statement you made to the special counsel that you said was accurate. that is a direct quote from the report on page 92 and it says lewandowski did not want to meet at the department of justice because he did not want a public log of his visit. you are asked about that. you deny you told the special counsel you did not want a public log of your visit with the attorney general? >> i believe i've answered that question, but i don't deny that is an accurate representation of what i told the special counsel. >> and is it an accurate representation of what you said before that i did not follow that you did not want a public log of your visit because you wanted a casual dinner with the special counsel and that is why he didn't want there to be a record, is that your testimony today sir? >> i had no intention of having dinner with the special counsel.
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>> i'm sorry, with the attorney general. >> could you restate the question. >> the reason you didn't want the log is because you wanted to have a casual dinner with the attorney general, is that accurate? >> that seems to be accurate. >> it has nothing to do with why you wouldn't want a public log of your visit, does it? >> it does. >> when in fact you didn't want to public log, because you knew what you're doing was wrong. just as the president went to a nonofficial government employee, you wanted to make sure there wasn't a record of it. is not right? >> no. >> you agree a log creates a record? >> yes. >> and you agree you didn't want a record of your visit and that is why you didn't go to the department of justice, because you didn't want to public log, correct? >> i've never been to the department of justice. i didn't want to find out what happens at the department of justice based on what's happened whether people involved at the department of justice, to be honest with you. >> my question is you didn't want to go because you didn't
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want a public log of the visit? >> are you asking the same question i just answered? i've testified that's what's in the mueller report about a public log is the best of my recollection. >> it is because you didn't want a public record of it, correct? >> i believe i said my quote is did not want to meet at the department of justice because he did not want a public log. that is a quote that someone in the special counsel's team clearly referenced is something i said, though i don't think i would've spoken about myself in the third party. >> you also said you didn't want the attorney general to have an advantage over you, correct? >> i think that is also an accurate representation, but i would have to be made aware of where that is again. >> on page 92, right in front of you. i ask you again, if you didn't think you were doing anything wrong and you are being brought in to pressure and bully the attorney general, why did you not want him to have an advantage over you? >> jeff and i were friends and had been friends and seeing him
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in a social environment where we could sit down and have a meal, at his house, my house or a washington dc restaurant to have a conversation was something i thought was better than for the both of us. >> you didn't want him to have an advantage over you, because you are trying to assert leverage as the president wanted you to give a message about the special counsel's investigation. >> no, mr. berke. >> sir, let me show you another statement you made in a fox news interview on april 19, 2019. >> yeah, i never delivered any document to jeff sessions. i never had an in-depth conversation with senator sessions or attorney general jeff sessions. i spoke with him on dozens of occasions, but never did i ask him to interfere with the mueller investigation. never did i ask him to do anything other than what was
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completely legal, which was to continue to do his job. >> sir, that was april 19, the day after the redacted mueller report came out on april 18. sir, you said you never delivered a message to jeff sessions. that's what you said, right? you are asked to deliver that message, is not correct sir? >> i believe that's accurate. as comprised in the report, yes. but the meeting never transpired. >> and you said you never did anything other than what was completely legal and you said that because you knew if you delivered the message that told the attorney general to instruct the special counsel to limit the investigation to exclude the president, that would not be legal. is not correct, sir? >> mr. berke, i didn't have the privilege of going to harvard law school and i'm not an attorney. what i know is i didn't think at the time the president asked me to deliver a message, i didn't think there was
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anything illegal about it. i didn't have the privilege to go to harvard law, so if you're telling you that is your opinion, that is your opinion, but i never assume so, haven't thought about it -- >> you did think about it. >> what else have i thought about, mr. berke? >> point of order, mister chairman. the witness doesn't get to ask questions. you have to answer them. >> let me ask you, sir. you are asked about why you didn't deliver the message. you said you went on vacation for two weeks. over a month after the president delivered the message for you to deliver to jeff sessions, you didn't deliver it, because you met a month later on july 17. is that correct? >> i believe that's what the report says. >> so you can back from vacation for two weeks and even went to washington to meet with the president. why didn't you deliver the message the president asked you to deliver unless you didn't deliver it because you knew it was improper to deliver? >> mr. berke, it wasn't a priority. >> for who? >> for me.
