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Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski Testifies in Impeachment Hearing. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired September 17, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): The subpoenas were here for all three to compel them for 10:00 this morning. But today's hearing is at 1:00, not 10:00. The witnesses lack appropriate notice for the hearing today. That's a simple basic subpoena issue.
But we're the Judiciary Committee. I can understand this. And no offense, Natural Resources, I can understand if they get it wrong, or Transportation. I don't understand how Judiciary gets this wrong.
The chairman wants to hold people in contempt for not showing up. Try to enforce this in court, because there's no extra letter, there's no clarification of time. And when I was given a subpoena for my client to appear in court -- what time do you appear in court? Whenever you feel like it? No. At the time it says, unless the court or the officer giving the subpoena says differently.
The chairman's only option for success here is to issue, well, we could do this I guess because we've wasted enough time on other things. We were issuing new subpoenas with a new date, new time, and hold a new hearing.
There's probably a date somewhere in October we haven't filled up with this mess somewhere. So with this, here we go.
Mr. Chairman, there's so much that we could actually do together. There's so much. But as long as we don't have time, we'll continue with re-run season. Popcorn still tastes good. I don't know why we do this, except maybe we just have -- maybe a deficiency of flash bulbs, I don't know, because we just like the show, and the show is going to get even more as it goes today, because the new rules are in effect. Oh wait, they're not new; they're just old, but we're applying them today because we want it to look better. And I have one more of those, and we'll talk about it later, when we get to some other questions later.
With that, I yield back.
NADLER: Thank you, Mr. Collins. I will now introduce today's witness. Corey Lewandowski is a political consultant and commentator. He previously served as the first campaign manager for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Lewandowski received a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts and a master's degree in political science from American University. He also attended the Naval War College.
Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn and former White House staff secretary Robert Porter have refused to appear today despite duly issued subpoenas from this committee. As I discussed in my opening statement, I strongly disagree with the White House's assertion of absolute immunity as to Mr. Dearborn and Mr. Porter. We are considering all available options to enforce these subpoenas.
We welcome Mr. Lewandowski and we thank him for participating in today's hearing. And if you please rise, I will begin by swearing you in.
You swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you're about to give is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, information and belief, so help you God? Let the record show that the witness has answered in the affirmative. Thank you and please be seated.
Please note that your written statement will be entered into the record in its entirety. Accordingly I ask that you summarize your testimony in five minutes. To help you stay within that time, there's a timing light on your table. When the light switches from green to yellow, you have one minute to conclude your testimony. When the light turns red, it signals your five minutes have expired. Mr. Lewandowski, you may begin.
[13:35:00] LEWANDOWSKI: Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Collins and members of the committee, good afternoon. I'd like to start off by expressing my hope that today's hearing will be productive 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 of the Special Counsel's office. There too, my time and answers were given freely and without hesitation. I think in one form or another, I've already answered questions for well over 20 hours. So now here I am before the House Judiciary Committee to answer the same questions again.
Just last week this committee, over the objections of the minority, unilaterally changed the rules to make this an impeachment proceeding which is very unfair. However, in the spirit of cooperation, I am prepared to move forward today. I'd like to start by recounting the events that brought us to this point -- my story of joining the Trump campaign, working through a historic election and continuing to have the privilege to be part of the greatest political movement in our nation's history.
I present this summary in the interest of truth and transparency to the American people, the very same reason and rationale that this committee offers as the basis of today's hearing. Growing up in a blue-color single-parent family in Lowell, Massachusetts, I learned the value of hard work and that work ethic helped me to put myself through both college and graduate school prior to becoming a Congressional staffer and ultimately a certified peace officer in the state of New Hampshire. However, the world of politics was always a passion and in January of 2015, Donald J. Trump, then a private citizen, hired me to help him explore a possible run for the presidency.
It was an honor and privilege to play a small part of such a historic campaign. The campaign started as a small group of individuals helping Mr. Trump to make the decision in June of 2015 to ride down the golden escalator and seek the Republican nomination for Presidency of the United States.
For more than a year I served as campaign manager to then candidate Trump and his historic campaign where I led a lean and dedicated operation that succeeded in helping him capture the Republican nomination. My job was simple; provide Mr. Trump with my best advice, spend his money like it was my own and give him the support he needed to win. I also set long-term -- long-term objectives and managed day to day decisions. I had the privilege and it was a privilege of helping transform the Trump campaign from a dedicated but small make- shift organization to a historical and unprecedented political juggernaut. And I am proud to say Mr. Trump won 38 primaries and caucuses and received more votes than any candidate in the history of the Republican Party all while being outspent most of the way.
