Swalwell Explains to Frustrated Nicolle Wallace Why Democrats Are ‘Gun-shy’ on Impeachment

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) explained to a flustered MSNBC host on Thursday why Democrats aren't campaigning on impeaching President Donald Trump.

Trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to multiple felonies this week, but the chief crime concerning Trump was Cohen's statement he made payments to influence the 2016 election at Trump's direction to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.

That has led to excited talk in Washington about impeaching Trump, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and other party higher-ups have long resisted the idea for fear of energizing the Republican base.

Nevertheless, outspoken Trump critic Nicolle Wallace asked Swalwell on her program "Deadline White House" why Democrats "flinch" when asked about impeaching Trump.

"You've got a president who doesn't proclaim his innocence," she said. "He simply says the markets will tank if I'm out of here, because I've done a good job. Why are Democrats so gun-shy about having this debate with the American people?"

"What's it about, Nicolle, is we do not want to be as reckless with the facts as Donald Trump is, and we are promising the American people, put us in the majority, we will protect health care, we'll protect paychecks, and we'll address corruption," he said.

Swalwell, who sits on the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, said Democrats would conduct investigations into the Trump administration Republicans were "unwilling" to do and show no one was above the law. However, he cautioned against using the threat of impeachment on the campaign trail.

"Right now, we're not in the majority, and so running on that, I think, misses the issues that people care about at home," he said.

A poll in April showed a plurality of voters were more likely to vote for a candidate who opposed impeachment, although that was conducted several months before Cohen's turn on Trump.