Swalwell: 'I Don't Really Care' About Alleged Hush Money, Nor Do 'Most People'

February 27, 2019

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) on Wednesday admitted most people don't really care about the allegation that then-candidate Donald Trump paid porn star Stormy Daniels not to disclose their affair.

Swalwell appeared on MSNBC to discuss the developments from the testimony of Michael Cohen, who formerly served as Trump's personal attorney. Anchor Katy Tur asked Swalwell whether he had heard anything from the testimony that led him to believe that Trump has committed a "high crime or a misdemeanor," and he said he did.

In addition, Swalwell said he was going to focus on Russia rather than Trump's personal life.

"Frankly, I don't really care too much about the payoffs to the women. I don't think most people do either," Swalwell said.

Swalwell put his focus on Roger Stone, a political ally and informal adviser to Trump, and concluded that Stone must have talked to Trump about WikiLeaks, the web site accused of obtaining hacked DNC emails from Russian operatives.

"As it relates to Russia, we learned that the president was in contact with Roger Stone. We saw in our investigation that all the evidence pointed in that direction and they talked throughout the campaign and that it would have been unnatural if Roger Stone didn't share his conversations with WikiLeaks," Swalwell said.

During Wednesday's hearing before the House Oversight Committee, Cohen provided two checks that were among 11 payments to reimburse him for the $130,000 he had paid in 2016 with his own money to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, the New York Times reported.

Last August, in describing the broad contours of Mr. Cohen’s reimbursement, federal prosecutors said the unnamed executives had approved "sham invoices" from Mr. Cohen.

In his testimony, Mr. Cohen also described how Mr. Trump remained actively engaged in the arrangements even after taking office. Mr. Cohen said the president contacted him in February last year after The Wall Street Journal broke news of the payment to Ms. Daniels. Mr. Cohen said that he, Mr. Trump and Mr. Weisselberg discussed coordinating a statement that rebutted the newspaper’s reporting and asserted that Mr. Cohen had paid Ms. Daniels out of his own pocket.