The historic campaign helped Mr. Trump secure the republican nomination ultimately the Presidency of the United States. However, since election day, whether there were 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.
But no matter the size, campaigns are not always the most efficient organizations and while you run in single Congressional districts, just imagine what it's like to lead a national campaign that spans all 50 states of the union. During my time as campaign manager, there were competing interests for the candidate's time and a sea of ideas, some laudable, some sound; a few not so much. Many of which were dismissed out of hand; others were passed on to staffers to be handled.
I also received hundreds of thousands of e-mails, some days with as many as 1,000 e-mails, and unlike Hillary Clinton, I don't think I ever deleted any of those. Many of them were responded to with either one word answers or forwarded to other staffers for additional follow up but throughout it all and to the best of my recollection, I don't ever recall having any conversations with foreign entities, let alone any who were offering to help to manipulate the outcome of an election. As I've said publicly many times, anyone who attempted to illegally impact the outcome of an election should spend the rest of their life in jail. And let me stress this fact, during the 2016 election cycle, Mr. Trump held no elected position; he was not a government official.
Rather the Obama-Biden Administration and the intelligence community overseen by James Clapper, Jim Comey and John Brennan had the responsibility to the American people to ensure the integrity of the 2016 election. I'll leave it to this committee and the American public to decide how successful or not they were in doing their jobs.
Regardless, as a special counsel determined, there was no conspiracy or collusion between the Trump campaign and any foreign governments either on my watch or afterwards. Not surprisingly after the Mueller report was made public, interest in the fake Russia collusion narrative has fallen apart.
In conclusion and it's sad to say, this country has spent over 3 years and $40 million taxpayer dollars on these investigations 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. What there has been, however, is harassment of this president from the day he won the election. We as a nation would be better served if elected officials like yourself concentrated your efforts to combat the true crises facing our country as opposed to going down rabbit holes like this hearing. Instead of focusing on petty and personal politics, the committee focus on solving the challenges of this generation. Imagine how many people we could help or how many lives we could save.
As I stated earlier, I have voluntarily appeared in front of Congress on three separate occasions and spoken to members of the Special Counsel's office for multiple hours. I will continue to be forth rate -- forthright and cooperative and I will be as sincere in my answers as this committee is in its questions.
NADLER: Thank you for your testimony. We will now proceed under the five minute rule with questions. At the completion of the members questions, pursuant to the Chairman's September 12, 2019, resolution for investigative procedures and pursuant to a notice, this will be followed by one hour of staff questioning equally divided by the majority and the minority. I will begin by recognizing myself for five minutes.
Mr. Lewandowski, we received a letter from the White House just yesterday that they will not let you answer any questions beyond what you told the special counsel and was publicly released. The White House's instruction to you is based on a bogus claim of executive privilege, even though you did not work a single day for the administration, let alone in the executive branch. My colleagues are going to get into the specific events in detail, but I'm especially troubled by the president's attempt to obstruct Congress's investigation and prevent the American people from learning the truth about what he's done, and I want to ask you questions relevant to that issue.
Mr. Lewandowski, is it correct that as reported in the Mueller report on June 19, 2017 you met alone in the Oval Office with the president? I said is --
LEWANDOWSKI: Is there a book and page number you can reference me to, please? I don't have a copy of the report in front of me. NADLER: Volume two page 90. But I simply ask you is it correct that as reported in the Mueller report on June 19, 2017, you met alone in the Oval Office with the president?
[13:40:00] LEWANDOWSKI: Could you read the exact language of the report, sir? I don't have it available to me.
NADLER: I don't think I need to do that and I have limited time. Did you meet with alone with the president on that date?
LEWANDOWSKI: Congressman, I'd like you to refresh my memory by providing a copy of the report so I can follow along.
NADLER: You don't have a copy with you?
LEWANDOWSKI: I don't have a copy of the report, Congressman.
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman, I request that the clock be stopped while this charade is sorted out.
NADLER: I just asked that (ph).
LEWANDOWSKI: I'm sorry, Congressman. What page was it?
NADLER: The clock should have been stopped and should remain stopped. Page -- page 90, volume two.
LEWANDOWSKI: OK, and which paragraph, sir?
