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Lewandowski Spars With House Democrats in 'Obstruction' Hearing

House Judiciary
Corey Lewandowski of Windham, N.H., who served as President Trump's first campaign manager, is considering running for Senate in 2020.

Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has refused to answer most questions congressional Democrats put to him Tuesday about alleged obstruction of justice by the President.

Lewandowski sparred with the House Judiciary Committee chairman from the start of his testimony.

He says the White House asked him not to discuss any conversations he had with Trump in 2017. At issue is the Special Counsel reportthat Trump asked Lewandowski to tell then Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the FBI investigation.

Lewandowski says he was never asked to do anything illegal. He accused Democrats of "going down rabbit holes."

"And it's now clear that the investigation was populated by many Trump haters who had their own agenda: to take down a duly elected president of the United States. As for actual collusion or conspiracy, there was none."

Lewandowski, who lives in Windham, N.H., is considering running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2020.

"You are not on the campaign trail yet." — Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

The President, during his rally in Manchester last month, heaped praise on his first campaign manager. His second manager, Paul Manafort, is serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for federal bank fraud, tax and conspiracy charges.

If Lewandowski does run, he would join declared candidates Donald Bolduc, Bryant "Corky" Messner, and William O'Brien in a GOP primary. U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, is running for her third term in 2020.

Lewandowski's political future was noted several times during the committee hearing. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., asked him to focus on the issues being raised in the hearing. "You are not on the campaign trail, yet," Jeffries said.

Some exchanges from Tuesday's hearing:

  • Lewandowski clashed repeatedly with Democrats on the committee. In response to Rep. Eric Swalwall, D-Calif., he called the congressman "President Swalwell," mocking his brief run for the White House. 
  • Lewandowski, after being shown one clip of him on MSNBC, responded: "I have no obligation to be honest with the media."
  • He said he has not read the FBI Special Counsel report.
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee argued he was blocking the truth, which she said would "set him free," as well as Americans at large. He later countered, "Can you repeat the question? I didn't hear it -- it was just a rant."
  • "Since election day, whether it was bad actors at the FBI and the intelligence community, or lies coming from members of the current House Majority, that there was evidence of collusion, the American people continue to be sold a false narrative with the purpose of undermining the legitimacy of the 2016 election results."
Dan is a long-time New Hampshire journalist who has written for outlets including Foster's Daily Democrat, The Citizen of Laconia, The Boston Globe, and The Eagle-Tribune. He comes to NHPR from the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he reported on state, local, and national politics.

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