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Corey Lewandowski Testifies In Impeachment Hearing. Aired 2- 2:30p ET

Aired September 17, 2019 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:00:00]

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): Because your ideas are not really --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Point of order, Mr. Chairman. The time has expired.

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): I mean, if he wishes -- he doesn't wish.

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Good morning, Mr. Lewandowski. I'm giving -- 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 president thought what he was doing was legal, why didn't he just pick up the phone and call the 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 1186 is where you'll find that language.

Volume 2. Volume 2. When the President asked -- did you hear the question?

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER DONALD TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I'm sorry, can you repeat the question, Congresswoman?

JACKSON-LEE: Did this President ask 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: The White House has direct me not to disclose the substance of any conversations with the President and his advisers.

JACKSON-LEE: So you are not allowed to answer whether the President told you he called his counsel at home on Saturday to remove -- on Saturday -- to remove the Special Counsel and his counsel said no.

The President had also personally 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: Again, Congresswoman, I recognize that the privilege is not mine. But I've been asked by the White House -- Congresswoman, I'd be answer your question or you can just have the conversation by yourself.

But if you'd like to ask me a question, I'll be happy to continue.

JACKSON-LEE: No, I am going to continue the reason is because --

LEWANDOWSKI: Then don't me a question if you don't want to hear my answer.

JACKSON-LEE: I am reclaiming my time, this is the House Judiciary, not house party.

LEWANDOWSKI: So if you ask me a question, give me the opportunity to answer your question.

JACKSON-LEE: The very campaign the Special Counsel was investigating -- I'd like my time restored, please, of his interruption.

NADLER: The gentlelady controls the time.

JACKSON-LEE: 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's investigation. Here's a quote from the report from Volume 2, Pages 49-50, which is on the screen. You can read that.

Yes or no? Did the President tell you that the Attorney General was legally 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: What you've just read is on the screen, Congresswoman.

JACKSON-LEE: You need to look at the screen. Yes or no? Read the screen.

LEWANDOWSKI: You're welcome to read a Congresswoman.

JACKSON-LEE: You're welcome to be stalling and I'm not going stall. You either answer the question, yes or no?

LEWANDOWSKI: Congresswoman, I will take the same privileges that you've asked other members --

JACKSON-LEE: Did the President tell you -- did the President tell you that nobody at the White House was supposed to even contact the Attorney General about the investigation? That you can answer yes or no.

LEWANDOWSKI: I will not disclose any conversation I've had with the President, Congresswoman.

JACKSON-LEE: Again. 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, directive that Sessions should not be contacted about the Special Counsel's investigation. In fact, the White House counsel's internal note state, 'no contact with Sessions and no communication serious about instruction.'" Can you read that? I just said it. Can you read that? Did you hear me?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes. Is there a question?

JACKSON-LEE: Yes. Did the President tell you his White House counsel told him no contact with Sessions because of serious concerns of obstruction when he asked you to deliver a message to Sessions?

LEWANDOWSKI: I'm respecting the Executive Branch privilege of confidentiality. And I will recognize that this time.

[14:05:01]

JACKSON-LEE Let me just say that you knew -- that 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. It 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. So 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 knew it was wrong.

Well, we will expose the truth. The President can't hide behind you any longer. You should be here to be telling the truth, Mr. Lewandowski, because the truth will set you free and the American people. I yield back.

NADLER: The time of the gentlelady has expired. The witness may answer the question.

LEWANDOWSKI: I don't believe there was a question, Congressman. NADLER: Very well.

JACKSON-LEE: Yes, there was.

LEWANDOWSKI: Could you repeat the question, I didn't hear it.

JACKSON-LEE: I'd be happy to repeat the question.

LEWANDOWSKI: It was just a rant.

NADLER: You can't repeat the question.

JACKSON-LEE: I'll be inherent to repeat the question --

NADLER: The gentlelady's time has expired. The gentleman from --

JACKSON-LEE: Did you know the Attorney General recused --

NADLER: The gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Chabot is recognized.

