Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California), who sources have said is “definitely” running for president in 2020, has seemingly begun his campaigning by slamming President Donald Trump’s hire of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General of the United States.
Swalwell made an appearance Friday on CNN. He said in no uncertain terms that he thinks Whitaker is a “hitman” hired to take out Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation.
“Whitaker was hired to be a hitman to take out the Mueller probe,” Swalwell said. “It’s clear, [Trump] fired the guy who recused himself for someone who already pre-judged the investigation. Now, if this had happened on Monday, we would be helpless as Democrats. We are not helpless anymore. The American people spoke on Tuesday. They want a check on abuses of power.”
Swalwell said that there’s a vote to fund the government coming up and that protecting the Mueller probe is priority number one. Swalwell is on both the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.
“They’re not going to get Democratic votes if they’re not going to make sure that we protect the Mueller probe,” he said. “It’s about the rule of law. It’s that important.”
Swalwell repeated this again on Twitter.
In choosing an Acting-Attorney General, @realDonaldTrump has hired a hit man. Matt Whitaker was brought on solely to take out the Russia investigation.
That’s not happening. #ProtectMueller
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 9, 2018
“In choosing an Acting-Attorney General, @realDonaldTrump has hired a hit man. Matt Whitaker was brought on solely to take out the Russia investigation,” he said. “That’s not happening. #ProtectMueller.”
As for a presidential run in 2020, Swalwell said he needs to get the “votes” from his family first before a final decision is made.
Editor’s note: the headline has been updated to clarify Swalwell was speaking about the Mueller investigation.
[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]