Top Judiciary Republican to Swalwell: 'Stop running for president'

A House Judiciary Committee hearing with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker became heated Friday when Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsDemocrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony Democrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony Democrats fume, say Hicks declines to answer questions MORE (R-Ga.) criticized a line of questioning by Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael Swalwell2020 Democrats share their families' immigration histories 2020 Democrats share their families' immigration histories 'We fight on': 2020 Democrats mark Juneteenth MORE (D-Calif.) and later suggested he should stop “running for president.”

Collins objected to Swalwell grilling Whitaker on whether an organization the acting attorney general ran prior to joining the Trump administration received contributions from foreign donors.  

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“This is outside the scope of this hearing,” Collins said. “This is not when he was employed here.”

Swalwell shot back by suggesting Collins should “go sit down” with Whitaker’s lawyers if he wanted to defend him.

“Mr. Collins, if you want to sit down there with his lawyers, you can go sit down there,” Swalwell said. “But you’re not his lawyer.”

Collins replied by suggesting Swalwell, who is rumored to be mulling a White House candidacy, should ask appropriate questions.

“Neither are you, Mr. Swalwell, and if you asked questions that are actually part of this instead of running for president we could get this done,” Collins countered.

Collins’s effort to stop Swalwell’s line of questioning failed, and Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) allowed the California representative to continue to press Whitaker on whether his prior organization — known as the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust — received contributions from foreign donors.

“I do not believe, as I sit here today, that it did,” Whitaker said. “Our main donor was a U.S. entity.”