House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday night appointed Rep. Eric Swalwell, as one of nine impeachment managers for the second impeachment of Donald Trump.
Swalwell, the congressman for California’s 15th Congressional District, which includes the Tri-Valley, said America is under the threat of attack as long as Donald Trump remains president.
“Lives have been lost and future plans are in place to stop a transition of power, Swalwell said. “A president's greatest responsibility is to protect American lives and defend American ideals. Donald Trump has failed to do both. For the safety of all Americans and the continuity of our experiment in self-governance, Donald Trump must be removed from office.
“Tomorrow, I will join a bipartisan group of my colleagues in voting to impeach Donald Trump for inciting a deadly attack on the Capitol. It is a solemn privilege to be named an Impeachment Manager. I vow to work collaboratively with the Impeachment Managers team to make a case to the Senate for conviction and removal."
Pelosi appointed Representative Jamie Raskin as the lead of the impeachment managers, who include Diana DeGette, David Cicilline, Joaquin Castro, Ted Lieu, Stacey Plastkett, Joe Neguse and Madeleine Dean, as well as Swalwell.
The appointment comes less than a week after panic swept the seat of American democracy, in the worst breach of security at the U.S. Capitol Building since an attempt by British forces to burn it down in 1814.
As police barricaded the doors to the House of Representatives Chamber, they pointed pistols through broken windows at pro-Trump infiltrators trying to seize control of the national legislature and block Congress from carrying out its constitutionally mandated duty to certify the electoral college results of the 2020 elections.
Swalwell was among the last lawmakers to leave the House floor during the insurrection that left five dead, including a policeman and a rioter who was shot inside the Capitol.
The former Alameda County prosecutor and Dublin mayor stayed back with his friend and colleague Rep. Ruben Gallego (D – Arizona), making sure no one was left behind. Gallego, a Marine Corps combat veteran used his military training to take charge amid the chaos. He instructed Swalwell and others on how to use their gas masks, and stood on his chair to direct people toward the exits.
Congress moved swiftly this week to proceed with efforts to have Trump removed from office. Meanwhile, the FBI has warned that armed far-right extremist groups plan to march on all 50 state capitals across the country in the coming days.
Swalwell told The Independent on Monday this week that he first realized the seriousness of the Capitol siege when the speaker was evacuated from the House floor.
“We were outraged at being forced to temporarily suspend the people’s business; we were scared for our lives and those of our staff members,” Swalwell said. “I was angry that some of my Republican colleagues refused to wear masks as we sheltered together in close quarters. Today we found out that my Democratic colleague from New Jersey, Bonnie Watson Coleman – a lung cancer survivor who was sheltered in the room with us – has contracted COVID.”
Swalwell stated that anyone who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 without proper authorization should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
"Members of Congress who aided and abetted this terrorist attack should be expelled,” Swalwell said. “The buck stops with the Inciter-in-Chief, and he should be removed from office. If Vice President Mike Pence can’t find the courage to invoke the 25th Amendment, we will impeach him again and, this time, the Senate should convict and remove him.”
Swalwell was working as an intern during 9/11, when the terrorists who hijacked Flight 93 targeted the Capitol building.
“Having to flee from a terrorist attack was too familiar, but in 2001, it was an attack from foreign terrorists,” he recalled. “This attack came from within, from American terrorists bent on destroying our democracy, egged on by the President.”
In response to the concern that impeachment could embolden the extremists, Swalwell said “we don’t avoid prosecutions for fear of offending criminals.”
"Failing to prosecute, failing to hold everyone accountable, will embolden domestic terrorists even more, just as Donald Trump was emboldened by the Senate’s craven failure to convict him in the impeachment trial earlier this year,” he said. “Terrorists must be tried and punished; those who incite terrorists should not be allowed to hold public office.
On moving forward, calls by some lawmakers from across the aisle are unpersuasive to Swalwell who remains hyper-focused on seeing that justice is done.
“Republicans like Kevin McCarthy say we can’t impeach because we need to bring the country together, but I don’t hear them saying Trump should resign – the best way to help us heal. Does McCarthy think Donald Trump should still control our nuclear arsenal? But I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for McCarthy’s permission to do my job. We have a duty to keep this nation safe, and right now, removing Donald Trump from office is the best way to do that. There can be no unity and healing without accountability and justice.”