Rep. Swalwell on Russia Probe: 'We Are at Risk of Having a Flat-Earth Report' Emerge From House Intel Committee

By Susan Jones | October 11, 2017 | 6:29am EDT
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) sits on the House intelligence committee. He told Rachel Maddow on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 that "we are at risk of having a flat-Earth report come out of the House intelligence committee as to what happened with Russia." (Photo: Screen grab from MSNBC)

( - Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House intelligence committee, is complaining about the integrity of the House intelligence committee's investigation into all things Trump and Russia.

Swalwell told Rachel Maddow Tuesday night that Republican members of the committee, including its chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), are acting more like Donald Trump's legal team than independent investigators.

He complained that witnesses are setting their own terms, rather than being subpoenaed for information that they choose to withhold when they testify voluntarily. And he said some witnesses are not responding to subpoenas:

"It's a bad precedent that we're setting up that they don't take the investigation seriously, because they don’t see a serious lead investigator in our chairman. And so that poses a real problem,” Swalwell said.

"So we're going in the wrong direction. And we are at risk of having a flat-Earth report come out of the House intelligence committee as to what happened with Russia."

Maddow asked Swalwell if he was trying to sound an alarm about the integrity of the committee's final report on Russian meddling.

“Well, we are all inspired by ranking member Adam Schiff, who is leading a serious investigation and who is dogged in leading us into finding out what happened. But it is frustrating that you see unity on the Senate side with Senators Burr and Warner, and then disunity on our side.

"And if we have a report on the Senate side with one set of findings and a bizarro report out of the House Republican side, I think that helps the Russians, you know, perpetuate their narrative that this was just something that was made up. It's not true. And actually, in that chaos, they will thrive and be able to come at us again."

Rep. Nunes has recused himself from the Russia investigation, but Swalwell said he is still issuing subpoenas, to the wrong people, in Swalwell's opinion.

"Just a couple of weeks ago, he tried to subpoena Jeff Sessions. So it was a recused chairman subpoenaing a recused attorney general on the issue of Russia. Today when we met, talking to some of my other colleagues, we're not surprised anymore.

“And actually, there is a pattern here that as we make progress or the press makes progress on this story, that's when this nonsense shows itself. But it's the act that you would expect from Donald Trump's legal team. Not from an independent investigation. But we're determined," Swalwell said.

Swalwell said he would like to see people such as Donald Trump Jr., Michael Cohen, Jared Kushner and Carter Page "hauled in under subpoena."

After months of investigations by multiple congressional committees, it appears that there still is no evidence that Russian attempts to influence the U.S. election were done in coordination with the Trump campaign team.

Nevertheless, by casting doubt on the House intelligence committee's final report even before it emerges, Democrats can perpetuate their contention that Donald Trump won the election unfairly and therefore is an illegitimate president.

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