House To 'Move As Expeditiously As Possible' With Impeachment Proceedings, Rep. Swalwell Says06:28
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U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) questions Ambassador Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former official at the National Security Council, as they testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill. (Jacquelyn Martin - Pool/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) questions Ambassador Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former official at the National Security Council, as they testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill. (Jacquelyn Martin - Pool/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that the House will move forward with drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump.

California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell, who sits on both the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, says the House doesn’t have a timeline for the impeachment proceedings but they want to “move as expeditiously as possible” because of the upcoming election.

Swalwell says the House expects to receive an official report from the Intelligence Committee on Monday. This report will lay out accusations of abuses of power against Trump such as obstruction of justice, intimidating witnesses and concealing evidence, according to Swalwell.

“We have to consider the best articles to tell the American people, ‘This president needs to be held accountable,’” he says.

Interview Highlights

On whether the articles will extend to the Russia investigation
“The Russia investigation and the way the President obstructed it shows us his pattern of conduct. Meaning, in the past he has asked a foreign government to participate in our elections, for example, when he said, ‘Russia, are you listening — will you hack my opponents emails?’ and they were listening and that day they sought to hack. So this is what he does and so it’s relevant to show that, on the ten counts of obstruction of Justice that Bob Mueller laid out in the Russia investigation, if those were to be included in our articles of impeachment.”

On Professor Jonathan Turley’s comment in yesterday’s hearings that Democrats are moving too quickly
“As Professor Turley said that Democrats are moving too quickly yesterday, Rudy Giuliani had quickly traveled over to Ukraine to meet with prosecutors who he had asked in the past to dig up dirt on Vice President [Joe] Biden and his son. And so that concerns me. That shows the urgency here. In Professor Turley's perfect world, you'd have a president who would turn over documents and allow witnesses to come forward. And the president hasn't done that. Despite that, we have 12 witnesses who did come forward through oral testimony. We have powerful evidence that the president used his office to ask a foreign government to cheat our elections.”

On the timeline for writing articles of impeachment
“There's no timeline, and that's intentional. We want to move based on the evidence and what our duty calls us to do. And we don't want to set artificial timelines. But because the upcoming elections and to make sure the process is fair, we're trying to move as expeditiously as possible and give the president an opportunity to participate. A little-reported fact yesterday after the Democratic and Republican questioning of witnesses, chairman Nadler said this is the time where the president would be able to question the witnesses had he shown up. He was allowed to show up yesterday and he chose not to.”

On President Trump’s comment about impeachment becoming all too common
“Well, in the Nixon case, you know, it worked. The right result occurred. Republicans joined Democrats. To the president's point, what I'm afraid of becoming all too common would be a president who would use his or her office to ask either foreigners or people in government to carry out their political priorities. And if we do nothing, I'm afraid that becomes the new standard.”


Lynn Menegon produced this interview and edited it for broadcast with Tinku Ray. Samantha Raphelson and Allison Hagan adapted it for the web.

This segment aired on December 5, 2019.

Jeremy Hobson Twitter Co-Host, Here & Now
Before coming to WBUR to co-host Here & Now, Jeremy Hobson hosted the Marketplace Morning Report, a daily business news program with an audience of more than six million.

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