Beating Them at Their Own Game

 

It’s not a game. It’s war. And the Democrats think they are entitled to set the rules of engagement. I have a message for Jerry Nadler. No matter what you call this obsession of torturing the Republicans through your Impeachment Hearings or Impeachment Inquiries or Impeachment Interviews, it is an affront to this country and its citizens.

The latest warrior (what else would be an appropriate label?) to take on the House Judiciary Committee was Corey Lewandowski. Now I’m not a fan of Lewandowski; he’s struck me as a hothead and his pushing a reporter (or whatever he did that led to his firing) was unwise, at the very least. But I was impressed with how he handled himself at his hearing yesterday, and essentially controlled the dialogue with the Democrats. Although others have pushed back on the committee in the past (interim Attorney General Matthew Whittaker, for one), Corey is now a private citizen and was savvy enough to know how far he could push the committee. Others who are called up before the Judiciary Committee should take notes. Here’s what I observed:

  • When they insult you—don’t be defensive. When one representative accused him of being “chicken” (a very dignified characterization) when he didn’t communicate a request from President Trump to AG Sessions, he said he’d decided that taking his kids to the beach was a higher priority. He not only pushed back, but he was making a statement about the lack of seriousness in the workings of government.
  • When they try to lecture you—about your lack of disclosure, decorum, or cooperation, interrupt by asking them to express their questions. Let them know that you’d rather not be a victim of their grandstanding and insults.
  • When they attack the President—remind them that the Mueller Report didn’t find any evidence of obstruction or collusion. They already know this truth, but it’s a valuable tactic to remind the viewing public that the hearing is a sideshow.
  • When they ask you to remember a situation described in the Mueller report from months ago—ask them to refer to the page and paragraph. This tactic will not only annoy them, but it will remind everyone that the committee is going over the same information that has already been covered, in an effort to intimidate others they may interview in the future.
  • When they question your motives—remind them that you came willingly to the hearing, and that you’ve come before them several other times. (The fact that it bolstered his image when he may be running for Senate in New Hampshire, was, well, a bonus.)

There are probably many other lessons from Corey Lewandowski’s testimony that we can glean. I believe that it’s important not just to annoy the committee or make their job more difficult, but to demonstrate to citizens that the Democrats’ actions are wasting the money of citizens, are hyper-political, and are preventing a group of Representatives (Democrats and Republicans) from doing the jobs for which they were elected: governing the country.

Then again, they are helping us win this war.

What else have we learned from yesterday’s hearing?

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  1. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    TBA (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    I’ve never understood why anyone shows up for these things. Are they legally compelled to?

    Yes. Congress has almost unchecked power to carry out its oversight, investigative, and legislative functions. It is barely limited by the boundaries of its proper powers and relevance of the target’s testimony to Congress doing its job.

    See this clearly written article for explanation.

    Vile.

    How else would you imagine Article I working? Notice that Congress has no power to haul you off to jail or to fine you. That still requires the cooperation of the other two branches of government.

    • #31
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    How else would you imagine Article I working? Notice that Congress has no power to haul you off to jail or to fine you. That still requires the cooperation of the other two branches of government.

    I guess we should be grateful for these limitations. Otherwise, who knows what they might do!

    • #32
  3. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    TBA (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    I’ve never understood why anyone shows up for these things. Are they legally compelled to?

    Yes. Congress has almost unchecked power to carry out its oversight, investigative, and legislative functions. It is barely limited by the boundaries of its proper powers and relevance of the target’s testimony to Congress doing its job.

    See this clearly written article for explanation.

    Vile.

    What on earth is vile about Congress having subpoena power?  It’s a necessary power, and all powers can be abused.

    • #33
  4. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    I’ve never understood why anyone shows up for these things. Are they legally compelled to?

    Yes. Congress has almost unchecked power to carry out its oversight, investigative, and legislative functions. It is barely limited by the boundaries of its proper powers and relevance of the target’s testimony to Congress doing its job.

    See this clearly written article for explanation.

    If I read this will I learn how Brian Pagliano ignored a subpoena and suffered no consequences? 

    • #34
  5. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Skyler (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    I’ve never understood why anyone shows up for these things. Are they legally compelled to?

    Yes. Congress has almost unchecked power to carry out its oversight, investigative, and legislative functions. It is barely limited by the boundaries of its proper powers and relevance of the target’s testimony to Congress doing its job.

    See this clearly written article for explanation.