NADLER: I don't have it in front of me.
LEWANDOWSKI: I'd like a reference, sir, so I can follow along in what (ph) you're asking.
NADLER: Do you not have an independent recollection of whether you met with the president on that date?
LEWANDOWSKI: Congressman, I'm just trying to find in the Mueller report where it states that.
NADLER: Well you have it in front of you, I gave you the -- the -- the page number.
LEWANDOWSKI: OK, where on page 90 is it, sir?
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman, you got to start the clock.
NADLER: No, I don't have to start the clock when (ph) he's filibustering me. Bottom of page 90.
(UNKNOWN): Filibustering is a different issue, that's across the hall (ph) --
(UNKNOWN): -- this is actual questions being done now -- (CROSSTALK)
(UNKNOWN): Point of parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman.
NADLER: The gentleman will state his point of parliamentary inquiry.
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman, is it appropriate for a witness to refuse to answer a question and instead demand that we reference and point him to -- I'd ask that the Mueller report be closed and the witness be directed to answer the question.
NADLER: The answer is not appropriate, but it's on the bottom two lines of that page.
(UNKNOWN): Now it can start. The clock can start now. (Inaudible).
(UNKNOWN): Point -- point of order. When will the clock start, Mr. Chairman?
(UNKNOWN): Once the question's asked, Mr. Chairman, the clock should start.
NADLER: Right under (ph) overview, second line.
(UNKNOWN): Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman.
NADLER: The gentleman -- the witness --
(UNKNOWN): Point of order.
NADLER: The witness has the time --
(UNKNOWN): Point of order --
NADLER: -- question -- the witness --
(UNKNOWN): A point of order overrides that. A point of order overrides that, Mr. Chairman, and you know that.
NADLER: Gentleman will state his point of order.
(UNKNOWN): Point of order is once the question has been asked and referenced properly to the witness to answer the question, the clock should start. It cannot be held while you and your council go over notes.
NADLER: The gentlemen is correct, the clock will start. And the -- and the witness will answer the question without further delay.
LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, I see that in the report.
NADLER: Thank you. During that meeting, did you tell the special counsel that the president, quote, asked you to deliver a message to Sessions, who was then the attorney general of the United States? Page 91. I asked you a question, sir.
LEWANDOWSKI: I'm -- I'm looking for that reference on page 91, Congressman.
NADLER: Do you not have an independent recollection?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, I'm looking -- Mr. Congressman, I'm trying to adhere to the White House's request I answer questions that are provided in the Mueller report only, so I'm trying to reference that report directly about your question, Congressman.
NADLER: Were you a White House employee at that time?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, Congressman.
NADLER: And if -- did you -- OK. You did not hold any position in the government whatsoever, did you?
NADLER: Now sitting behind are counselors (ph) for the White House, correct?
LEWANDOWSKI: That's my understanding.
NADLER: You understand those lawyers actually work for the president at the White House?
LEWANDOWSKI: I believe that's accurate.
NADLER: Nevertheless, the president's lawyers have told you not to answer any question by this committee other than what has already been disclosed in the special counsel's report, is that correct?
LEWANDOWSKI: Congressman, I have to read from the letter that the White House provided the committee if that would help clarify. Would you like me to do that, Congressman?
NADLER: No, I'd like you to answer the question. Have you been directed --
LEWANDOWSKI: Congressman, I've never spoken to any members of the White House Counsel's office other than saying hello about 15 seconds ago.
NADLER: But you were directed by letter.
[13:45:00] LEWANDOWSKI: Congressman, I was provided a letter that I believe this committee was assigned, it says as explained below, Mr. Lewandowski's conversation with the president and with senior advisors to the president are protected from disclosure by long -- long settled principles protecting executive branch confidentiality interests, and as a result, the White House is directing Mr. Lewandowski not to provide information about such communications beyond -- NADLER: I'll take that as a yes.
LEWANDOWSKI: -- the information provided in the portions of the report.
NADLER: I will take that as a yes. Never -- in the basis to their direction is a claim of executive privilege, is that correct?
LEWANDOWSKI: I can read it again, Congressman.
NADLER: The answer is -- you don't -- you're not answering the question. We've already established that you were never employed by the White House or the executive branch. That is correct.
LEWANDOWSKI: I have never been employed by the executive branch.
NADLER: Sir, did you ask the White House counsels to be here?
