Presidential candidate and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said Thursday that House Democrats were “on the road to impeachment” with President Donald Trump, but he stopped short of calling for the party to launch impeachment proceedings right away.
Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, said in an interview with the PBS NewsHour’s managing editor and anchor Judy Woodruff that he trusted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s approach of exhausting every oversight tool before considering an impeachment inquiry.
But Swalwell said the White House was leaving House Democrats little choice by refusing to comply with subpoenas related to congressional investigations of the president’s actions in office, including his business dealings and whether he impeded special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
“I think he’s backing us into the only other remedy,” Swalwell said of Trump, referring to impeachment. He added: “I want to make sure we do everything else first before we get there. I think we’re pretty close.”
Some 2020 Democrats, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., have gone a step further, calling for Congress to start an impeachment inquiry into whether Trump obstructed the special counsel’s investigation. Others have echoed Swalwell in arguing Democrats should evaluate all the evidence first, including the underlying evidence Mueller used to write his report.
Other highlights from the interview:
- On gun control: Swalwell said he felt “demoralized” watching the country go from “mass shooting to mass shooting.” Swalwell has made gun control a centerpiece of his campaign, and has called for a mandatory national ban on and buyback of military-style semi-automatic weapons.
- On trade: Swalwell said a trade war with China was not beneficial to the United States and said he believes Trump has alienated nations with longstanding relationships with the U.S.
- On his Midwestern roots: Swalwell represents diverse California congressional district that spans the east Bay. But his parents are Midwestern Republicans who voted for Trump. Swalwell argued his life experience of growing up in the Midwest, being educated in the South and now representing a liberal enclave in California could help him appeal to voters across the ideological spectrum.