Fox News anchor Chris Wallace pressed Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell about the ongoing House impeachment inquiry during a “Fox News Sunday” interview.
The conversation featured Wallace questioning Swalwell about several issues President Donald Trump and Republicans have with the impeachment inquiry process, including the president’s chance to confront his accuser, political bias, presidential participation, and Swalwell’s role as an impartial fact-finder.
“As a matter of basic fairness, shouldn’t Republicans, shouldn’t the president get a chance to at least hear and even to confront the accuser who set all of this this in motion?” Wallace asked.
Swalwell responded by stating that the whistleblower is “not the accuser,” but merely the person who “pulled the fire alarm.”
Responding to the Fox News anchor’s question about “potential political bias” and House Intelligence Committee staff contact with the whistleblower before he filed his report, Swalwell insisted that the committee’s chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, “had never met the whistleblower, does not know the whistleblower’s identity, and did not know what the whistleblower complaint was going to say.”
Wallace played two segments of Swalwell seeming to assume Trump’s guilt, then asked him: “How can you be considered an impartial fact-finder when you seem to have come to the conclusion that the president is guilty before you’ve heard a single witness defending the president?” (RELATED: John Kennedy Fact Checks CNN’s Jake Tapper On Republican Senate Closed Door Hearings: ‘They Are Dealing With Classified Information’)
“And as I said, obstructive acts in our law, you know, in our system of laws are considered consciousness of guilt,” Swalwell responded. “When people try and obstruct the proceedings, jurors are told you can use that as a consciousness of guilt.”
“Well, he’s not allowed to participate, because you haven’t allowed him to have a counsel present or to ask questions of the witnesses, so he has not been able to participate,” Wallace pressed later, responding to the California lawmaker’s contention that the process has been “fair” to Trump.
“He’s allowed to participate in that we have subpoenaed witnesses who he has told not to come forward,” Swalwell said. “We’ve asked for documents that he has refused to turn over, and I just assume and I think my colleagues assume that if those documents could exonerate him, if those witnesses would exonerate him, he would send them forward. If he’s going to obstruct our efforts, we’re going to put that in the bucket of a consciousness of guilt.”