Former Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiSenate needs to confirm Judge Barrett before Election Day  The Memo: Biden landslide creeps into view The Hill's Campaign Report: Barrett hearings take center stage | Trump returns to campaign trail MORE refused to answer on Tuesday when a Democratic lawmaker pressed him on whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE had ever dangled a pardon to persuade him not to cooperate with the now-shuttered special counsel probe.

During a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Lewandowski cited executive privilege and refused to describe his conversations with the president after Rep. Mary Gay ScanlonMary Gay ScanlonProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Democrats unveil bill to reduce police violence against people with mental illness Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race MORE (D-Pa.) questioned whether Trump had pressured him to refuse cooperation as he had reportedly done with Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ veteran says he's quitting over Barr's 'slavish obedience' to Trump Bruce Ohr retires from DOJ Don't forget: The Trump campaign gave its most sensitive data to a Russian spy MORE, his former campaign chairman.


"Did the president ever try to discourage you from speaking with the special counsel, Mr. Lewandowski?" Scanlon asked.

"I can't speak to any private conversation I may or may not have had with the president other than to say I've always been told to tell the truth," he responded.

"OK. So you're not going to tell us today whether he ever instructed you not to cooperate with the special counsel?" she asked again.

"I've never been instructed to do anything but tell the truth," Lewandowski replied.

Scanlon listed a number of Trump officials who she said had reportedly been offered pardons in the face of potential charges, including Manafort, Richard Gates, and others.

"Has the president ever offered you a pardon?" she asked.

"Again, the White House has directed I not disclose the substance of any conversation I've had with the president or his advisers," he responded.

Democrats have sharply criticized the White House following a letter from the Trump administration Monday night restricting Lewandowski, who never held an official role in the White House, and other witnesses from describing any conversations they had with Trump or his advisers.

"Mr. Lewandowski's conversations with the President and with senior advisers to the President are protected from disclosure by long-settled principles protecting Executive Branch confidentiality interests and, as a result, the White House has directed Mr. Lewandowski not to provide information about such communications beyond the information provided in the portions of the Report that have already been disclosed to the Committee," White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMarijuana stocks see boost after Harris debate comments Jewish lawmakers targeted by anti-Semitic tweets ahead of election: ADL Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court MORE (D-N.Y.) called the move a breach of the separation of powers and indicated that it could affect the committee's consideration of articles of impeachment.

"The President would have us believe that he can willfully engage in criminal activity and prevent witnesses from testifying before Congress — even if they did not actually work for him or his administration," Nadler said in a statement on Monday night. "If he were to prevail in this cover-up while the Judiciary Committee is considering whether to recommend articles of impeachment, he would upend the separation of powers as envisioned by our founders."