Swalwell Blasts Republicans' Partisan Halt to Russia Investigation
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), ranking member of the CIA Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement Monday in response to Republicans halting the committee’s investigation of Russian interference in U.S. elections:
“The Republicans' decision to shut down the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation sends a bright green light to Russia to continue its interference at America's ballot boxes. Our duty to every American is to protect the right of free and fair elections. A complete investigation would tell the country how we were so vulnerable and who was responsible, gauge the adequacy of the government response, and recommend reforms to prevent a hostile takeover of our elections from happening again. That's what American leaders have always done, collaboratively as Republicans and Democrats, after every major attack upon our nation. Until that investigation occurs, we are more vulnerable than ever to not just Russian interference, but from every adversary with similar technical capabilities.
“Instead of protecting our democracy, House Republicans have worked overtime to protect President Trump and his family and friends. Numerous witnesses described Russia's interference as an attack on America. Instead of defending America from a future attack, the Republican response has been to constantly attack the police and intelligence officials charged with guarding our democracy.
“Over the past year, Republicans have repeated to anyone who will listen, ‘There's no collusion.’ But a review of the Committee's witness transcripts will show the Republicans were never looking for collusion. To protect President Trump, the Republicans brought witness after witness in for ‘voluntary interviews,’ and when witnesses refused to answer questions – because they weren't under subpoena – the Republicans deemed it permissible. Furthermore, witnesses testified in a ‘take them at their word’ investigation, where not a single claim was verified by third-party subpoenas of communications records, bank records, travel logs, or other documents to corroborate or contradict a witness account.
“Now more than ever, it is absolutely imperative that we have an independent, bipartisan-appointed commission to investigate the full depth and breadth of Russia’s interference in our election and any Americans who might’ve helped them. The commission created by H.R. 356, the Protecting Our Democracy Act – introduced more than a year ago by myself and Rep. Elijah Cummings, the House Oversight Committee’s top Democrat – would include only policy experts, not politicians, and would exercise the subpoena power Republicans have refused to wield. It would provide a public report and recommendations that the American public truly could trust, and not this cover-up sham.”