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 SwalwellDemocratic donors stuck in shopping phase of primary Five takeaways from acting AG's fiery House hearing Top Judiciary Republican to Swalwell: 'Stop running for president' MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday called new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker an "assassin" hired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview 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 SessionsMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war 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 national emergency will haunt Republicans come election season On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win MORE (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration 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."