    Vile.

    What on earth is vile about Congress having subpoena power? It’s a necessary power, and all powers can be abused.

    Vile that they have this nearly unfettered power and use it as a televised pillory. Vile that they can extract expertise without remuneration from free citizens by their popular whim, and that their whims expand in advance of their quest to govern all the things. 

    • #35
  6. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    Executive branch witnesses (e.g. Lt Col North) have an obligation, per their oath of office, to act  in their official capacities when dragged in front of these tribunals – thus the expectation of decorum and professionalism. Private citizens (e.g. Mr. Lewandowski) may act as they see fit given their risk tolerance for the situation at hand. As I was watching the testimony yesterday it occurred to me that Lewandowski should have just replied “No” to the swearing in. An explanation would have been demanded, and he could have used that as another opportunity to express his opinion of the merits of this committee while also dodging the perjury traps. His reason is that this committee does not evoke the implicit trust normally associated with taking an oath. Now, I suspect that act by itself could have excited some threatening reactions, but it would have made good theater!

    • #36
  7. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):

    Executive branch witnesses (e.g. Lt Col North) have an obligation, per their oath of office, to act in their official capacities when dragged in front of these tribunals – thus the expectation of decorum and professionalism. Private citizens (e.g. Mr. Lewandowski) may act as they see fit given their risk tolerance for the situation at hand. As I was watching the testimony yesterday it occurred to me that Lewandowski should have just replied “No” to the swearing in. An explanation would have been demanded, and he could have used that as another opportunity to express his opinion of the merits of this committee while also dodging the perjury traps. His reason is that this committee does not evoke the implicit trust normally associated with taking an oath. Now, I suspect that act by itself could have excited some threatening reactions, but it would have made good theater!

    I think telling your inquisitors that you do not intend to be required to tell the truth is not a very good ploy, though it might be fun!

    • #37
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    TBA (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    I’ve never understood why anyone shows up for these things. Are they legally compelled to?

    Yes. Congress has almost unchecked power to carry out its oversight, investigative, and legislative functions. It is barely limited by the boundaries of its proper powers and relevance of the target’s testimony to Congress doing its job.

    See this clearly written article for explanation.

    Vile.

    What on earth is vile about Congress having subpoena power? It’s a necessary power, and all powers can be abused.

    Vile that they have this nearly unfettered power and use it as a televised pillory. Vile that they can extract expertise without remuneration from free citizens by their popular whim, and that their whims expand in advance of their quest to govern all the things.

    This is simply a second order effect of the massive expansion of government, the urge to “do something,” because “there ought to be a law.”

    • #38
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):

    Executive branch witnesses (e.g. Lt Col North) have an obligation, per their oath of office, to act in their official capacities when dragged in front of these tribunals – thus the expectation of decorum and professionalism. Private citizens (e.g. Mr. Lewandowski) may act as they see fit given their risk tolerance for the situation at hand. As I was watching the testimony yesterday it occurred to me that Lewandowski should have just replied “No” to the swearing in. An explanation would have been demanded, and he could have used that as another opportunity to express his opinion of the merits of this committee while also dodging the perjury traps. His reason is that this committee does not evoke the implicit trust normally associated with taking an oath. Now, I suspect that act by itself could have excited some threatening reactions, but it would have made good theater!

    I think telling your inquisitors that you do not intend to be required to tell the truth is not a very good ploy, though it might be fun!

    Maybe something like: “Congressman, I’ll swear to tell the truth here if you go first. Heck, let’s all stand together and swear to tell the truth to the American people during our time together!”

    • #39
  10. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Maybe something like: “Congressman, I’ll swear to tell the truth here if you go first. Heck, let’s all stand together and swear to tell the truth to the American people during our time together!”

    Now, that would be delicious.

    • #40
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    I’ve never understood why anyone shows up for these things. Are they legally compelled to?

    Yes. Congress has almost unchecked power to carry out its oversight, investigative, and legislative functions. It is barely limited by the boundaries of its proper powers and relevance of the target’s testimony to Congress doing its job.

    See this clearly written article for explanation.

    Vile.

    What on earth is vile about Congress having subpoena power? It’s a necessary power, and all powers can be abused.

    Vile that they have this nearly unfettered power and use it as a televised pillory. Vile that they can extract expertise without remuneration from free citizens by their popular whim, and that their whims expand in advance of their quest to govern all the things.

