As the News Blender reported last week, the House Judiciary Committee set some new guidelines in an attempt to clarify how the Committee handles hearings related to President Trump and whether the Committee will draw up formal articles of impeachment and present them to the full House.
On Tuesday the rules established by the Committee, might be on display, when former Trump Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appears before the Judiciary Committee hearing on “Presidential Obstruction of Justice and Abuse of Power.”
On the eve of the hearing, CNN reported that the White House has asserted immunity regarding the other two witnesses, former White House aides, Rick Dearborn, and Rob Porter, who had been subpoenaed along with Lewandowski.
Regrading Lewandowski’s testimony before the Committee, the White House has directed that he only answers questions based on the information detailed in the Mueller Report.
Mr. Lewandowski’s conversations with the President and with senior advisers to the President are protected from disclosure by long-settled principles protecting Executive Branch confidentiality interests, and, as a result, the White House has directed Mr. Lewandowski not to provide information about such communications beyond the information provided in the portions of the Report that have already been disclosed to the Committee.White House counsel Pat Cipollone via CNN.
According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the President in June of 2017 directed Lewandowski to deliver a message to then Attorney General Jeff Session.
According to the Mueller Report, the message said:
That Sessions should publicly announce that, notwithstanding his recusal from the Russia investigation, the investigation was “very unfair” to the President, the President had done nothing wrong, and Sessions planned to meet with the Special Counsel and “let [him] move forward with investigating election meddling for future elections.” Lewandowski said he understood what the President wanted Sessions to do.Mueller Report, pg. 5 (PDF pg. 217.
One month later on July 19th, 2017, President Trump asked Lewandowski if the message had been delivered, Lewandowski said it would be soon.
Later that same day President Trump told the New York Times that had he known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russian Investigation he wouldn’t have hired him.
Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.Trump July 2017 New York Times.
President Trump would later attack Session via Twitter.
Lewandowski did not want to deliver the message to AG Sessions, so instead he passed the message on to Dearbon.
President Trump, according to the Mueller Report, approached Lewandowski after White House Counsel Don McGahn refused to have the Special Counsel removed, at the direction of the President.
McGahn, was expected to testify earlier this year, but the White House blocked his testimony asserting “absolute immunity.”
As the New York Times explained Democrats in the House have sued McGhan, challenging the assertion that McGahn, who is featured heavily in the Mueller Report, is immune from appearing before the Judiciary Committee.
The hearing is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. eastern time.