Intel Dem: Trump sending McFaul to Russia could be grounds for impeachment

Intel Dem: Trump sending McFaul to Russia could be grounds for impeachment
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Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellChris Wallace: 'Just insane' Swalwell is talking impeaching Trump again McCarthy says Trump did not interfere in Roger Stone case House intelligence briefing on worldwide threat assessment delayed MORE (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday that it could be an impeachable offense for President TrumpDonald John TrumpChanges in policies, not personalities, will improve perception of corruption in the US Union leader: Bloomberg can go all the way Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE to turn over former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul to Moscow.

"Republicans in Congress need to stand firm that we absolutely will not tolerate the President even considering turning over a US ambassador. If he were to do that, I think that would absolutely be grounds for removal from office," Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN's Erin Burnett. 
 

 

Swalwell's comments come after the White House said on Wednesday that it was open to letting Russian officials interrogate American officials — including McFaul, who served as ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014 — who are accused by Russia of committing illegal acts in the country. 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a press conference with Trump on Monday that the Kremlin would permit special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to travel to Russia and attend the questioning of 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted in the probe, if Russia is allowed to help interrogate some people “who have something to do with illegal actions in the territory of Russia.”

U.S. officials, including State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, have called Russia's request "absurd" and have asserted that Russia's claims of wrongdoing are not valid. 

Russian state media reported that McFaul and Christopher Steele, author of the so-called Steele dossier, are among those Russia wants to question in its investigation into American financier Bill Browder. Browder is a prominent critic of Putin who lobbied on behalf of the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions against Russia.

Swalwell is among a number of lawmakers who say turning over McFaul would be wrong for Trump to do.

"There's no reason we would open up our evidence files, send our investigators over there to let them review that. That would be like a victim allowing the burglar to set up the home security system. That's ridiculous," Swalwell said on CNN.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice also said it would be a mistake to allow Russian officials to question McFaul, calling it "beyond outrageous."