REP. STEVE CHABOT (R-OH): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: It is.

CHABOT: And if you had to hire and retain counsel, to represent you for all the investigations that you've had to endure, simply because you served as the President's campaign manager?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, sir.

CHABOT: That's unfortunate because you didn't solicit or receive assistance from the Russians, did you?

LEWANDOWSKI: No, sir.

CHABOT: Are you an agent working on behalf of the Russian government?

LEWANDOWSKI: No, sir.

CHABOT: As a close friend and adviser of the President, you don't believe that the President is working on behalf of the Russians, do you?

LEWANDOWSKI: Absolutely not.

CHABOT: And to your knowledge, there is no effort on the part of the President to intentionally obstruct justice, is there?

LEWANDOWSKI: No, sir.

CHABOT: 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 text and operating fake Facebook pages and holding fake rallies, all in an effort to try 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, sir.

CHABOT: 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

CHABOT: 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, it is.

CHABOT: I've said 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 Horowitz concerning the bias against the President at the origins of the Russian investigation.

We could be questioning Horowitz about his recent report, how then F.B.I. Director Comey mishandled department memos. This committee has such a rich history, it has 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 that they're in fear and come right into our country, and we put them on a bus or on a plane and are sent to communities all across the country. That's something this committee should be working in a bipartisan manner to do something about.

Opioids, we have 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 committee. A balanced budget amendment. It's something I've introduced in this Congress. We've got a $22 trillion debt hanging over our head.

[14:10:10]

CHABOT: Yet we do nothing in this committee about attempting to actually pass something that would make us balance the budget every year like all our states have to do.

So finally, I just want to thank you again, Mr. Lewandowski for appearing at today's hearing. Perhaps your testimony today will finally 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 foe impeachment.

The bottom line is they don't have the votes in the House to move forward -- or the House to vote for this committee to open up an impeachment inquiry. They don't have the votes. Some of the Democrats want to vote for it, some of the Democrats would vote against it, but they don't have the vote. So what they do is they spend valuable committee time that we could be spending on other important things on this fake foe impeachment.

And it's a shame because this committee could be doing so much more on behalf of the American people. With that, I yield back.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Mr. Chairman, point of parliamentary inquiry.

NADLER: Who states a point of parliamentary -- the gentlemen will state his point of parliamentary inquiry.

RASKIN: Mr. Chairman, the witness just answered a long line of questions from the gentleman from Ohio, about whether Donald Trump had 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 rationale that he is confined to the four corners of the Mueller report when he has gone way beyond it in his responses to the questioning from the gentleman from Ohio.

NADLER: The -- regardless of whether he went beyond the four corners of the Mueller report and the answers that 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 of the long series of answers that he gave irrelevant that weren't in the report, the claim of privilege made by the witness is improper, for the reasons said forth in our letter today to the White House and to the witness's counsel. That said, I will take the claim of privilege under advisement.

COLLINS: Mr. Chairman, parliamentary inquiry.

NADLER: The gentlemen will state his parliamentary inquiry.

COLLINS: Did you actually answered his parliamentary inquiry because it was a statement, not a parliamentary inquiry. You just sort of skipped on the executive privilege here, at least the knowledge and it was not a parliamentary inquiry.

NADLER: The gentlemen stated the parliamentary inquiry --

COLLINS: He did not. That was a statement.

NADLER: I answered his parliamentary inquiry. The gentleman from Tennessee is recognized.

REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Lewandowski, it's been made clear here you were not an employee and you met him at the White House. You had no W2, 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 and about following the law, didn't you think it was a little 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: I disagree with the premise of your question, Congressman.

COHEN: You weren't a policeman?

LEWANDOWSKI: I didn't think the President asked me do anything illegal.

COHEN: You didn't think it would have been illegal for you to ask Mr. Sessions to drop the investigation and to just go on to future Presidents and omit everything with this President. Go, "Ole, ole in free, we're going to start with the next one about colluding with Russia." You didn't think that was illegal to obstruct justice?

