Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski refuses to talk to Congress.

Watch Donald Trump Obstruct Justice in Real Time via Former Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski

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The House Judiciary Committee questioned former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski today, and the hearing was just the sort of fruitless circus you were probably expecting.

First of all, Lewandowski timed a tweet appearing to officially announce a previously expected run for Senate to coincide with the start of his testimony, when he probably figured his name would be trending on Twitter. Which might be good publicity but it’s not super great Democracy.

From there, he was openly hostile to Democrats on the committee, saying Democrats “hate this president more than they love their country.” He took a jab at Rep. Eric Swalwell, who recently dropped out of the 2020 race, snarkily calling him “President Swalwell.” At one point, he asked Rep. Sheila Lee to repeat a question, saying he “didn’t hear [a question]. Just a rant.”

He also proudly admitted that he hadn’t read Robert Mueller’s report—the thing he was being questioned on and in which he plays a major role. He then proceeded to make a big deal out of not having had read it and needing help navigating specific sections that were being discussed.

But probably the biggest problem with Lewandowski’s testimony—other than getting caught in actual lies about what he did and didn’t do for Trump—was his refusal to answer basic questions presented by the committee. We’ve seen this before, with Hope Hicks’ hearing—or rather, we read about it. That was a closed-door hearing, and there was a transcript released later; plus, Rep. Ted Lieu got so frustrated with her refusal to answer the most innocuous questions that he began live-tweeting the hearing.

Hicks invoked executive privilege, trying to protect private communications that happened while she worked at the White House. At the time, Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler denied that executive privilege existed under these circumstances. That didn’t stop her from refusing to answer questions as basic as where her desk was and what the weather was like on a particular day.

It was assumed that the reason why Hicks’ hearing was not televised was because the Trump administration knew how bad it would look to see one of their representatives be so obstinate. And now that we’ve seen it, it is indeed pretty bad.

Here’s Lewandowski refusing to answer Nadler’s questions, saying the President has ordered him not to:

He specifically says he’s not invoking executive privilege–to which Nadler basically replies good, because you can’t—but repeatedly says that the White House told him not to disclose, well, anything, really.

It’s pure obstruction of justice, happening in real-time right in front of us.

And just to make sure Lewandowski followed orders, he let everyone know he was watching.

Just another day in our very normal and stable democracy!

(image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.