Swalwell calls acting AG an 'assassin' hired to 'take out' Mueller probe

Swalwell calls acting AG an 'assassin' hired to 'take out' Mueller probe
© Greg Nash

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget California Democrats face crisis of credibility after lawsuits CNN announces four more town halls featuring 2020 Dems MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday called new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker an "assassin" hired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE to "take out" the special counsel's Russia investigation.

Swalwell's comments echo sentiments from many other Democrats, who have spent days accusing Trump of seeking to undermine Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe by firing former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump Chris Wallace: AG Barr 'clearly is protecting' Trump Appeals court rules Trump end of DACA was unlawful MORE and appointing Whitaker to oversee it. Whitaker, a Trump loyalist, has publicly made comments criticizing the special counsel's investigation and proposing ways the attorney general could stifle it. 

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"We're not going to allow the president to just, you know, kill this Russia investigation by hiring an assassin like Matt WhitakerMatthew G WhitakerEx-federal prosecutor: 'Thank God' Whitaker is gone, Barr will bring 'integrity' back to DOJ GOP pollster says Dems are relitigating 2016 election with investigations of Trump Former senior FBI official calls Whitaker hearing ‘disgraceful’ MORE to come in and take it out," Swalwell said on CNN's "The Situation Room." 

"Whitaker was hired because of his views on the investigation," Swalwell said. "He's prejudged the investigation." 

Democratic leaders on Sunday sent a letter requesting a formal update from the Department of Justice's ethics office on whether Whitaker should recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation.

The Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars Getting serious about infrastructure Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act MORE (N.Y.), in the letter listed what they see as Whitaker's potential ethical conflicts. They pointed out that he has spoken out against Mueller's investigation in multiple op-eds, including one for The Hill, and television appearances and has ties to a former Trump 2016 campaign national co-chairman. 

Schumer over the weekend also pledged to tie a measure protecting Mueller to a piece of spending legislation that must pass Congress, according to The Associated Press

Swalwell during the CNN interview said House Democrats, who just regained a majority, could withhold key votes if Republicans do not act to protect Mueller's investigation.

"The Republicans have not been able to get a budget passed in the last two years with their own votes, despite controlling the House and the Senate," the California Democrat said. "So if they want Democratic votes, we're saying they're going to need to ensure that the Mueller investigation is protected."