House Judiciary Democrats’ questioning of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski exposed the political motivations underlying the impeachment-probe hearing, “The Story” host Martha MacCallum said Wednesday.
Appearing on “America’s Newsroom” with host Sandra Smith, MacCallum said that the Tuesday hearing “shows the very narrow focus of what they could accomplish with Corey Lewandowski.”
Lewandowski’s five hours of testimony before the committee -- the first hearing as part of the Trump impeachment investigation -- quickly descended into chaos as Democrats quarreled with a combative witness who refused to answer multiple questions.
Lewandowski was following White House orders not to discuss confidential conversations with the president beyond what was already made public in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Lewandowski almost immediately frustrated Chairman Jerry Nadler when he repeatedly asked to point to the specific section in the Mueller report related to his question.
"He's filibustering," a frustrated Nadler exclaimed.
Amid the back-and-forth, the top Republican on the committee, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., moved to adjourn the hearing. Collins forced a failed voice vote that caused even further delay.
Nadler later stated that Lewandowski’s “behavior in this hearing room [had] been completely unacceptable,” and threatened to hold him “in contempt.”
In his opening statement, Lewandowski railed against the Trump investigations.
“It is now clear the investigation was populated by many Trump haters who had their own agenda – to try and take down a duly elected president of the United States,” he said. “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.”
MacCallum pointed out that the report was what “left the door open for this political avenue for Democrats” by not making a decision on obstruction.
“And, that left that door open and Attorney General Bill Barr was displeased by that. He felt that when you look at the report that you absolutely could have made a judgment on obstruction,” she told Smith.
MacCallum said to also keep in mind that when Mueller completed his report, he said his investigation was “not impeded in any way” and that there were “no barriers that were put forward by the White House.”
“But that’s the door that was left open,” she said. “These Democrats want to walk through it, largely for political reasons; I think it’s pretty clear. And, they need to determine whether or not this is …a dead horse they want to continue to beat.”
MacCallum concluded: “Fifty-nine percent of the American people say that they want to move on from this. There’s an election next year, and a lot of people -- including Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin, to some extent -- think that they do not want to be labeled the ‘Impeachment Party’ when they head into that election.”