Corey Lewandowski Hearing: Barry Berke Praised on Twitter for Roasting Trump's Former Campaign Manager Over Lies to Media

Barry Berke was the unexpected star of Corey Lewandowski's fractious congressional hearing, after the criminal defense lawyer grilled the Trump 2016 campaign manager at the end of an hours-long session that had, until then, been a masterclass in partisanship and stonewalling.

Berke, an experienced trial attorney and a partner at the firm Kramer Levin, is currently serving as a consultant to the House Judiciary Committee in its work scrutinizing President Donald Trump, his administration, and his campaign in the wake of the Mueller report.

He was tasked with questioning Lewandowski once the House Democrats and Republicans on the judiciary committee were finished. Democrats were left frustrated by Lewandowski's invocation of executive privilege at the behest of the White House and his relentlessly combative style.

But Berke worked around Lewandowski's stonewalling and as much as got the Trump man to admit that he lies in public by contrasting his comments in the media—playing his appearances on a big screen—with the facts presented in the Mueller report.

The lawyer played a clip of Lewandowski on MSNBC in a May 2019 interview saying he did not remember President Trump ever asking him to "get involved with Jeff Sessions or the Department of Justice in any way, shape, or form, ever."

Barry Berke Corey Lewandowski House Judiciary Committee
Barry Berke asks probing questions of Corey Lewandowski at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on September 17, 2019, in Washington D.C. Congress

Yet Lewandowski had told Mueller in 2018 that Trump had directed him to deliver a message to his Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he should make a statement in support of the president and committing to limit the jurisdiction of the special counsel.

At a follow-up meeting, Trump instructed Lewandowski—who had arranged for someone else to deliver the message in the future—to tell Sessions that if he would not meet with him, he would be fired. Lewandowski made notes of both discussions with Trump and kept them in a safe.

"I have no obligation to be honest with the media because they are just as dishonest as anybody else," a rattled Lewandowski replied when Berke highlighted his lie on MSNBC.

Berke's measured, razor-sharp performance received plaudits on social media as he found a way around Lewandowski's constant references to executive privilege by focusing on his public statements in the media and in his own book about his relationship with Trump.

"Barry Berke absolutely killed it," tweeted Harvard law professor Jennifer Taub. "Every lawyer and law student must watch this segment of the hearing. Such amazing cross-examination of Corey Lewandowski."

The writer James Fallows tweeted: "Watching Barry Berke question Lewandowski, compared w question-speeches from most of the committee members, is like watching an NBA player compared with high schoolers."

Former Republican congressman David Jolly told MSNBC on Tuesday evening that Lewandowski gave Democrats "what they needed today for an article of impeachment against the president of the United States for obstruction of justice."