Tuesday on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), a member of both the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, accused President Donald Trump of cheating on his finances over the last decade.
The California Democrat, who is also seeking his party’s 2020 presidential nomination, said the possibility of Trump having cheated on his finances made him vulnerable to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Partial transcript as follows:
MADDOW: Once the Justice Department did that and said we don’t want the contempt vote, we’ll give you some stuff, Chairman Schiff took his foot off the gas and said, “OK, we won’t hold you in contempt.”
Opposite process happening with the other chairman in Judiciary. Chairman [Jerry] Nadler was just told today by the Justice Department, ‘OK, OK we’re ready to talk, just unschedule that contempt vote.’ And he said, ‘No, we’re keeping that on the calendar, and we’re happy to talk.’
What do you make of those two different approaches from those two different chairmen?
SWALWELL: Well, I actually think they both are using the tools that they have. Again, Chairman [Adam] Schiff, we’ve got the authorizing ability for many programs. I think the Justice Department recognizes that. Here I had I think it’s the attorney general as you describe doesn’t want to be held in contempt and to have that public vote and that permanent stain. And that’s something that Chairman Nadler can control.
I just want to back up too and say we are still proceeding from intelligence to look at the president’s finances. We think we’re the first set of eyes to look at his finances. And here’s what we see — it’s probably a virtual certainty that Donald Trump has cheated on his finances over the last ten years. We think it’s a virtual certainty that Vladimir Putin probably knows this, if he knows about Hillary Clinton’s emails. It’s a virtual certainty that Donald Trump has been blackmailed in the past. We saw that with Stormy Daniels. So the question is: Would he sell America’s secrets to protect his own? And we’re going to find out.
MADDOW: When you say it’s a virtual certainty he cheated on his finances, what do you mean by cheated on his finances?
SWALWELL: I think it’s a lot of what The New York Times has already laid out and what he’s done with his taxes. I believe he’s acting guilty in his refusal to turn over his tax returns. You’ve got consciousness of guilt, and you have what Michael Cohen has testified to Congress in his overinflation of assets. And so, I think he has a lot to hide. And if he has a lot to hide, that means Vladimir Putin would know a lot and that if he is willing to be blackmailed as we’ve seen in the past, what would he trade to not have that exposed?
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