LEWANDOWSKI: Congressman, the President asked me to do nothing illegal.

COHEN: Obviously, you've never been a judge and won't be one. All of these people asked you, they gave you dictation. He dictated to you a message to give Sessions. Had you ever been a Secretary for the President before and taken dictation or shorthand?

LEWANDOWSKI: Many times.

COHEN: Oh, 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 that this was outside of White House channels. Couldn't it have been he asked you to get the message to Sessions, because he thought you would do whatever he asked, even if it was illegal or immoral? Just like your former boss, Bob Ney, who said you were an implementer.

News reports called you the President's quote "enforcer." "USA Today" said, "Lewandowski's background as largely as a Trump guy, and not so much as a strategist, not a campaign manager, but as a right-hand man, a body man and enforcer."

And "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, "Let

Trump Be Trump." You said, "We were fine with whatever role the President wanted us to play. In Donald Trump's army, there were only loyal soldiers there. We're no more liberal soldiers."

Your previous boss Bob Ney was convicted of corruption and lying to authorities on the Jack Abramoff scandal. You were fired from Americans for Prosperity after being accused of fraud -- voter fraud.

[14:15:13]

COHEN: You are now involved in this. Either you were willing to break the law for politics and Mr. Trump, or you're some kind of a Forrest Gump relating to corruption. So maybe let me ask you this. Did the President pick you his enforcer? He thought you would play whatever role he wanted, because it was illegal. Is that possibly why he chose you to take this message to Sessions?

LEWANDOWSKI: That'd be a question for the President, Congressman.

COHEN: Well, Donald Trump was right though. First, the White House counsel, Don McGahn refused to fire the Special Counsel. Mr. McGahn showed principle and character and refused to do what he knew would be an illegal act.

Then Attorney General Sessions who recused himself was asked to unrecuse himself, but Attorney General Sessions also did the right thing. And he said I'm not going to unrecuse myself because I'd have a conflict, because I did -- was involved in the campaign and knew some things. I can't do it.

Then the White House counsel advised the President, not even 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 are a loyal soldier. You just 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, I'm sure, and then ask somebody else to deliver the message to Sessions when you decided not to.

Donald Trump talked to you outside normal channels so there'd 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. Sessions knew what he was doing is wrong. Mr. McGahn knew what he was doing 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 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 Mr. Ney, your former boss got involved in criminal problems and went to prison? And maybe you were going to be the next one. Did that cross your mind? Did you ever think about Bob Ney's situation and going to prison?

LEWANDOWSKI: Congressman Ney, Congressman, so we're clear, went to jail many years after I left his employment. I'm sure you're going to clarify that for the record.

COHEN: And you were his employee, and you had great respect for him. But you learned from that. I'm asking did you learn from his experience and realize that what you were asked to do was illegal, and you didn't want to follow the same trail as Bob Ney and end up in prison?

LEWANDOWSKI: I wasn't asked to do anything illegal, Congressman.

COHEN: Well, the public will determine that. This has been more obstruction of Congress by this administration, and you followed their instructions and you're doing just exactly what they thought you'd do. You're a loyal soldier. Except he didn't follow Trump's instructions. You chickened out at the last minute. You got cold feet. I yield back the balance of my time.

NADLER: The gentleman yields back. The gentleman from Ohio.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Lewandowski, you ran President Trump's campaign between January 2015 and June 2016. Is that right?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

JORDAN: You were at the helm of the campaign when President Trump secured the Republican nomination?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

JORDAN: Pretty good campaign you were in.

LEWANDOWSKI: Thank you.

JORDAN: I mean you beat what? Seventeen, eighteen different opponents, Senators, governors, some good senators? Of course, you had a pretty good candidate.

LEWANDOWSKI: The best.

JORDAN: Pretty good candidate who I think has done a great job as President of the United States. 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 8th, 2016?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

JORDAN: And that entire time, so you were part of the campaign operation at some level or another from January 2015 to November 8th, 2016. During that entire time, did you guys ever work with Russia to impact the election?

