On Thursday, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) compared President Donald Trump to the notorious MS-13 gang, citing lawyer Lanny Davis’s claims that Trump’s associates have threatened the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Trump has denied the claims. Swalwell made the comparison in remarks to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
“This is a fear, Andrea, I’ve worked with for years as a prosecutor,” the congressman said. “So the subjects may be different, we may be talking about the president of the United States, but this is how gangs conduct themselves.”
“This is how MS-13, the president’s adversary, conducts themselves,” Swalwell declared. He argued that gangs “try and intimidate people who have left the gang by threatening their family, by telling them if they cooperate, harm will come to them.”
Swalwell then laid out the strategy of how prosecutors counter this kind of gang intimidation.
“So first, we have to do what we can to protect the witness. We have to do what we can to make sure the witness protects themself. But we also have to make sure the witness knows that the best thing that they can do is to come forward, tell the truth, and not allow this type of tactic to be used, because there will be other witnesses who will have this pressure applied to them,” he said.
Michael Cohen delayed his testimony to Congress, citing threats to his family. Trump denied any threats. Swalwell’s comparison seems rather premature, until more evidence comes to light as to the nature of the threats and whether they occurred at all.
Swalwell has expressed interest in running for president in 2020.
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