- Aaron Bernstein/Reuters
- Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, says indictments handed down as a part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should be a “wake up call” for the White House. Mueller’s indictments on Monday were the first charges to come out of the months-long investigation into Russian election meddling.
Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Business Insider on Tuesday that he thinks the indictments handed down as a part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should be a “wake up call” for the White House.
“Well I think it has to be a wake up call for everyone on the Trump team that this is a serious investigation,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “If you lie, they will find out what really happened.”
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort was indicted by a grand jury Monday on 12 counts. Manafort’s former business associate and a member of the Trump orbit, Rick Gates, was also indicted. Both men pleaded not guilty on Monday.
Additionally, in charges unsealed on Monday, it was revealed that George Papadopoulos, a foreign-policy adviser to Trump’s campaign in early 2016, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI regarding contacts connected to Russian government officials.
Trump responded Tuesday morning to the bombshells, to which he tweeted that the “Fake News is working overtime.”
“As Paul Manafort’s lawyer said, there was ‘no collusion’ and events mentioned took place long before he … came to the campaign,” Trump said in a pair of tweets. “Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!”
Swalwell told Business Insider that he hoped the latest revelations would push the White House, as well as his Republican colleagues on the Intelligence Committee, to take the investigation more seriously.
He noted that the FBI held three interviews with Papadopoulos before determining that he had provided them false information.
“They have vast resources, and they are determined to understand what happened,” he said of Mueller and his investigators.
The California Democrat said that Monday’s revelations provided the “clearest evidence yet that we have members at the highest level working with Russians – even traveling to a foreign land during the campaign to take meetings” and were “offered dirt on Hillary Clinton, which matches previous pieces of evidence that we have.”
“This is a piece of evidence that we have seen throughout all levels of the campaign and at all times of the campaign – that they were interested in getting hacked emails of Hillary Clinton and they were being offered hacked emails of Hillary Clinton,” he added.