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Jerry Nadler subpoenas Corey Lewandowski ahead of former Trump campaign advisor’s New Hampshire Senate run

2019-08-19

House Judiciary Committee head Rep. Jerry Nadler (left) is looking to go after Corey Lewandowski ahead of his planned run for office in New Hampshire. (Getty Images)

Rep. Jerry Nadler is forcing Corey Lewandowski and another Trump lieutenant to testify before the committee investigating whether or not to impeach the president.

The Manhattan Congressman issued subpoenas for Lewandowski and former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn order them to appear before the committee on Sept. 17 in public as committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler and other Democrats probe whether they can make a case against Trump.

But Lewandowski, who is expected to run for the Senate, said there was no need to force him to talk.

“They didn’t have to subpoena me,” Lewandowski told Fox News Radio. “They could have just said, ‘Hey Corey, will you show up?’ I’m happy to come, right, because I want to explain that there was no collusion, that there was no obstruction.”

“I am an open book,” he said. “I want to go and remind the American people that these guys are on a witch hunt, right.”

The subpoenas were among 12 that the committee authorized last month, and may signal the direction Democrats are taking. The two men were mentioned in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report in connection with possible obstruction of justice charges.

“It is clear that any other American would have been prosecuted based on the evidence," Nadler said. "Corey Lewandowski and Rick Dearborn were prominently featured in the Special Counsel’s description of President Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice by directing then-White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire the Special Counsel, and then by ordering him to lie about it."

The committee had already subpoenaed McGahn, and filed suit in court last week to compel his appearance.

Congress has not voted to launch a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump, and Democratic leaders don't use that phrase to describe what they are doing, but Nadler has argued his committee's steps amount to the same thing.

The goal would be to decide on whether to proceed with impeachment by late in the year.

“The Committee intends to hold hearings and obtain testimony over the coming months as part of its efforts to hold the President accountable as we move forward with our investigation into obstruction, corruption and abuse of power by Trump and his associates," Nadler said. "This will help the Committee determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the President or other Article 1 remedies. No one is above the law.”

Lewandowski's attorney, Peter Chavkin, told CNN there was no reason to subpoena Lewandowski.

"Mr. Lewandowski has voluntarily appeared before and cooperated with Congress three times answering questions for hours," he said. "He also has spoken for hours with the Special Counsel's office. In light of this, it is fair to ask what could be gained from requiring him to appear yet again."

Lewandowksi never served in the White House, but he stayed close to Trump. He is mentioned in the Mueller Report as acting as a go-between to deliver messages from Trump to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump twice told Lewandowski to tell Sessions to reign in the investigation, according to the report, although the messages apparently never reached Sessions.

In one of those instances, Lewandowski tried to use Dearborn to deliver the message, since Dearborn had served as Sessions' chief of staff in the Senate. According to Mueller's report, Dearborn said request made him uncomfortable and he did not follow through.

The Lewandowski subpoena seems aimed at barring the White House from using claims of executive privilege since Lewandowski never worked there, but Trump's advisers are reportedly considering it anyway.