LEWANDOWSKI: No.

JORDAN: And you know what's interesting, Mr. Lewandowski, when Jim Comey was asked that same question sitting at that same table, 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 colluding with a foreign state to impact the election.

Jim Comey, when we deposed him at that very table 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, 22-month investigation. 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 don't want to figure out how the false accusation happened. 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. Did you testify in front of the Senate Intel Committee in 2017?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

JORDAN: Did you testify in front of the House Intelligence Committee in 2017?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

[14:20:03]

JORDAN: And you went before the Special Counsel and answered his questions in 2018, is that right?

LEWANDOWSKI: It is.

JORDAN: And you did that all voluntarily?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

JORDAN: No subpoena?

LEWANDOWSKI: No sir.

JORDAN: Said, I'm willing to comply, give answers, answer all the questions you've got.

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

JORDAN: I think in your opening statement, you said 20 something. How many hours did you sit in front of those various committees?

LEWANDOWSKI: More than 20. JORDAN: 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: I believe so, yes.

JORDAN: And you and your legal team complied with that?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, sir.

JORDAN: And then on June 24th, you got another letter? Is that right?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

JORDAN: June 24th of this year, you got another letter asking you to do an interview, a transcribed interview in front of the committee. And your lawyer contacted Chairman Nadler and said, "We'd be happy to do that." Is that right?

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

JORDAN: Said, give us some dates, we will come in, we will be happy to sit for an interview.

LEWANDOWSKI: That's right.

JORDAN: What happened next?

LEWANDOWSKI: Next, about five weeks ago, the committee issued a subpoena for my appearance.

JORDAN: So you were willing to come voluntarily, just like you did with the Senate Intel, House Intel, just like you did for Bob Mueller, for the Special Counsel, 20 something hours. You're willing to do that all. You complied with when they asked you for certain documents, and then when they wanted to come in for an interview, said, "All right, sure, we'll do it." They hit you with a subpoena.

LEWANDOWSKI: Correct.

JORDAN: And then they start calling you names, saying close up that book, answer the question, and start treating you this way. Kind of interesting. 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.

LEWANDOWSKI: I was.

JORDAN: And then they question the demeanor you bring here today, I mean, first, they changed the rules last week in the middle of the Congress, changed the rules of the committee in the middle of the game, and then today, they're not even going to follow the rules. Because the rules have changed last week talking about staff asking questions after members are done. We've got this whole issue with consultants. So this -- maybe 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: I think it'd be a great idea.

JORDAN: Great idea. Maybe the American people would be better served than spending more time investigating something that's already had 32 months of investigation from both Jim Comey and the F.B.I. and Bob Mueller and the Special Counsel. Maybe we would do that.

You know, great place to start, a great place to start, Mr. Chairman, I asked you about this one week ago today, a great place to start, it would be the Inspector General's report that was issued just three weeks ago, the scathing report about Jim Comey, that'd be a nice place to start.

But when I asked the Chairman, when we might have an opportunity to question Mr. Horowitz. 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. Of course you haven't thought about it. That's what the committee should be focused on. I yield back.

NADLER: The gentlemen yields back. The gentleman from Georgia.

REP. HANK JOHNSON (D-GA): 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 is talking. In fact, he asked lawyers not to take official notes and you are aware of that, correct?

LEWANDOWSKI: I'm aware of the public account, sir.

JOHNSON: All right. Fair enough. But when the President met with you in the Oval Office, one-on-one on June 19th, 2017 to dictate a message to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, he told you to quote, "Write this down." Isn't that correct?

LEWANDOWSKI: That's accurate.

JOHNSON: And it was just you and the president in that meeting, correct?

LEWANDOWSKI: It was.

JOHNSON: And you knew that you needed to write down as fast as possible what the President was telling you so that you could make sure to capture the content of what he was telling you correctly, correct?

LEWANDOWSKI: I don't know the speed of writing was a criteria, but I tried to capture it to the best of my ability, Congressman.