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>> it was a priority for the president, is not right? >> you would have to ask the president. >> didn't he tell you it was a priority. didn't he ask you and your second meeting, did you deliver the message to the attorney general? >> i can't answer any questions not in the mueller report. >> sir, let me ask you a question, you remember the president asking you that? >> can you reference the page number? >> you remember testifying earlier that the president said if mister prez sessions will not meet with you, you should tell him he is fired, correct? >> if there is a reference to the report, it has been a long day -- >> you recall testifying to that earlier today? >> it's been a long day. i believe to the best of my knowledge that that's what i said -- >> let me ask you, if it wasn't a priority to deliver the message, why did you enlist mr. dearborn to deliver the message? >> again, i can't speak to a
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private conversation i would've had. >> i'm not asking private conversations, the fact you did it is disclosed in the report. i'm asking why did you do it? >> i knew mister mr. dearborn. can i answer now? >> please. >> i knew him since his tenure as chief of staff for mister sessions. he was my primary point of contact during the term campaign and i knew that mr. dearborn had continued like i did have a long-standing relationship with jeff and if i wasn't going to be seeing jeff, i figured rick would be able to deliver that message. >> sir, did you try to see mister sessions again? did you call and see if he would meet with you this time? >> not after -- >> please answer the question. >> not best of my recollection. >> and the reason you didn't call them, so when you said you are friendly with, was because you knew what he asked you to do is wrong and you didn't want
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to get in trouble. that's why you didn't do it? >> mr. berke, i have asked and answered that question. i'm not a lawyer, but i didn't think he was asking me to do something unlawful at the time and i don't think that is the case now. >> sir, didn't mr. dearborn tell you he had handled the situation and delivered the message? >> i don't recall that conversation, but it's possible. >> let me show you what mr. dearborn told the special counsel. he told you he handled the situation, but he had not actually followed through. you recall that, sir? >> i don't know if i recall that. >> let me ask you why the president thought you might be prepared to deliver a message that everyone in his administration that he asked refused to deliver. am i correct that a few weeks before you met with the president in june, 2017, you had a conversation with senior staff about joining the administration in a very senior role? >> i'm sorry, the question was which timeframe? >> a few weeks before he met
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with the president the first time in june, 2017, and he asked you to deliver a message to the attorney general. >> and the question is what sir? >> did you have discussions with the senior staff about joining the administration and a senior role? >> i can't speak to conversations i may or may not have had with senior staff members of the administration to preserve the privilege they've invoked. >> so it such a sacred privilege you would not disclose private medications, because that would be wrong. is that your testimony? >> no, i testimony as the white house directed me not to disclose conversations with the president or his advisors. i'm respecting the decision of the white house. >> sir, did you publish a book in which you disclosed these very conversations? >> which book are you referencing? i've written two new york times bestsellers. >> i'm talking about let trump
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be trump. >> point of order, mister chairman. i request that the chair order the witness to answer the question. >> i did answer, i wrote the book, let trump be trump, available at fine bookstores everywhere. >> let me ask you about things you wrote in your book. you recall you met at the white house, right? late in the day 2017, do you recall that? >> i do recall meeting van with mister trump in the oval office, in late may of 2017, yes. >> let me show you, sir. here is what you wrote. just after his first trip abroad as president, correct? >> i don't know his travel schedule as well as you do, but it is possible. >> let me show you what you wrote. multiple times during his trip abroad and the plane ride home, the boss talked about bringing us into restore order to the west wing. is that what you wrote, sir?