LEWANDOWSKI: Congressman, as I just reiterated, I've never spoken to anyone in the White House counsel's office --
NADLER: The -- the answer's no. Was it your idea for you not to answer questions based on a claim of executive privilege?
LEWANDOWSKI: I can reiterate I didn't ask -- I've never had a conversation with someone from the White House Counsel's office regarding this matter.
NADLER: So it was not your (ph) -- so it was your idea not to answer questions?
LEWANDOWSKI: I've never had a conversation with someone from the White House Counsel's office --
NADLER: Was it your idea not to answer these questions on base of executive privilege, yes or no?
LEWANDOWSKI: Congressman, I can only go by the letter that was provided. It was not my idea to provide this letter.
NADLER: It was not your idea. Did you ever suggest to the president or anyone else that you thought your communications with him were official White House communications?
LEWANDOWSKI: Congressman, the White House has directed not -- I not disclose the substance of any discussions with the presidents or his advisors to protect executive branch confidentiality. And I recognize this is not my privilege, but I am respecting the White House's decision.
NADLER: Let me ask you some questions about your relationship with the president after he assumed office. How many times has the president asked you to meet him in the White House?
LEWANDOWSKI: The White House has directed not disclose the substance of any discussion -- NADLER: How many times did you meet with the president alone in the White House in 2017?
LEWANDOWSKI: I don't know the answer to that?
NADLER: How many times did he direct you to deliver a message to a member of his cabinet?
LEWANDOWSKI: The White House has directed I (ph) not disclose the substance of any discussions with the president.
NADLER: Did he ever discuss with you any concerns that he may have committed a criminal offense?
LEWANDOWSKI: The White House has directed not disclose the substance of any discussions with the president or his advisors to protect executive branch confidentiality.
NADLER: All right --
LEWANDOWSKI : I recognize this is not my privilege --
NADLER: -- you won't --
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman, I want to make (ph) a point of order. Pursuant to clause 2J2A (ph) of rule 11 that the gentleman is out of order, he has exceeded the time limit under the five minute rule.
NADLER: I will enforce the time -- the time limit under the five minute rule.
(UNKNOWN): I challenge the ruling --
NADLER: I am very --
(UNKNOWN): I challenge the ruling of the chair.
NADLER: The -- the -- the ruling of the chair is challenged. All those in favor of overriding the rule of the chair will say aye.
NADLER: Opposed no. No. The no's have it --
(UNKNOWN): Role call.
NADLER: Role call is asked. The clerk -- where is the clerk.
(UNKNOWN): You know, we can make this a lot easier, Jerry. We can. I mean --
NADLER: The clerk will call the roll.
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSWOMAN: Mr. Nadler.
NADLER: The question is -- BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Let's bring in our legal analysts to break
down what is happening here in this hearing with Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager to President Trump, who clearly and under the direction of the White House, is not revealing a lot of information, but also clearly is just using his, I guess you would say, personal wits to make this very difficult on Democrats.
What's going on here, Laura Coates?
[13:50:00] LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Stonewalling in one word, and he's trying to be coy about it because he knows full well he will drain the tine in this fashion and that Nadler's hands are tied, frankly, by being able to do so. There's this very notion that Mueller asked for reference points the entire time he testified.
His reason was probably different than what Corey Lewandowski Lewandowski's reason was but, nevertheless, asking for the reference is very clear that he's trying to stall. There might be other reasons as well.
KEILAR: What do you think, watching this?
CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, bottom line is Corey Lewandowski has been given his marching orders from the White House not to answer questions, and he is doing it. He is following those orders. He is not going to answer any questions about his meetings, conversations with the president. He has made that clear.
He has a statement that he's going to read every single time, which is probably a statement that his lawyers gave him that says he's following the directions from the White House lawyers, and he is not going to deviate from it and he's going to make it as painful as possible.
And unless the chairman and the members can find a way to ask him specific yes-or-no questions, this is -- they're not going to get anything out of it.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And one thing to add, yes, it has been the instruction of the White House that he shouldn't answer questions.
But Corey Lewandowski doesn't need marching orders. These kinds of orders run through his veins. He understands implicitly in his DNA what he should do to please to please and stay on the right side of Donald Trump, and more importantly, if he wants to actually run for Senate, he'll stay on the right side of Trump voters in the state of New Hampshire where he's thinking about doing it.
Another quick maybe inside baseball but interesting subplot here. You saw at the beginning when he was waiting to be sworn in, he was standing with David Bossie, who was one of Corey Lewandowski's best friends, worked on the Trump campaign. And back in the '90s, worked not on this committee but a different committee, the Oversight Committee, when they were investigating Bill Clinton.
So he, David Bossie understands because of his history and his experience exactly how to play a committee, which is clearly what Corey Lewandowski is trying to do here.
KEILAR: The counteraction for Chairman Nadler is to ask for this time limit, for there to be an override of the time limit, because Corey Lewandowski is sort of playing out the clock. Right?
KEILAR: Of course, he can do that, we should explain, since Democrats are in the majority, there are more Democrats on the committee.
All right. This is concluded, at least this vote. Let go back and watch.
NADLER: Thank you for answering these very basic questions. We go to the heart of the president's conduct we are investigating.
COLLINS: Mr. Chairman, I have a motion.
NADLER: Not only...
COLLINS: Mr. Chairman, I have a motion.
NADLER: Not only - you will wait for you motion until I finish this.
COLLINS: Point of order then.
NADLER: Not only will...
COLLINS: Point of order has got to be recognized.
NADLER: Not in the middle of...
COLLINS: Yes, it does. The motion is to - it says if the Chairman is not following the House rules, I'll move to adjourn.
NADLER: Motion is to adjourn. A motion to...
CICILLINE: Point of parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman?
NADLER: Motion to adjourn...
(CROSSTALK) CICILLINE: 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 form Mr. Lewandowski about his efforts to obstruct justice?
NADLER: Yes, that's exactly what it means.
CICILLINE: OK, that's what I want (ph).
COLLINS: It also could read (ph) they could read to three times (ph) (inaudible) has already done it.
(UNKNOWN): I have a point of parliamentary inquiry.
NADLER: The motion is not debatable. As many as are in favor, the motion to adjourn...
(UNKNOWN): I have a motion of parliamentary inquiry.
NADLER: As many are in favor...
(UNKNOWN): So Mr. Cicilline get's recognized for his inquiry, but I don't get recognized...
NADLER: The motion is not debatable. As many as are in favor the motion to adjourn, say aye. Opposed, no. In the opinion of the Chair, the nos have it.
COLLINS: Roll call. Roll call.
NADLER: We will - roll call is requested. The question is on the motion to adjourn. The clerk will call the roll.
CLERK: Mr. Nadler?
CLERK: Mr. Nadler votes no. Ms. Lofgren? Ms. Jackson Lee?
JACKSON LEE: No.
CLERK: Ms. Jackson Lee votes no. Mr. Cohen? Mr. Cohen votes no. Mr. Johnsons of Georgia? Mr. Johnson of Georgia votes no. Mr. Deutch?
DEUTCH: No. CLERK: Mr. Deutch votes no. Ms. Bass?
CLERK: Ms. Bass votes no. Mr. Richmond? Mr. Jeffries? Mr. Jeffries votes no. Mr. Cicilline?
CLERK: Mr. Cicilline votes no.
KEILAR: This is devolving, this House Judiciary Committee hearing, into a circus. There is a vote right now. We are going to keep an eye on this, get a quick breaking in and be right back.
NADLER: -- these questions about the President's effort to interfere with a criminal investigation of himself. It has nothing to do with official government business.
This is clearly just part of the president's continued attempt to cover up his actions. He is obstructing our congressional investigation by preventing you from telling the American people the truth about his misconduct. He will not succeed, and we will not be deterred.
I now recognize the gentlemen from Georgia for his opening - for his questions.
COLLINS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This past few minutes was totally avoidable and also very frustrating, and since that it is also now raised from our perspective a question of the privileges of the rules of the house which could be discussed on the floor and probably will be and possibly just the blatant running over of house rules, my concern is ethics violations as well. This has got to be running a different way.
So at this point, Mr. Lewandowski, you have testified before Congress multiple times over the past couple of years, correct?
COLLINS: Correct me if I'm wrong. You've already testified twice before the House Intel Committee, correct?
COLLINS: How long was those sessions?
LEWANDOWSKI: I think the first session was about seven hours, and the second session was maybe four hours.
COLLINS: You've also testified before Senate Intel, correct?
COLLINS: About how long was that?
LEWANDOWSKI: It was about eight hours.
COLLINS: OK. You've also testified before the Special Counsel's Office, correct?
COLLINS: How many times?
LEWANDOWSKI: On two separate occasions.
