Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) renewed his call for impeachment on Friday, arguing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony gave Democrats “everything we need” to move forward.
“Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony to the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees Wednesday has left us with no other rational course of action,” Swalwell wrote in an op-ed for NBC News. “Doing so isn’t about partisan advantage in 2020; it’s not even about Trump. Impeaching him is about protecting America.”
Swalwell argued Mueller’s testimony made clear, without distortion from Trump’s own messaging on the contents of the special counsel’s final report how Russia worked to interfere with the 2016 election and how the president potentially obstructed justice throughout Mueller’s investigation.
The congressman pointed to Trump’s repeated avoidance of explicitly acknowledging Russian efforts to impact the election.
Swalwell called the repeated instances of potential obstruction of justice, outlined in Mueller’s final report, “violations of law and a gross betrayal of America.”
“Mueller told us in no uncertain terms that Trump has not been exonerated of obstruction of justice: He found evidence of abuses of power by the president, and said the president could be indicted for obstruction after he leaves office.”
The congressman argued that holding Trump accountable would also send an important message to future presidents:
“We must stop this lawless president from tearing down our democracy. We must show future presidents that this kind of behavior won’t go unchecked. And we must protect the America and the Constitution we all swore an oath to serve.”
Though he has long been critical of the president, Swalwell wasn’t one of the first Democrats to call for an impeachment probe. The congressman and former 2020 presidential contender first called for impeachment proceedings in June.
Congress has no choice: we must begin an impeachment inquiry against @realDonaldTrump. He has invited the Russians to again sabotage our elections. And he has obstructed (& obstructs) justice. Time to be held accountable. Our democracy is worth saving.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) June 13, 2019
Swalwell’s initial support for impeachment proceedings came after Trump gave an explosive interview to ABC News, conceding that he would consider listening to any potential overtures from foreign governments offering dirt on a future election opponent.
“I think maybe you do both,” Trump said when asked if he would contact the FBI. “I think you might want to listen, there’s nothing wrong with listening.”