During an appearance on CNN, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) — who serves on the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees — said that he found it possible that former President Donald Trump could be found criminally liable for the attack on the Capitol by his supporters in January. On a foundational level, Trump incited the mob with his months of lies about the integrity of the election, which he has falsely claimed and continues to falsely claim was somehow rigged for Joe Biden. Swalwell, though, also noted how Trump could be guilty of what would amount to obstruction of Congress, since as the mob swarmed the premises, members of Congress were attempting to certify the election outcome.
All of these texts are non-privileged, they are texts that Mark Meadows has turned over. This Committee must get to the objective truth and ensure that January 6th never happens again. And that means Meadows needs to come in and answer questions about these messages. pic.twitter.com/ROaadBNJop
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) December 15, 2021
Recently, text messages that were received by then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows around the time of the riot were released, showing pleas for action by then-President Trump to stop the rioters. The messages would seem to reveal real-time knowledge in the Trump White House about the severity of what was taking place over at the Capitol — and yet, Trump remained silent for some time, before eventually speaking out and rushing to try and justify what happened.
Jan. 6 select committee Chairman Bennie Thompson tells NBC News that the number of lawmakers whose texts with Mark Meadows the panel has obtained is less than ten and "there won't be any surprises as to who they are." @NBCNews
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 15, 2021
As Swalwell observed:
‘We now know that concerned Fox News hosts, concerned family members, concerned legislators who were with me in the chamber are all aiming their concerns at the White House, and Trump is doing nothing. And this is just one witness who has only given us a very little amount of information, all the more reason to probe further… Donald Trump may be on the hook for criminal liability. It wasn’t an accident that Liz Cheney laid out the elements of the offense of essentially not acting to save the Congress while we’re performing the Electoral College count. So there may be a criminal referral that could take place there. They have a lot more to learn in that regard.’
On and around January 6th, Mark Meadows received dozens of text messages from lawmakers about the violent attack on our Capitol.
Meadows doesn’t think he should have to come in and answer questions about these messages. He thinks the American people should be left in the dark. pic.twitter.com/ARo04s5JIa
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) December 14, 2021
Asked for more specifics about the criminal actions of which Trump may be guilty, Swalwell cited “impeding Congress’s ability to carry out an official act, so obstruction of Congress.” Later, Swalwell observed that Trump could be guilty “by his action, or inaction… his dereliction of duty.” Check out Swalwell’s comments below: