Presidential hopeful Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) made a “gentleman’s bet” with MSNBC host Chris Matthews during an appearance Tuesday on Hardball.
Swalwell’s bet came as Matthews showed irritation with his noncommittal answers and argued that Democrats’ investigative “ploys” short of impeachment were just “dithering.” Matthews asked repeatedly whether he supported impeachment immediately, as House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) does according to Matthews.
“Whose side are you on? Nadler’s or Pelosi’s?” Matthews asked Swalwell.
“I don’t accept that they are in conflict with each other,” Swalwell said.
“You don’t? So I’m wrong. My reporting is wrong?” Matthews asked. “They agree?”
“I don’t think they’re in conflict,” Swalwell replied. “I think they both recognize it’s an extraordinary remedy, and we want to get it right first.”
“Today was a big day in the House. We voted to hold the Attorney General in contempt.”
Matthews then criticized Swalwell for saying a contempt citation for Attorney General William Barr shows they’re “winning.”
“You guys never get anything done,” Matthews said. He also criticized the House for calling Watergate whistleblower John Dean to testify on Monday, telling Swalwell that the Nixon-era White House Counsel’s hearing seemed like an attempt to indict Trump with “guilt by nostalgia.”
“It became, I thought, ridiculous,” Matthews said.
Matthews asked Swalwell if he thought Trump obstructed justice. Swalwell said that he did.
“What’s holding you up from impeachment then?” Matthews asked. “If he obstructed justice, he committed a crime.”
“The evidence we need to show the American people he obstructed justice,” Swalwell said.
“What do you need to know? That you don’t know. That you need see?” Matthews asked.
Swalwell said the House needs Mueller’s full report and Trump’s taxes before it can prove the president obstructed justice. Before concluding the interview, Matthews asked Swalwell to take him up on a bet.
“Will you make me a gentleman’s bet that Trump will be impeached?” Matthews asked.
“He’s not going to be president on January 2021,” Swalwell said. “I think he will be impeached, but I want to get it right before I say that’s what we what we need to do right now.”
“You bet he will be impeached?” Matthews said.
“Yes,” Swalwell said.
House Democrats have been divided over whether or not to impeach Trump, with over 60 Democrats supporting opening impeachment inquiries.
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