COLLINS: And for about how long?
LEWANDOWSKI: Probably 15 to 16 hours.
COLLINS: OK. And those were voluntarily, correct?
LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, Sir.
COLLINS: OK. So there was really -- and you agreed to come here voluntarily as well, correct -- today?
LEWANDOWSKI: I did.
COLLINS: There was no need for -- basically a flawed subpoena to be issued to you, correct?
COLLINS: OK. And I want to know (ph) -- many of our staff and many of our members have read the full FBI summary of your testimony because everyone on this Committee has access to your Special Counsel interview summary for months. Have you had the opportunity to review the FBI summaries in preparation for today?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, Sir.
COLLINS: OK. Which goes to the point about why he won't be able to remember so many details outside of what is specifically written in the Mueller Report, and that's something (inaudible) needs to be made aware of.
Were you given any guidelines by the Democrats on the topics or subjects of your questions today?
LEWANDOWSKI: Not to the best of my recollection.
COLLINS: Because that is a problem that we seem to have here is, basically what we want to say is overbroad subpoenas around here. There is -- I mean, we could have talked today about your favorite football team, I'm not sure -- LEWANDOWSKI: Patriots.
COLLINS: So you're pretty happy right now, right?
LEWANDOWSKI: Tom's a winner.
COLLINS: Again, the problem we have here is we don't follow procedure because if it gets in the way of a good story we don't like it around here. So we'll do whatever we want, including broke House rules to do that as we go forward.
In any of the times that you've had today (ph), especially not being questioned you have stated in your opening statement that you plan to answer as best you possibly can, is that correct?
LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, Sir.
COLLINS: But you also at a certain point in time realized that being -- having testified so many times in these various issues that we have that there are certain things -- you know, does that concern you having to keep coming back and back again without having proper reference if somebody was to, as you said earlier, I want to know the reference in which you're speaking to, would that be a problem to you?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well Sir, I think my memory obviously -- to events which transpired more than two years ago was clearer the first time I testified to it because it was a year and a half ago on many occasions, or longer. So if I can have a specific reference to something, I'd be happy to have that.
COLLINS: So it's not (inaudible) from your opinion, you're just wanting to make sure you give an accurate response, seeing how you've also already testified on these issues many times before, correct?
LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, Sir.
COLLINS: So to imply otherwise is basically, in many ways taking a shot at your testimony here, correct?
LEWANDOWSKI: It is.
COLLINS: When you worked on the Trump campaign, and you said this earlier -- I just want it to be stated again because we've had these hearings here in the Judiciary Committee didn't seem to take but we'll try again.
Did you engage in collusion, coordination, or conspiracy with the Russians?
COLLINS: Did you observe anyone else doing that?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, Sir.
COLLINS: When we look at what's going on here today, I think the concern that we have -- and many of us on this side is we have a narrative that's failed -- the fail of narrative have continued. You're being asked to come in here and do something that you've done many times over, that this whole Committee has seen exactly what you're looking for.
If you're following the premise of what the Chairman says that the majority is looking for, is that they're finding a reason to try and impeach the president. I've already said they -- have found 17 of them at least, have publicly said they found a reason. Which really don't have to (inaudible) but they can't get the more (ph) on the floor to do this. So this is dragging this out.
So Mr. Lewandowski I'd encourage you to answer the questions fully as you said you'll do. You've voluntarily come here, even though we decided to throw a flawed subpoena at you and the others as well. And I think as we go forward here we'll see how this actually moves forward.
But this is concerning to me, Mr. Chairman. I'm going to take this for the moment -- it's OK to try and get your stuff out, it's OK to be frustrated. But it's also not OK to overrun House rules.
The five minute rule is a House rule, it's not a Committee rule, and it's not open for interpretation by the Chairman, whatever he feels like -- it wouldn't be if I was the chairman, or you're the Chairman, that's not debatable.
And you may not have got your last question in, but we've already discussed and we're going to have a lot more discussion here in a little while on staff questioning. But there's plenty of time to get that last little question that you didn't get asked to somebody else, but is it worth breaking the House rules?
And I know some in the audience don't care, and some of the majority don't care. But, at the end of the day, you're accusing a president of very high issues that we've got to look at. You're accusing him and dragging him through this committee for eight months, we're doing this. So I think following procedures is something you actually have to look at. Because your idea is not really --
NADLER: Point of order, Mr. Chairman, the time expired. Continue if he wishes.