    This is simply a second order effect of the massive expansion of government, the urge to “do something,” because “there ought to be a law.”

    I believe it is also low-grade tyranny. Fortunately for me and most Americans, Congress is not interested in humbling just anybody. 

    • #41
  12. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    Susan Quinn:

    Now I’m not a fan of Lewandowski…

    Well, he certainly seemed much more likeable and knowledgeable on the Byron York Show.

    http://ricochet.com/podcast/byron-york-show/corey-lewandowski-why-trump-can-draw-another-inside-straight/

    I think back then Lewandowski said that the investigation had cost him something like $400,000 in legal bills, and I think he kind of begged Congress to be done with this thing as it was simply costing him more and more money.

    You have to be knowledgeable when you and talking about situations that can ruin your life.

    • #42
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    Now I’m not a fan of Lewandowski…

    Well, he certainly seemed much more likeable and knowledgeable on the Byron York Show.

    http://ricochet.com/podcast/byron-york-show/corey-lewandowski-why-trump-can-draw-another-inside-straight/

    I think back then Lewandowski said that the investigation had cost him something like $400,000 in legal bills, and I think he kind of begged Congress to be done with this thing as it was simply costing him more and more money.

    You have to be knowledgeable when you and talking about situations that can ruin your life.

    Thanks, @thecloakedgaijin. I like Byron’s show, but missed this one.

    • #43
  14. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    [Deleted because I just read a similar comment above]

    • #44
  15. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I’m not surprised that Trump’s kids overreacted.

    Yes, but I can’t blame them much. The whole operation was pulled off by people new to politics. Manafort was the worst hire.  For him, as well as them.

    • #45
  16. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Recall in 1986, Fawn Hall, secretary to Ollie North basically telling the Iran-Contra Senate panel to shove it.

    A friend of mine was the Marine Corps aide after North and Fawn Hall was his secretary, too. She seems to have paid no price for the shenanigans with the documents she snuck out under her clothes.

    • #46
  17. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Recall in 1986, Fawn Hall, secretary to Ollie North basically telling the Iran-Contra Senate panel to shove it.

    A friend of mine was the Marine Corps aide after North and Fawn Hall was his secretary, too. She seems to have paid no price for the shenanigans with the documents she snuck out under her clothes.

    North was fortunate in his enemies. Iran Contra was a harebrained runaround of a harebrained foreign policy involvement by a Democratic Congress.  The overt bad faith attempt to bring down the Reagan Administration  ace it easy to root for North.

    Cap Weinberger thought it was dumb, opted out before they shared any details, advised no and walled off as much of DoD as possible from the Poindexter-North plan.  When Lawrence Walsh tried to criminalize Weinberger’s role, a huge chuck of the DC legal establishment  said enough is enough, there was a pardon and the probe ended. Walsh got desperate for a scalp because the idiot Senate granted immunity so they could get their TV time with North and Poindexter and they lost that perception contest even with the media on their side.

    • #47
  18. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Yes, David French. This is what fighting looks like.

    Trump should be at 60% popularity and cruising to a 35 state victory.  His behavior, including but limited to his tweeting is why he will likely lose, and take the Senate and numerous legislatures with him, consigning us to be a minority party in the House for a decade.

    I am going to vote for Martha McSally.  I like Cory Gardner, Tom Tillis and Susan Collins.  But I think that all four will be defeated in the Great Trump Rejection in 2020, since we refused to learn from the 2018 election when we lost the suburbs.

    • #48
  19. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    I am beginning to see hope that the Republican Party will retain that fighting spirit after Trump has left in 2025, and not Bush out the way it did after Reagan left.

    Lindsey Graham, of all people, seems to be getting the message.

    I believe that Trump will be leaving in 2021, and like Jimmy Carter will be seen as a Failed President who could not win re-election.

    • #49
  20. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    I am beginning to see hope that the Republican Party will retain that fighting spirit after Trump has left in 2025, and not Bush out the way it did after Reagan left.

    Lindsey Graham, of all people, seems to be getting the message.

    No, he’s not. He chairs Senate Judiciary Committee. Where are the interrogations of Clapper, Brennan, Etc?

    I thought Grassley chaired that committee.

    Senator Grassley moved on to chair the Senate Finance Committee.

    • #50
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Yes, David French. This is what fighting looks like.

    Trump should be at 60% popularity and cruising to a 35 state victory. His behavior, including but limited to his tweeting is why he will likely lose, and take the Senate and numerous legislatures with him, consigning us to be a minority party in the House for a decade.

