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 SwalwellSwalwell says Dems will look into Trump's taxes, foreign business ties Swalwell says Dems won't budge on wall or make tradeoffs for Dreamers Swalwell: ‘More evidence than ever that Donald Trump was associated with a criminal campaign’ MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday called new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker an "assassin" hired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpAustralia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israeli capital, won't move embassy Mulvaney will stay on as White House budget chief Trump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe by firing former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump, Christie met to discuss chief of staff job: report Chief justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation Trump attorney general pick a prolific donor to GOP candidates, groups: report 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 WhitakerFox's Kilmeade suggests David Bossie, Matthew Whitaker for chief of staff Comey’s confession: dossier not verified before, or after, FISA warrant Flake stands firm on sending a ‘message to the White House’ on Mueller 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 PelosiTrump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law Federal judge in Texas strikes down ObamaCare Trump names Mulvaney acting chief of staff MORE (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerRetired Gen. McChrystal: Sending troops to build wall could be seen as ‘misuse of power’ ‘It’s called transparency’ works for Trump on TV, not so much on campaign finance Trump, Pelosi, Schumer: No adult in the room 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."