WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday defended Democrats’ investigations into President Donald Trump and his administration — in the wake of political fireworks that dominated the testimony of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s testimony before a key House panel this week.
“We are legislating, investigating, and litigating. And I trust the work of the committees as they go forward to do that,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a news conference on Thursday.
When pressed further, Pelosi reiterated: “I trust the committee and the path that they are on.”
Lewandowski testified before the House Judiciary Committee for five-and-a-half hours on Tuesday. He adhered to the White House invocation of partial immunity over his testimony and refused to answer questions related to events that took place before Trump assumed office. Lewandowski said that he was not involved in the decision to constrain his testimony and that he did not speak with anyone at the White House about it.
Lewandowski ripped members of the committee in his opening statement for what he deemed as excessive oversight and said the committee should instead focus on finding solutions to key policy questions. He also sparred with members of the panel during questioning.
The hearing was the committee’s first under rules adopted last week to provide guidelines for an impeachment investigation.
The guidelines allow the committee’s lawyers to question witnesses for an additional hour after members have concluded questions. The guidelines also permit the committee to receive evidence in closed session and allow the president’s attorneys to respond in writing to testimonial evidence.
Many political pundits said the hearing foreshadowed what actual impeachment proceedings would be like and how politically explosive they could prove to be.
Lewandowski served as Trump’s first campaign manager, from January 2015 to June 2016. Lewandowski has previously testified in private before both the House and Senate intelligence committees.