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>> i mean, it looks like i wrote it. >> and you recall sir, before he met with the president, his chief of staff, and his senior advisor steve bannon, described what kind of role you are being considered for, do you recall that sir? >> i can't describe public conversations. >> i know you can't discuss it, but you can write about it. >> you should buy the book, it is very good. >> let's look at it. >> so you wrote, the plans that were shared with you will oversee political operations, presidential appointments and campaign handling of russian meddling in the 2016 election. you would be on the same level as jared, a senior advisor. is that true that they were talking about you in late may joining that position and playing that role? >> the book is accurate. >> if you keep going on, you met with the president and the president said he didn't want
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to do it, right now, meaning when you met with them, because if the place isn't better in the next four or five weeks, i am firing everyone. is that correct? >> again, i believe the book is accurate. >> and you thought this was a great opportunity like you wrote, like a little kid getting to play in the world series, correct? is that what you wrote? >> yes, having the opportunity to be in the white house -- yeah, it is an amazing opportunity. >> and sir, you know for donald trump, as you wrote next, loyalty is the currency of the realm and nothing hurts him deeper than when someone he trusts is disloyal. is that correct? >> i believe that is in the book. >> so when he asked you, a few weeks after this meeting, to deliver this message, as a nongovernment employee to the attorney general, you knew that you are being considered for a senior position on the same level as jared kushner and you also knew how the president
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values loyalty. is not correct? >> no sir. >> you deny that those conversations happened that you just talked about? >> no sir. >> and i was weeks before he met with the president, correct sir? >> i met in late may, as the book detailed accurately. but you also read the rest of the paragraph, which said we don't want you to come in at this time, because of it doesn't work out, i am going to fire everybody. >> he said now, because he was dangling the position at the most senior level for you, is not correct? >> that's a question for the president of the united states, sir. >> and he would know that he dangled it, therefore you would do his bidding to deliver a secret message to the attorney general that everyone he asked to do it wouldn't do, correct? >> no, sir. >> let me ask you about this role you are going to have. we can show you another quote you wrote about how this would be described.
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part of the duties, if we can go to the next slide, it's that priebus said you would come in and run the russia investigation. is it true you are being told you are being considered to come in to run the investigation of russia's influence in the 2016 presidential campaign, just weeks before you were asked to tell the attorney general to limit the special counsel's investigation to future elections? is that true that you are asked to come in, that you are being considered to run the russia investigation? is that a true fact? >> it's true that that is what mr. priebus wanted, yes. >> was it your understanding that he would bring in his former campaign manager to run the investigation of whether russia influenced the campaign and did something improper with the campaign, is that what your understanding was, sir? >> it's a question of mr. priebus's understanding. >> what i want to know is when
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he asked you to deliver the message to tell the special counsel not to investigate the 2016 campaign, that you, sir, were under consideration yourself to be brought in by the president to run the very investigation of the 2016 campaign and russian interference that you had previously been involved in. is not correct? >> not to the best of my knowledge, no. >> it was not raised with you that you would be considered to run the russia investigation? >> that was mr. priebus's idea, not the president. >> and mister bannon, correct? >> i don't know, it was possible. >> and the president discussed with you how much he wanted you to join the administration as part of that meeting as he was on his way back, is not what you said? >> i didn't speak with him while he was overseas. >> on his way back, that's what you wrote. >> i don't believe i said i spoke with the president while he traveled overseas. >> did he raise you joining the administration before that
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meeting? >> i have spoken to the president and president-elect multiple times about opportunities, but i cannot convulse divulge those conversations. >> you artie did in your book. >> i stated it was mr. priebus's idea . >> you wrote that multiple times, the boss talked about bringing assent to restore order to the white house. didn't write that, sir? >> if that's what the book says, i don't have it in front of me. >> yes it does. >> okay, we would like to see that so i can verify it. >> we won't take the time, we saw the slide earlier. sir, let me ask you a question. the special counsel report found systematic interference by russians in the election, correct? >> i would like to restate i've never read the special counsel's report. >> you take the report lightly? you think it's not a serious
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matter what the special counsel did? >> you are putting words in my mouth, never have i stated that. >> you know you're mentioned 129 times, correct? >> is that accurate? >> do you know, 129 times? >> i don't know. >> you know last week you were appearing to sign autographs of the report and said you couldn't sign every page because were mentioned so much? >> it's a misrepresentation of something someone else said. >> did you go and sign copies of the report? >> i did, but i never read the report. >> you make light of the role and russia's attempt to interfere in the election? >> i'm outraged that your characterization of my statements. never have i said that, never have i called into question the validity of the mueller report or alluded to the fact that i wanted russia to interfere. my testimony has been completely the opposite, so for you to intimate that that is what my statement is about the
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mueller report, is grossly out of line. >> sir, let me show you something about the mueller report that you agreed to sign at an event. if we can go to the next slide, please. sir, so you asked, this is the findings. you don't have any reason to dispute the findings the mister sessions was recused and wasn't allowed to participate, do you? >> i have no idea what the findings of the report were, i have not read the report as i've testified to on dozens of occasions today. >> let me go to the next slide. the special counsel concluded that taken together the president's campaign, the purpose of the message was to have you tell the attorney general to move forward with investigating election meddling for future elections. you have any reason to dispute that from the report about the special counsel and your conduct? >> again, i've answered this question. asked and answered.