    I am going to vote for Martha McSally. I like Cory Gardner, Tom Tillis and Susan Collins. But I think that all four will be defeated in the Great Trump Rejection in 2020, since we refused to learn from the 2018 election when we lost the suburbs.

    Off-topic much?

    • #51
  22. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Yes, David French. This is what fighting looks like.

    Trump should be at 60% popularity and cruising to a 35 state victory. His behavior, including but limited to his tweeting is why he will likely lose, and take the Senate and numerous legislatures with him, consigning us to be a minority party in the House for a decade.

    I am going to vote for Martha McSally. I like Cory Gardner, Tom Tillis and Susan Collins. But I think that all four will be defeated in the Great Trump Rejection in 2020, since we refused to learn from the 2018 election when we lost the suburbs.

    Good riddance!

    • #52
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Trump should be at 60% popularity and cruising to a 35 state victory.

    You don’t know that he isn’t. Polls mean nothing, especially this far out.

    • #53
  24. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    BastiatJunior (View Comment):

    Yes, David French. This is what fighting looks like.

    Trump should be at 60% popularity and cruising to a 35 state victory. His behavior, including but limited to his tweeting is why he will likely lose, and take the Senate and numerous legislatures with him, consigning us to be a minority party in the House for a decade.

    I am going to vote for Martha McSally. I like Cory Gardner, Tom Tillis and Susan Collins. But I think that all four will be defeated in the Great Trump Rejection in 2020, since we refused to learn from the 2018 election when we lost the suburbs.

    I don’t see how anybody has any confidence either way in this election. I think the President has a shot. There’s a lot more at stake in 2020, and I think the left is seriously underestimating young people’s political apathy today.

     

    • #54
  25. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    I personally think we may well end up with Hillary the nominee after the Democrats, who are not insane, take a look at their candidates in the last months before the convention.  The present flurry about Ukraine may well represent a Democrat push to get Biden out early.  Hillary’s team seems to be pushing Warren now but that may change. It’s useful to read Pat Buchanan’s book, “Nixon’s White House Wars,” which I am doing again.  Their 1972 strategy against McGovern seems perfect for the 2020 Democrats as they all resemble McGovern.

    Trump going to New Mexico and California looks to me like a reach for the popular vote next year. Imagine the angst in the NPV states if he wins the popular vote and they have to give him their EC votes. He need not win CA or NY to get the popular majority, just lose closely.

    The Never Trumpers are deluded to think he will lose unless there is a war or major recession.

    • #55
  26. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    The Never Trumpers are deluded to think he will lose unless there is a war or major recession.

    Fixed for general accuracy.

    • #56
  27. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    I personally think we may well end up with Hillary the nominee after the Democrats, who are not insane, take a look at their candidates in the last months before the convention.

    First clause does not compute with second clause. Also, I am not sure the second clause has the facts behind it. Can you imagine the reaction of the Bernie Bros if Hillary comes out as the nominee again?

    • #57
  28. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Samuel Block (View Comment):
    There’s a lot more at stake in 2020, and I think the left is seriously underestimating young people’s political apathy today.

    This.

    • #58
  29. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Can you imagine the reaction of the Bernie Bros if Hillary comes out as the nominee again?

    First I think if Hillary is the nominee she we get a lot fewer votes than in 2016 and Trump will get as big or greater an electoral victory than he would get over any other (D) candidate. Second, the Democrats are insane overall but with variations in the type of insanity from which they suffer. Hillary gets the nomination if Biden implodes and the powers that be let their insane grab for power select Hillary rather than let the Democratic primaries decide the nominee. They are insane enough to make that happen, as the insanity of naked and exposed fascism of the socialists put at risk the sinecures of the powers that be.

    • #59
  30. Max Ledoux Coolidge
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Susan Quinn: he’s struck me as a hothead and his pushing a reporter (or whatever he did that led to his firing) was unwise, at the very least.

    Sorry if this topic has already been discussed (I haven’t read all the comments yet), but Corey neither pushed Michelle Fields nor was fired for the incident that did occur. That was in early March 2016 and he didn’t leave the campaign until the end of June, after Trump had secured the nomination. In other words, after Lewandoski had successfully accomplished what he had been hired to do. Trump then brought in Manafort, who was an expert on conventions.

    Sorry for distracting from the main point of your post.

    • #60
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