The Issue Is: Rep. Eric Swalwell and former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer

Another historic week in American politics.

With just days left in his term, President Donald Trump became the first President in American history to be impeached for a second time.

That vote came after a separate attempt by the House to coax Vice President Mike Pence into invoking the 25th Amendment.

All this, while an additional 1.62 million Americans contracted coronavirus over the last seven days, and another 21,539 lost their lives to the virus.

To break those stories down, and more, Elex Michaelson is joined on The Issue Is by California Congressman Eric Swalwell (D), who will serve as a House Impeachment Manager in an eventual Senate trial, and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who is ramping up a campaign to take on California Governor Gavin Newsom in the 2022 gubernatorial race.



BACKGROUND: Wednesday, a week after riots at the Capitol, the House of Representatives voted 232-197 to impeach President Trump, for a second time. This time, the article was "incitement of insurrection." With only days left in President Trump’s term, Swalwell defended the decision to move ahead with impeachment regardless. 

SWALWELL’S CENTRAL TAKE: "We’re under attack, America is under attack, not in the past tense form of it, that we were attacked last week, by an attack the President incited with our own people against our own Capitol, but I’ve been briefed on future plots by the President’s supporters, many of the same people who came to the Capitol…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…"



BACKGROUND: While the new article of impeachment has yet to be submitted to the Senate, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi did appoint nine House Impeachment Managers who will make the case for conviction in an eventual trial. Swalwell, one of those managers, previewed what that potential trial could look like.

SWALWELL’S CENTRAL TAKE: "We’re ready to make the case as soon as possible, the Senate’s not in session right now, so I’ll leave it to the Speaker of the House to determine when she sends over those articles or impeachment… This is a case where people understand what happened, the jurors are victims, they ran for their lives, just as the impeachment managers ran for their lives, and everyone saw what the President had said for weeks, what he said at the rally, and what the people he commanded to that rally did at the Capitol…  We have a lot of evidence of the President’s intent here, to not step down, to radicalize the terrorists who took the Capitol by continuing to propagate the Big Lie that they could go there to the Capitol and stop us from performing our duty, and then, of course, what he said that day, as well as the motive to hold on to power… We’re not looking for 17 Republicans, we’re looking for at least 67 Americans, patriots, jurors who will do their jobs."



BACKGROUND: As dissatisfaction with his handling of COVID-19 grows, California Governor Gavin Newsom is in the midst of an aggressive recall campaign, an effort which, this week, some Democratic officials compared to a "California coup." To date, organizers have collected roughly 1.1 million signatures, inching closer to the 1,495,709 needed by March 17 to get the effort on the ballot. Earlier this month, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) backed the recall, while also forming an exploratory committee for his own run for the Governorship in 2022.

FAULCONER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "The frustration, the anger, the disappointment, that’s across the spectrum, we have Republicans, Democrats, Independents, families, all over California that understand this state needs a change at the top… When we look at so many of the failures that have happened, particularly, obviously, on COVID-19, the fact that we are one of the worst states in the nation in terms of getting vaccines out - the people that need them the most are first responders, those over 65, our health-care workers - to see that California is on the bottom of that list, we should be on the top, we’re the most innovative state in the nation…We need to save lives, and we need to save livelihoods… When we have small businesses that have been opened and closed, sometimes four different times during this, that tells you the strategy and the plan aren’t working… and when we see the fact that private schools are up-and-running with in-person instruction, and yet our public school system is not, that’s inexcusable…Californians deserve better."



BACKGROUND: As of 2019, it was estimated as many as 151,000 Californians experienced homelessness on any given day. New data by the LA Times suggest that as a result of coronavirus-induced job loss, California could see an additional 131,000 "working-age adults with no place of their own to sleep" by 2023. As he eyes a potential run for California Governor, Kevin Faulconer explains how he addressed the homeless crisis as Mayor of San Diego.

FAULCONER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Let me be very direct about this, because I’ve spent a lot of time as Mayor of San Diego, I believe that everyone should have the right to shelter, I also believe that if we provide that shelter, we have an obligation to use it, and that was the approach that we used in San Diego, an approach that was very successful, one of the only urban counties in California where homelessness actually went down by double digits… if you allow somebody to sleep on your sidewalk in a tent, you are condemning them to die in that tent on your sidewalk. We’re better than that, we’re better than that as Californians… We don’t want somebody just off the street for a night or a week, we want to get them back on their feet, get them those permanent supportive services, and get them back in a place of their own…"


The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to