The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed former Trump campaign aide Corey Lewandowski and ex-Trump White House official Rick Dearborn on Thursday, seeking testimony that could spur an impeachment inquiry into the president.
“The subpoenas — aimed at creating a made-for-TV moment that unpacks part of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings — comes as Lewandowski is mulling a bid for Senate in New Hampshire,” reports the Washington Post.
Lewandowski and Dearborn “were prominently featured in the Special Counsel’s description of President Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice by directing then-White House Counsel Donald McGahn to fire the Special Counsel, and then by ordering him to lie about it,” Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said in a statement.
“Mr. Lewandowski, who has remained a close informal adviser to the president, is viewed by lawmakers as a particularly valuable witness because of his role in an attempt by Mr. Trump in the summer of 2017 to dramatically curtail the special counsel’s investigation of Russian election interference and his campaign,” reports the New York Times.
Will they actually show up to testify in September? Dearborn, as a former White House staffer, could be ordered not to by current Trump officials. But Lewandowski doesn’t appear to have that protection, having never officially worked in the Trump administration.
The Post says that by its count, 123 Democrats — more than half of the party’s House majority — have now called for opening an official impeachment inquiry.
The subpoenas were issued on the same day Lewandowski was accompanying President Trump to a high-profile campaign rally in Manchester, the New Hampshire capital.
Even though Trump fired Lewandowski as his first campaign manager back in 2016, the president has spoken favorably of him since, and appears to be strongly in favor of him as a Senate candidate.
“If he ran and won he would be a great senator,” Trump said on the radio program “New Hampshire Today with Jack Heath,” USA Today reports.
In an interview, Lewandowski told the national newspaper that “I’m going to get a lot of support if I run.”
But many New Hampshire Republicans are skeptical, and fear that an intra-party fight in the GOP primary could yield a nominee unlikely to beat incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
Plus, says USA Today, some Republicans predict that “many party stalwarts” in New Hampshire “would work against Lewandowski, an aggressive anti-establishment conservative and longtime Trump ally who has clashed for years with the state GOP establishment.”
The state Democratic Party calls Lewandowski “a corporate shadow lobbyist with a nefarious client list that even includes foreign interests.”
Should Lewandowski decide to run, Republicans and Democrats alike could “make public a ton of opposition research on Lewandowski,” New Hampshire political operatives told USA Today. “It ranges from an ugly property dispute with a neighbor to his physical run-in with a reporter during the Trump presidential campaign.”
“Tom Rath, a Republican who has worked in GOP politics since the 1960s, said Lewandowski has a ‘brusque’ manner that often rubs people the wrong way,” the newspaper reports, quoting Rath as saying, “I don’t think you would characterize him as a team player.”