Swalwell: Congress, Not Mueller, Will Decide Whether Russians Changed 2016 Election Outcome


CNN HOST: Where does this leave the House... and Senate Intelligence Committee investigations? Things have just fallen apart [in the House]. Does this help to give any sort of direction?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL: Hopefully it's an inflection point that moves us to get serious, to help us put reforms in place so we have that whole-of-government response.

One thing really struck me from Rod Rosenstein's presentation, which is that this timeline is coming into focus.

He noted that they really ratcheted up their interference campaign in 2016. What was happening at this time?

George Papadapolous, we know from his guilty plea, was told in April 2016 that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. In the summer of 2016, candidate Trump invited the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's e-mails. Also in June 2016, the candidate's son received a meeting from the Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. Then you have his data team reaching out to Julian Assange, seeking hacked emails from the Russian. You have Roger Stone intimating that an attack is coming. Or that John Podesta is going to spend his time in the barrel.

The candidate created an environment where the Russians felt comfortable, believing he was willing and eager to receive it.

It's up to Bob Mueller's team to find out if collusion existed, but he certainly gave them a green light.

CNN HOST: Did it strike you where he said repeatedly that there's no charge that this altered the outcome of the election?

SWALWELL: That's not their job to determine if it altered the election or not. That's Congress' job. I've written legislation with Elijah Cummings to have an independent investigation like we did after September 11th, with independently appointed bipartisan panel election experts. Their job is to see if any crimes were committed and if they can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. It looks like they can do that now.

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