Fox News, rabid rightwingers on social media, and the Trump re-election campaign skewered Rep. Eric Swalwell over the weekend for his two years of almost incessant calls of criminal misconduct against Trump that now may have come up empty following news of the Mueller report. The East Bay congressmember, however, still maintains he has seen evidence of a conspiracy including Trump and Russia.
In addition, as some Fox News commentators called for California Rep. Adam Schiff, Swalwell and other Democrats to resign, Trump’s re-election campaign sent a memo Monday to cable news outlets alleging some, including Swalwell, a constant guest on several programs, proffered false information on their networks.
Swalwell tweeted in response to the memo, “The only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump. If he thinks I’ve made a false statement, he can sue me. And I’ll beat him in court.”
An appearance by Swalwell on CNN last Mar. 16 is referenced by the Trump campaign as containing “outlandish, false claims.” In the interview, Swalwell said the House Intelligence Committee, which he is a member, found evidence of collusion.
Swalwell told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, according to Newsweek, “In our investigation, we saw strong evidence of collusion,” Swalwell said. “The Republicans now are choosing to bury it. I don’t know what you call it when the Russians make multiple approaches to members of the Trump family, the Trump Organization, the Trump campaign to offer and preview dirt on Hillary Clinton, where the candidate stands in front of a public crowd and says, Russia, you’ll be rewarded if you hack her deleted e-mails.”
On Twitter, conservatives and supporters of Trump have targeted Swalwell for vicious attacks, biting sarcasm, and calls for him to resign after being one of the most visible faces of almost daily assertions on MSNBC, CNN, and even Fox News, that the president colluded with Russia, committed obstruction of justice, and other reported instances of various misconduct.
Swalwell, apparently undaunted by the wave of criticism, returned to the air waves Monday night. On CNN, he doubled down and vowed to continue investigating Trump.
Swalwell’s strategy is not surprising, but comes at a potentially crucial time for his potentially fledgling presidential campaign. Last Friday, appearing on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Swalwell reiterated that an announcement about his presidential campaign is coming soon.