Swalwell: Barr has taken Michael Cohen's job as Trump's fixer

Swalwell: Barr has taken Michael Cohen's job as Trump's fixer
© Greg Nash

Democratic Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael Swalwell'This already exists': Democrats seize on potential Trump executive order on preexisting conditions Swalwell: Barr has taken Michael Cohen's job as Trump's fixer The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Chris Christie says Trump team wasn't aggressive enough early in COVID-19 crisis; Tensions between White House, Fauci boil over MORE (Calif.) said that ever since President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE’s personal attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenMichael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Ocasio-Cortez challenges Trump to release college transcript The Hill's 12:30 Report: White House, Dems debate coronavirus relief package MORE has gone to prison, Attorney General William Barr “has taken the job.”

“Unfortunately, Bill Barr already had a job — as Attorney General of the United States, our nation's top law enforcement official,” Swalwell wrote in a Newsweek op-ed published Monday. “And we must not let him do both jobs at once.”

Swalwell’s column came a day before Barr was set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. The California congressman is a member of the committee.

ADVERTISEMENT

Tuesday is the first time Barr will appear before the committee, where Democrats seek to press him on the alleged politicization of the Department of Justice.

Cohen is currently serving a three-year sentence for various charges, including fraud and lying to Congress.

Swalwell maintained that Cohen's actions to shield the president from ridicule are similar to actions Barr has taken in public office. 

“It was reprehensible, but Cohen has taken responsibility for his actions and now is paying the price,” Swalwell wrote. “Meanwhile, Barr seems to be carrying out similar orders but deploying weapons more powerful than Cohen could've dreamed of: the power and authority of the U.S. Justice Department.”

The congressman listed examples in his op-ed that are likely topics during the House hearing, such as the administration’s decision to commute Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneHow would a Biden Justice Department be different? Matt Gaetz, Roger Stone back far-right activist Laura Loomer in congressional bid Barr: The left 'believes in tearing down the system' MORE’s sentence and its dismissal of Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who was leading several investigations into Trump’s associates, including his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiFeehery: Weak mayors destroy America's great cities Coronavirus concerns emerge around debates Giuliani says Black Lives Matter is 'domestic terrorist' group MORE.

Swalwell said that during the hearing Barr “will be expected to explain in detail why he has put President Trump's personal and political needs above the interests of the American people and our justice system."

“Unless he can provide us with valid rationales for his actions – beyond the self-serving excuses he has provided publicly so far – we must assume the Attorney General has been reduced to the role of an underworld fixer for Donald Trump, which has terrible implications for the health of our democracy and for Americans' faith in government,” Swalwell wrote.