Swalwell: House Russia probe should be reopened following Cohen plea deal

Swalwell: House Russia probe should be reopened following Cohen plea deal
© Greg Nash

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellDems seize on Times bombshell to push allegations of Trump obstruction Democratic donors stuck in shopping phase of primary Five takeaways from acting AG's fiery House hearing MORE (D-Calif.) slammed the now-shuttered Russia investigation conducted by the House Intelligence Committee as a "sham" on Friday and called for the probe to be reopened.

Swalwell, a member of the committee, told CNN's "New Day" that witnesses including Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump's son attacks LGBT magazine op-ed that calls effort to decriminalize homosexuality 'racist' Gillibrand uses Trump Jr. tweet to fundraise Trump has publicly criticized Russia probe more than 1,100 times: NY Times MORE and former Trump campaign adviser Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? Roger Stone invokes gag order in new fundraiser MORE should be called to testify again following an admission from Michael Cohen that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE directed him to make nondisclosure deals which included six-figure payments to women accusing Trump of affairs.

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"The Republicans shut down our investigation. The best thing they can do for the country is reopen the investigation and bring these witnesses in under subpoena and allow us to look at the documents that third parties hold to test their stories," Swalwell said, adding that the initial probe "was a sham."

"Chairman [Rep. Devin] Nunes from the beginning has sought to protect Donald Trump, not protect the ballot box," he added of the California Republican chairman. "They took out the shovels as soon as this investigation began and buried as much evidence as they could."

Asked whether he believed Cohen lied to his committee last year when the president's former longtime attorney testified on allegations of Russian collusion during a six-hour session, Swalwell said only that Cohen had appeared to not have been "forthcoming."

"[But] the only way to really test that is if he comes back [and testifies]," Swalwell added.

Swalwell's remarks come days after the Senate Intelligence Committee stated that it wants Cohen to reappear before the committee to testify about media reports indicating he knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer before it took place.

"We recently re-engaged Mr. Cohen and his team following press reports that suggested he had advanced knowledge of the June 16th meeting between campaign officials and a Russian lawyer at the Trump Tower," the top Democrat and Republican on the panel said in a joint statement this week.

Cohen, who worked for years as President Trump’s personal attorney, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance law violations.