Swalwell slams GOP lawmakers for going to see Trump trial

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Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) went after his GOP colleagues who traveled to New York City to appear at former President Trump’s criminal trial this week.

The California Democrat specifically took it to his colleagues who skipped a hearing Thursday over whether to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt and instead attended Trump’s trial.

“Well, it’s nice to see that some of my colleagues on the other side can make it today. I don’t know if that means there weren’t enough seats in the courtroom in New York,” Swalwell said at the hearing. “But, I know the Oversight Committee canceled the meeting that was supposed to happen right now on this same matter so that they could be at the president’s trial.”

“Some members will miss this vote because they want to be at the president’s trial, and I don’t think anything could animate the phrase ‘Do-nothing Congress’ more than missing votes and canceling hearings to go up and be a spectator at your cult leader’s trial,” he continued. “That is the definition of ‘Do-nothing Congress.’”

A steady stream of GOP politicians have traveled from Washington to New York City to visit Trump at trial. The former president stands accused of falsifying business records, related to an alleged hush money scheme to cover up past affairs just before the 2016 election.

At least nine Republicans made the trip on Thursday. Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mike Waltz (Fla.) and Eli Crane (Ariz.) were spotted in the courtroom, while Reps. Andy Ogles (Tenn.) Anna Paulina Luna (Fla.), Ralph Norman (S.C.) and House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good (Va.) were also spotted at the Manhattan courthouse.

Gaetz and Biggs are members of the Judiciary Committee, and missed Thursday’s hearing.

Judiciary did hold Garland in contempt, with an 18-15 party-line vote, claiming the attorney general defied a subpoena to produce a recording of President Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur.

A last-minute move from Biden to claim executive privilege over audio recordings from his interview did not dissuade the GOP from proceeding, even as Garland said those asserting the privilege “cannot be prosecuted for criminal contempt of Congress.”

The Oversight Committee is also expected to hold Garland in contempt in a late night hearing Thursday. The hearing was scheduled late in order to allow lawmakers time to return from New York, a source confirmed with The Hill.

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