Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell blew off concerns voiced by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler in 1998.
Swalwell, who made an appearance on Fox News’ “The Story” after Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, appeared to suggest that Nadler’s words of caution were not relevant simply because they were 20 years old. (RELATED: ‘You’ve Already Decided There Is A Crime?’: Martha MacCallum Challenges Eric Swalwell On Impeachment)
Host Martha MacCallum introduced the clip, saying, “Let’s listen to Jerry Nadler back in 1998. I want to get your response to this before we go.”
“We must not overturn an election and remove a president from office. Except to defend our system of government or our Constitutional liberties against a dire threat. And we must not do so without an overwhelming consensus of the American people. There must never be a narrowly-voted impeachment or an impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other,” Nadler said in reference to the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton.
“Why was that such a concern back then and not now, Congressman Swalwell?” Mac Callum pressed, drawing a straight line to the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, which has been split down party lines from the beginning.
“Yeah. Martha, I was 17 years old,” Swalwell shrugged. “And most Americans who are voting today were not tuned in then and so I think let’s focus on what we have right now —”
“So history is no guide and experience doesn’t matter when looking at the past —” MacCallum trailed off
“If I could finish,” Swalwell shot back. “I’m going to live in the present and say if a small town mayor in any town in America, anyone watching Fox News today, had the mayor tell the police chief I will give you the police officers that you are asking me for to make your street safer but only if you investigate my opponent. Everyone would say that’s wrong.”
“You haven’t proven a quid pro quo and that’s the problem,” MacCallum continued to object. “And that’s what Turley is saying.”
“Oh, we have we have. We have,” Swalwell insisted.
“And his concern was so clear. He is not a Trump supporter,”MacCallum said, noting the concerns raised by George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley. “He didn’t vote for President Trump, he has been critical of him many times. You need to stick the landing on the quid pro quo.”
Swalwell didn’t budge. “We stuck it. We stuck it,” he said.
“And you are sticking with it,” MacCallum smiled as she wrapped the interview.
“We stuck it. I will leave it at that,” he said.