Republicans defended witness who obstructed their own investigation


House intel Republicans sided with Corey Lewandowski after he cursed at congressional investigators and refused to cooperate with the Russia probe.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee came to the defense of a witness who refused to cooperate with their own investigation, a new report reveals.

According to CNN, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski yelled and cursed at Democratic lawmakers during an interview with the House Intelligence Committee last month, at one point shouting, "I'm not answering your f---ing question!"

Lewandowski did not deny the account in a subsequent interview with CNN this week.


The outburst came as congressional investigators were conducting their final interview with Lewandowski as part of their yearlong probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential coordination with the Trump campaign. 

Democratic lawmakers including California Rep. Jackie Speier reportedly pushed back, but Lewandowski "repeatedly" cursed at them and refused to answer further questions.

According to CNN, Lewandowski refused to discuss issues including "the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the White House response to revelations that Donald Trump Jr. met with Russians in Trump Tower in June 2016, and his conversations with the President, among other topics."

Instead of insisting on his cooperation, Republicans "sided with Lewandowski" and allowed him to leave without answering critical questions that could be pertinent to the investigation.

The revelation sheds new light on the dysfunctional leadership of Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, which abruptly and prematurely ended its investigation last month, without ever interviewing key witnesses including all four Trump campaign associates who have been charged by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Since Republicans hold the majority in the House, that means they have the power to issue subpoenas and compel testimony when witnesses do not offer it voluntarily. But the GOP lawmakers chose not to use the power, instead allowing Lewandowski to walk away and leaving key questions unanswered.

A short time later, Republicans announced that they were bringing the investigation to an end. The report they issued on their investigation was so embarrassingly devoid of substance that some Republicans publicly broke with their party and admitted that the committee had "lost all credibility."

Democrats say the breakdown started with Devin Nunes (R-CA), who used his position as the head of the committee to shield Trump from scrutiny. Despite recusing himself, Nunes continued to participate in the committee’s activities. In doing so, turned the investigation into a sideshow — and turned himself into a joke.

According to CNN, Democrats on the committee also pointed to Nunes' staff, saying they egged on Rep. Mike Conaway — who took over the Russia probe after Nunes stepped down — while other Republican committee members "willingly went along with an effort to rush the probe to conclude there was no collusion."

And based on this latest reporting, it appears that Republicans also willingly went along with efforts by key witnesses to obstruct the investigation they were supposed to be leading.

Since Republicans don't want to perform their duties, perhaps voters should do them a favor and alleviate them of that responsibility — by voting them out of office.