Rep. Eric Swalwell on the growing Trump Russia turmoil: "We are not powerless"

Rep. Eric Swalwell on the growing Trump Russia turmoil: "We are not powerless"
Source: AP
Source: AP

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump may be "unfocused" and obstructionist, but that doesn't leave the public helpless, a California congressman said in an interview Wednesday. 

"We are not powerless," Rep. Eric Swalwell, the ranking member of the CIA Subcommittee of the House Committee on Intelligence, said. "People should expect their representatives to want to understand what Russia did, and make reforms so that we never see something like this again," 

Swalwell, 36, represents California's 15th Congressional District. A member of the House Judiciary Committee, he also founded and chairs the Future Forum, a gathering of young lawmakers.

As a member of the Republican-controlled chamber, Swalwell has been working with Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings to launch an independent Russia investigatory panel similar to the 9/11 Commission.

Swalwell spoke to Mic just before news broke Wednesday of Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel in charge of examining possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Source: Mic/Mic

"This is only half of the solution," he said in a written statement on the appointment. "As Mueller oversees an investigation of past crimes, we need a bipartisan-appointed, independent commission to investigate what happened, make a credible public report, and come up with reforms to prevent future crimes."

Swalwell is hoping to pull more members of the GOP to his side as the political temperature surrounding the White House rises. As far as talk of a Trump impeachment, though, Swalwell said it's too early to make that call.

"It's too early for any other 'I' words at this point," he said. "We really need to have a fair investigation — one that follows the facts and follows the evidence and then go from there. But right now, this president continues to impede our ability to do that."

In a separate interview this week, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley of New York said Trump has shown an inability to govern and a willingness to abuse his power.

Source: Mic/Mic

"It may very well be more than that — and that's what I'm very, very concerned about," Crowley said.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Celeste Katz

Celeste Katz is senior political correspondent at Mic, covering national politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at celeste@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Sean Spicer said he resigned to avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen”

Sean Spicer said he wanted to give new communications director Anthony Scaramucci a "clean slate."

Report: Jeff Sessions talked about matters related to the Trump campaign with Russian ambassador

Intercepted conversations suggest Sessions may have spoken about campaign-related issues, despite denying that was the case.

Obamacare repeal bill dealt yet another possibly fatal blow by Senate parliamentarian

Republicans will need to find 60 votes in support of their Obamacare repeal bill, or else strip it of abortion restrictions and a provision that defunds Planned Parenthood.

Don’t cry for Sean Spicer. He knew what he was doing when he took a job working for Donald Trump.

At the end of the day, the former press secretary took a job telling lies in support of a terrible president. Next, he'll probably take a more lucrative one and continue to defend him.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders named White House press secretary after Sean Spicer’s resignation

The shakeup in the White House press shop comes just six months and a day since Donald Trump was sworn in.

3 things to know about Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director

Scaramucci is a former hedge fund manager who was named Yahoo Finance's 2016 "Wall Streeter of the Year."

Sean Spicer said he resigned to avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen”

Sean Spicer said he wanted to give new communications director Anthony Scaramucci a "clean slate."

Report: Jeff Sessions talked about matters related to the Trump campaign with Russian ambassador

Intercepted conversations suggest Sessions may have spoken about campaign-related issues, despite denying that was the case.

Obamacare repeal bill dealt yet another possibly fatal blow by Senate parliamentarian

Republicans will need to find 60 votes in support of their Obamacare repeal bill, or else strip it of abortion restrictions and a provision that defunds Planned Parenthood.

Don’t cry for Sean Spicer. He knew what he was doing when he took a job working for Donald Trump.

At the end of the day, the former press secretary took a job telling lies in support of a terrible president. Next, he'll probably take a more lucrative one and continue to defend him.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders named White House press secretary after Sean Spicer’s resignation

The shakeup in the White House press shop comes just six months and a day since Donald Trump was sworn in.

3 things to know about Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director

Scaramucci is a former hedge fund manager who was named Yahoo Finance's 2016 "Wall Streeter of the Year."