House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a group of lawmakers Wednesday evening that Corey Lewandowski should have been held in contempt “right then and there” when he talked over members, dodged their questions and promoted his Senate campaign from a House hearing.
In a small huddle with lawmakers from across the caucus, Pelosi (D-Calif.) complained that no witness should be able to treat members of Congress like President Trump’s former campaign manager did during a Tuesday hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, according to three people familiar with the exchange.
“I would have held him in contempt right then and there,” she said.
Several lawmakers in the room took her remarks as a dig at House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who chose not to hold Lewandowski in contempt for his defiant behavior on Tuesday.
Technically, staff would have had to draft up a contempt resolution to vote on in committee. And Democrats thought it would be better to keep the focus on Trump.
Others, however, were outraged and feel like the committee looked weak for not responding. The panel, however, could choose to move forward with contempt at a later day.
Pelosi spokeswoman Ashley Etienne confirmed the exchange, saying in a statement that “in a meeting today, a member commented on the level of disrespect that Lewandowski displayed at the hearing for the Committee and Congress’s authority to uncover the truth.”
“Speaker Pelosi agreed that his behavior was beyond the pale and contemptible,” she said. “The Speaker went on to say that he could have been held in contempt right then and there.”
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