Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., was made to look foolish for his insistence, without evidence, that President Donald Trump is “an agent of Russia.”
Appearing on PBS’s “Firing Line,” Swalwell, who is mulling a 2020 run for president, was pressed by host Margaret Hoover over the outrageous claim.
“At what point do you draw the line and not accuse the president of the United States without any evidence of being an agent of Russia?” Hoover asked.
“He’s betrayed our country and I don’t say that lightly,” Swalwell replied. “I worked as a prosecutor for seven years.”
Again, Hoover pressed the lawmaker who sits on the House Intelligence Committee and the Judiciary Committee, saying “we want evidence before you say that.”
He responded with his interpretation of recent policy decisions and other innocuous actions.
“He works on their behalf,” the Democrat said. “Since he met with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July, where he took the interpreter’s notes or hasn’t told any U.S. official what they discussed, he has taken us out of Syria, which is a top priority of Russia. He sought to diminish or pull out the U.S. from NATO. And he’s easing sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s friends, who are under investigation.”
Hoover interjected to point out some actions by Trump that are not friendly to Russia.
“But he did pass sanctions against Russia,” she told Swalwell. “He has armed Ukraine. He has killed 200 Russians in Syria. I mean, those aren’t the actions of an agent of Russia, either.”
Swalwell responded to claim the president “begrudgingly” signed sanctions against Russia after “he got backed into it” by Congress.
“What makes him an agent of Russia, though?” Hoover pressed, yet again.
And again, Swalwell responded with conjecture and innuendo, claiming that during the campaign, the Russians “were offering their assistance to help him.” He also referenced discussions about setting up a meeting to discuss a Trump Tower on Moscow and said Trump never “turned down those offers.”
“In fact, after it was revealed that the Russians were attacking our democracy, he went to a press conference and said, ‘Russia, keep doing it,’ essentially,” he added.
Hoover thrashed him over his insistence that this was “evidence,” reminding him that he was once a prosecutor.
“But as a prosecutor, that wouldn’t be evidence in court,” she told him. “I mean, as a prosecutor, you know the difference between hard evidence and circumstantial evidence.”
The response was more speculation in a long, rambling dissertation.
“I think an admission by a defendant is the most powerful evidence, and saying — asking somebody to continue to commit a crime, after they’ve already committed a crime,” Swalwell said. “I mean, that is eagerness to collude. I don’t know what else to call it.”
“And then I think you have consciousness of guilt by all of these follow-up cover-up actions,” he continued. “Again, people only tell someone else to lie, people only lie themselves, people only obstruct justice if they’re afraid of what the underlying truth would reveal.”
Along with millions of Americans, Hoover was unconvinced: “I’m still not hearing the evidence that he’s an agent of Russia.”
“I think it’s pretty clear,” it’s almost hiding in plain sight,” Swalwell countered.
What’s hiding in plain sight is that the Democrat-led House is tripping over itself to find a reason, any reason, to launch more investigations of Trump and his administration.
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