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>> i would ask you to answer it, sir. >> the gentleman will answer the question whether he answered before or not. >> have stated to the best of my knowledge, most of the information in the mueller report is accurate. >> the gentleman's time has expired. without objection, the minority will designate a staff member to conduct the questioning -- >> you are wide-ranging definition of staff, i am staff. >> you are not staff. >> yes i am. interns, people, i am staff. >> you're not staff, you are a member. just as we are not permitting any member in the majority under the five minute rule, i am not going to permit -- >> i won't interrupt. >> i won't permit half an hour beyond what minority members had. if you have a staff member, you will designate him or her. that is what the rules call for and if not, we will adjourn.
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>> i wish you designated a staff member, that would've been nice. >> we did. >> mister chairman, with cameras rolling you are going to deny a member of congress, the ranking member of this committee, his time. i know you have willing accomplices in the majority, that's fine. >> it's done. >> have we really come to this point, mister chairman? >> the gentleman will suspend. the rules of the committee provide for members of the house, members of the committee i should say, for members of the committee to question witnesses under the five minute rule. we've done that. the rules of the committee, as amended by the procedures adopted last week, permit the majority and minority each to designate a staff member to examine the witness for 30 minutes. if you wish to designate a
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staff member, you may do so. a member of the house is not a staff member. >> give me just a moment, i am thinking about my designation. >> we will stand in recess for one minute while the gentleman considers his appointment. >> mister chairman, i did not ask for recess. >> you wanted a minute. >> i did not, i am thinking as i talk to you, because i could make a guy walk across, my intern, and they are staff. you said in turn, they are not paid. this is amazing. i will take my minute and i may take three minutes to figure out -- >> just so everyone is clear, we are in a one minute recess. >> mister chairman, while we are in that recess i wonder if
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you'll indulge a question.
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>> the committee will reconvene. without objection, the minority will designate a staff member to conduct questioning during the allotted time. >> mister chairman, after deliberation and looking at this i cannot go along with this sham. we said all along, this is not an impeachment inquiry. this should not of happened to start with. i refuse to go along with the chairman's impeachment process,
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so we are not going to designate. we will continue to litigate this on other fronts -- >> very well. this completes the questioning of mr. lewandowski for today. we think our witness for participating. >> mister chairman, can you hear me? i just want to be clear, i want to be sure i understand the rules -- parliamentary inquiry. parliamentary inquiry. >> the gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry. >> correctly. >> say again? >> as duly elected members of this committee and members of the house of representatives, each of us is limited to five minutes. an unelected consultant is allotted 30 minutes in an open hearing, is this correct? >> the rules of the committee as amended by committee vote
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last week provide that members of the house, of the committee, rather, have five minutes apiece to question witnesses. the rules of the committee, as amended last week, also provide half an hour per witness for counsel, for staff, questioning of the witness. 30 minutes for the majority and 30 minutes for the minority, staff. those are the rules of the committee. >> so members of the house are now subordinate to consultants. >> that's not a parliamentary inquiry. this concludes the testimony of mr. lewandowski today. in light of his repeated assertions of privilege, i will take those matters under advisement and we will recess the hearing subject to the call of the chair until a later date. the meeting is recessed subject to the call of the chair. >> mister chairman, we will submit a letter to the chair with a couple areas of clarification, when the hearing is done.
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>> that will finish today's house judiciary committee meeting with former trump campaign manager corey lewandowski, looking into whether the president obstructed justice in the investigation of russian interference in 2016. we will show you more of that hearing now, beginning with opening statements. >> the committee on the judiciary will come toward her. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare recesses at any time. welcome to today's heari

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