California Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell has come out and said it: he does not support impeaching President Trump.
As reported, Swalwell said he does not believe Democrats should pursue impeachment because there is no evidence.
His comments come after fellow Californian Congressman Brad Sherman re-introduced articles of impeachment against Trump, charging him with obstructing justice.
The comments also followed new Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib calling the president a “motherf-ker” and vowing his impeachment.
Swalwell echoed newly-elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who said the evidence is not there yet for impeachment and that the process would not be a focus of their agenda.
Via the Washington Examiner:
Swalwell, echoing party leaders, said that the evidence isn’t there — yet.
“We’re going to look where Republicans were unwilling to look before, and build an air-tight case, if that’s what’s necessary, seek bipartisan buy-in, and make sure that if we go that way, the American people understand why,” he said. “But we should not be as reckless with the facts as Donald Trump is, and we should give him a fairer investigation that he deserves.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had said the Democrats would wait for the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling, an investigation that has already led to charges and guilty pleas from some of the president’s former advisers.
Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said the committee will send Mueller unredacted transcripts of testimony by witnesses whom he said were not straightforward.
Swalwell is considered by some to be a presidential candidate for 2020, so his more neutral approach could be a calculated political position.
As Politico reported, Swalwell was the first potential presidential candidate to visit Iowa after the most recent congressional elections.
“The 37-year-old Swalwell has been positioning himself for a run over the past year, with several trips to early primary voting states and endorsements of three young congressional candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire through his Future Forum PAC. He has also asked for lists of potential staffers for the early-state contests,” Politico reported.
Despite Pelosi’s openness about not pursuing impeachment, other members campaigned on the subject and have expressed interest in pursuing it anyway.
“Impeachment is on the table,” Sherman said, via the Associated Press. “You can’t take it off the table.”
“The congresswoman absolutely believes he needs to be impeached. She ran and won by making this very clear to the voters in her district,” Tlaib’s spokesperson Denzel McCampbell said.
The Associated Press reports a number of other Democrats have supported Pelosi’s position on the issue:
Top Democrats have so far supported Pelosi’s cautious approach to impeachment, with House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler also saying that it is a divisive, even traumatic, process that should only be done with Republican support. Both Nadler and Pelosi were in Congress during Clinton’s impeachment.
Sherman and Green forced votes to impeach Trump in 2017 and 2018, but the Republican House blocked those resolutions twice, with the help of many Democrats who said the effort was premature.
Many Democrats on Friday distanced themselves from Tlaib’s words. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he doesn’t think “comments like these particularly help.” House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said the comments were “inappropriate” and go against efforts to reclaim civility.
“I think some of our new members probably don’t realize that you are always on, that when you are a member of Congress, there’s always someone listening,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.
Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly said the comments were just “red meat” for Tlaib’s supporters.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
January 7th, 2018