Democratic Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellGraham says SC people of color can go anywhere in the state but 'need to be conservative, not liberal' President Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 House in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power MORE (Calif.) published a new op-ed calling for a “fair and impartial” impeachment trial for President TrumpDonald John TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE, citing the XYZ Affair of the 18th century.

Swalwell said in an op-ed published by NBC News that he has recalled the historical event many times during the impeachment process against the president.

House lawmakers voted to impeach Trump last month on two counts — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 


Many Democratic House lawmakers allege that Trump pressured Ukraine to open investigations into his political rivals in exchange for $400 million in military aid and an official visit to the White House.

Swalwell, who became one of the most vocal Democrats during the public impeachment hearings, compared the allegations to the XYZ Affair.

“In 1797, President John Adams — just sworn in as our second chief executive — was in a significant diplomatic bind. France, formerly an ally and protector of our young nation, had suddenly begun seizing American merchant ships at sea after America struck a new trade and military treaty with the British, with whom France was at war,” the California lawmaker explained. 

Adams sent American officials to meet with French Foreign Minister Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord on a diplomatic mission, but French officials asked for a “favor” before meeting.

Swalwell referenced the partial transcript that the White House released of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asks for a “favor.”

“Talleyrand’s agents, Jean Conrad Hottinguer, Pierre Bellamy and Lucien Hauteval, told the Americans that their boss required 'a favor' before any such meeting could be had. (Sound familiar?) He sought a hefty bribe from Adams' envoys in order to help bolster his position in the French government — as well as a large loan from America to France — before he would even start formal negotiations,” Swalwell wrote.

Adams publicly released the request and changed the French agents’ names to “X, Y and Z.” 

Swalwell alleged that the situation was reversed in Trump’s contacts with Ukraine. 

“I’ve thought about the XYZ Affair often in recent months, as more and more evidence has emerged that our own president cast himself as Talleyrand, demanding that a smaller, weaker nation give him something of personal value — dirt on his political rival — in exchange for an official act,” Swalwell wrote.

“America was the vulnerable supplicant in the XYZ Affair; today, Donald Trump is the extortionist. We know what our founders would have thought about Trump’s scheme; they’d be aghast and ashamed. And we know that they gave us the power to impeach a president to punish and prevent abuses of power just such as this,” he continued. 


Swalwell called on lawmakers to “show the same courage and clarity of vision our founders showed when they came to this moral crossroads themselves.”

In a Senate trial of Trump over the articles of impeachment, Senate Majority Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell says 'no concerns' after questions about health Overnight Health Care: Trump says he hopes Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare | FDA approves remdesivir as COVID-19 treatment | Dems threaten to subpoena HHS over allegations of political interference at CDC The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage MORE (R-Ky.) has already vowed to work in step with the White House, although House Speaker Nancy Pelsoi (D-Calif.) has yet to send the articles to the upper chamber.

“The fix is in, as far as those senators are concerned, but it need not be for the rest. It is the duty of Chief Justice John Roberts to preside over a fair and impartial trial and of senators to then render judgment, even if they choose not to convict at the end," Swalwell wrote.

Swalwell continued that during this time in our nation's history there is "no time for partisan antics," adding that this period of time would affect the dignity of the U.S.