"We’re under attack, America is under attack."
LOS ANGELES - A week after Capitol Hill was breached by rioters, Congressman Eric Swalwell spoke with FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson about the ongoing threat that led to both the impeachment of President Trump, as well as an unprecedented National Guard presence in the streets of Washington, D.C.
"We believed that the best thing we could do was try and have the Vice President remove the President through the 25th Amendment, and if he wasn’t willing to do that, we would impeach him, and ask the Senate to take this up immediately," Swalwell said of the House’s 232-197 vote this week to impeach President Trump for a second time.
While many on the Right have wondered if impeachment was necessary, given that President Trump has only hours left in his term, Swalwell stressed that beyond just deterrence and accountability, there is also the issue of addressing continued threats by those they allege the President incited to violence in the first place.
"I’ve been briefed on future plots by the President’s supporters, many of the same people who came to the Capitol," Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee said. "There are multiple efforts underway of armed attacks, people who would come to stop us from carrying out the inauguration."
With those threats in mind, as many as 25,000 National Guard troops have been deployed to protect the nation’s capitol in the days leading up to next week’s inauguration, a total nearly four times the number of US troops currently in Afghanistan and Iraq, combined.
"I think of being a little kid, and my dad always pointing out, when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, or Bill Clinton was sworn in, that there were not tanks in the street," Swalwell said. "He’d always say, ‘that’s what makes us so special, we transfer power in a peaceful way.’"
"That’s not the case here," the California Democrat continued. "For the first time in our country’s history, we will not be able to say we had a peaceful transition of power, but we owe it to ourselves, and the world, to show that we can have a peaceful inauguration."
Now that the President has been impeached, Michaelson asked Swalwell, one of nine House Democrats named Impeachment Managers for a potential Senate trial, what we can expect to happen in the weeks and months ahead.
"We’re ready to make the case as soon as possible," Swalwell said, although unclear on when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would submit the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
"This is a case where people understand what happened, the jurors are victims, they ran for their lives," he continued. "We’re not looking for 17 Republicans, we’re looking for at least 67 Americans, patriots, jurors who will do their jobs."
In a wide-ranging interview on The Issue Is, Swalwell also discussed future COVID relief, the import to California of Senator Kamala Harris ascending to the Vice Presidency, and how the country reached this incendiary moment in history.
The Issue Is is California's only statewide political show. Watch FOX 11 Los Angeles Fridays at 10:30 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m. For more showtimes and information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.