Corey Lewandowski says he’s willing to appear before Judiciary panel

Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign aide who was subpoenaed Thursday by the House Judiciary Committee, said on Friday that he fully intended to appear before the panel.

“I look forward to my opportunity. … Believe me I’m no flowering violet,” Lewandowski said on Fox News Radio.

On Thursday, the Judiciary panel issued subpoenas to Lewandowski and former White House aide Rick Dearborn, requesting they testify publicly before the committee on September 17. Both Trump aides were cited extensively in the obstruction of justice section of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

The subpoenas didn’t come as a surprise — the duo was included when the committee authorized subpoenas to 12 individuals last month — but they signal the direction the committee is taking as it looks to quickly gather evidence that could lead to pursuing impeachment.

White House officials had been engaged in preliminary discussions about invoking executive privilege to limit Lewandowski from complying with the subpoena, despite Lewandowski never serving in any role in the administration, three sources told CNN.

But Lewandowski signaled Friday he was fully willing to appear.

“I am an open book. I want to go and remind the American people that these guys are on a witch hunt,” he said.

“They didn’t have to subpoena me,” he added. “They could have just said, ‘Corey, will you show up?’ I’m happy to come. Because I want to explain that there was no collusion, there was no obstruction. These guys are such phonies.”

In the interview, Lewandowski noted he’d already faced questions from lawmakers. But in those sessions he was less than forthcoming.

When he agreed to come before the House Intelligence Committee for a second time in March, CNN reported he was in no mood to give Democrats anything they wanted, saying he would answer only “relevant” questions.

And, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the situation, the Trump confidant repeatedly swore at Democratic lawmakers to make the point he wasn’t going to talk further.

I’m not answering your “f—ing” question, Lewandowski shouted at one point.

CNN’s Manu Raju, Jeremy Herb and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.