JOHNSON: Thank you, sir. And he dictated to you exactly what he wanted you to put into the mouth of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, correct?

LEWANDOWSKI: I believe he asked me to deliver a message for Jeff to consider delivering himself.

JOHNSON: And it was a message that he intended for Jeff, meaning Jeff Sessions to deliver out loud and publicly. He wanted the public to know what he was saying, but he wanted Jeff to say it, correct?

LEWANDOWSKI: I believe the Mueller report accurately depicts that.

[14:25:04]

JOHNSON: 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.

LEWANDOWSKI: Oh, as Director Mueller stated, when asked to read from a report, and I quote, I'd be happy to have you read it, Congressman.

JOHNSON: Look on -- would you prefer for me to read it instead of you?

LEWANDOWSKI: Please?

JOHNSON: Okay. 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. I'll now continue. He said, "He shouldn't have a special prosecutor counsel because he hasn't done anything wrong." Now that's what he wanted you to deliver to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, correct?

LEWANDOWSKI: I believe that's an accurate representation.

JOHNSON: And he wanted you to deliver it to Jeff so that Jeff could say it to the people, right?

LEWANDOWSKI: I believe so.

JOHNSON: And you felt kind of squeamish like that fish that you are trying to be right now being scaled, you felt a little squeamish about delivering that message, correct?

LEWANDOWSKI: No, sir.

JOHNSON: Well, why didn't you -- why did it take you so long, and you never even delivered it?

LEWANDOWSKI: Correct. I never delivered the message.

JOHNSON: You chickened out. LEWANDOWSKI: I went on vacation.

JOHNSON: You went on vacation, and so you put the message in the safe -- in your safe in your home for safekeeping, correct? Before you went on vacation.

LEWANDOWSKI: I took my kids to the beach, Congressman and that's more of a priority.

JOHNSON: And President Trump was hounding you about when are you going to deliver that message, correct?

LEWANDOWSKI: Completely inaccurate, Congressman.

JOHNSON: Well, he asked you about it a few times, didn't he?

LEWANDOWSKI: No, he did not.

JOHNSON: He had never asked you whether or not you had delivered that message?

LEWANDOWSKI: Not on multiple occasions, no.

JOHNSON: One occasion. Okay. He did mention it on one occasion to you.

LEWANDOWSKI: I don't know if that's in the report, sir or not.

JOHNSON: And you told him that, "Yes, I'm going to get around to it. I'm going to deliver it," correct?

LEWANDOWSKI: I'd have to see the reference to the Mueller report with that, sir.

JOHNSON: It's in the report and --

LEWANDOWSKI: Could you direct me to the book and page, so I can review that?

JOHNSON: 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: You're welcome to, Congressman.

JOHNSON: Okay. 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 with him. I know it for a fact because I was there." Now, the President wanted the 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?

LEWANDOWSKI: I did not know that.

JOHNSON: You did not know that. You did not know that.

LEWANDOWSKI: Correct.

NADLER: The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Colorado.

REP, KEN BUCK (R-CO): Thank you for putting up with the harassment that you're putting up with right now. According to the Alliance for securing democracy, Russia interfered in the elections of Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, 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 idly by. Instead of warning the Trump campaign, Loretta Lynch's D.O.J. and James Comey's F.B.I. used secret surveillance to spy on members of the Trump campaign, all while allowing election interference to occur. Why isn't this hearing focused on holding D.O.J. and F.B.I. leadership accountable for this kind of terrible malfeasance and lack of judgment?

What was Putin's own ultimate goal? Clinton Watts, a former F.B.I. agent and counterterrorism specialist said it is to attack and undermine democracy. He said the goal is to leave voters feeling as if quote, "either the institutions are corrupt or you can't trust the vote," end of quote. This is the kind of classic disinformation campaign that the KGB runs. And as we all know, Vladimir Putin was a former leader of the KGB.

In 2016, Putin's goal could have been very simple -- divide the American electorate.

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