Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) spoke with host John Berman during a Wednesday interview on CNN’s “New Day”, where he claimed it’s an “abuse of power” for the president to remove an ambassador “for political reasons”.
Swalwell’s comments come after former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, said during a closed-door impeachment hearing on Oct. 11 that after stepping down from her position in May, she was told President Donald Trump wanted her removed from the position due to a lack of trust, according to the New York Times.
“It’s an abuse of power to remove an ambassador for political reasons because you don’t like what they’re doing, period,” Swalwell told John Berman in reference to Yovanovitch.
Swalwell continued to list other examples of what he believed to be other abuses of power by the president.
“It’s a gross abuse of power if you ask a political ally like the Ukrainians to investigate your opponent. It’s a gross, extreme abuse of power if you leverage a White House meeting, which may not seem like much to us Americans, but to other countries, that’s the most important,” Swalwell said. “It’s an extraordinary abuse of power if you remove an ambassador the way the president did, ask for investigations, leverage a White House meeting and $391 million in taxpayer dollars. That’s what we’re investigating.”
The Daily Caller reported Yovanovitch, however, said in her Oct. 11 testimony that the decision to remove an ambassador should be up to the president, though she felt he was influenced by other people in his political circles. “I thought that this was a dangerous precedent, that … people who don’t like a particular American ambassador could combine to, you know, find somebody who was more suitable for their interests. It should be the State Department, the president, who makes decisions about which ambassador,” according to a transcript released Nov. 4 by CBS. (Continued Below)
Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) took to Twitter on Thursday where he leveled Swalwell, calling the California representatives comments “unserious and utterly baseless.”
“This statement inadvertently gives you an inside look at how unserious and utterly baseless the Democrats’ impeachment case against @realDonaldTrump is,” Rep. Meadows wrote.
“They think it’s an ‘abuse of power’ to remove someone who explicitly serves at the pleasure of the president,” he added. (Video Below)
Rep. Mark Meadows’ official tweet:
This statement inadvertently gives you an inside look at how unserious and utterly baseless the Democrats' impeachment case against @realDonaldTrump is. They think it's an "abuse of power" to remove someone who explicitly serves at the pleasure of the President. https://t.co/dwmhvZThsw
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 7, 2019