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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 SwalwellJuan Williams: Defeated Trump is in legal peril Taylor Swift allows song to be used in campaign ad Graham says SC people of color can go anywhere in the state but 'need to be conservative, not liberal' MORE (Calif.) said that ever since President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE’s personal attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenFor the Trump-haters, everything is a crime Talk of self-pardon for Trump heats up Ousted federal prosecutor hired by New York law firm 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.

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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 StoneBiden, Harris pledge to keep politics out of DOJ Flynn spurs questions of who Trump might pardon next OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 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 GiulianiHow Trump's election lawsuits became his worst nightmare Michigan voter fraud hearing goes viral for alleged flatulence, unruly witness Trump hits Barr over voter fraud remarks: 'He hasn't looked' 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.