Eric Swalwell On Russia Collusion: Circumstantial Evidence Is Treated The Same As Direct Evidence In A Court Of Law


Rep. Eric Swalwell joins MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to talk about the impending release of the Mueller report and his understanding of the definition of "collusion."

WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC: From what you've seen, do you believe the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians?


GEIST: Do you believe the president himself colluded with the Russians?

SWALWELL: Yes. The president knew the Russians were seeking to help him. So he went out as a candidate, invited them to hack more, did not tell his family not to take any of these meetings, was told by Roger Stone that WikiLeaks, a Russian cut-out, was also going to be putting out materials damaging to his opponent, and he went on the stage and said, "I lover WikiLeaks." This is circumstantial evidence which in a court of law can be treated as the same as direct evidence. Yes, he colluded. I don't think that's a hard question to answer at all.

GEIST: That's a little further, Adam Schiff was here last week, and he said there's no direct evidence that the president of the United States ordered these things. In other words, that he directly colluded, but it's all circumstantial. Do you believe the president directly colluded with the Russians?

SWALWELL: I believe there's circumstantial evidence that he colluded. He knew they were doing this. His family was meeting with them. Offers being made. It was being passed to him. He would publicly go out and encourage them to do it. Who would be so dumb to invite the Russians to do it on a national stage, exception to colluding?

GEIST: You believe there's direct evidence?

SWALWELL: His invitation for them to hack more. That's direct evidence of inviting them to collude.

JONATHAN LEMIRE, AP: That idea of collusion or conspiracy is the heart of what Robert Mueller has been investigating.

SWALWELL: There's a difference between criminal collusion or whether the guy did it or not.

LEMIRE: Everyone in Washington thinks the report is coming soon, whether that's days or weeks. There's a belief it's going be issued to the DOJ, some discretion as to what will be released. The belief that the White House will invoke executive privilege to keep some of it from being made public. What can you and the House Democrats do to ensure that the public learns what Robert Mueller discovers?

SWALWELL: We will see that Mueller report. I say that with confidence. For two years we went to the streets, town squares, marched on the ballot box. The American people gave us the power to see that report. The president is now outnumbered, Congress just voted 420-0 to see the report. And the law is on their side. We have the legislative and judicial branch to back us up if he tries to block that report.

To Willie's question about collusion. This president has been given an opportunity to sit down and say to special counsel under oath, "I did not collude." He won't do that. I infer from that, and the overwhelming evidence, and the state of evidence from others who said he did know Russians were doing that, that he does have something to hide.

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