Matthews Goes Off on Dems Not Impeaching; ‘You Guys Never Get Anything Done’

Even though he was coming from the rabidly pro-impeachment camp, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews was apoplectic Tuesday night with Congressman and horribly-failing 2020 presidential candidate Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and his colleagues on the left for their lack of progress in trying to rid America of Donald Trump. 

In the span of over three minutes, Matthews blasted them for “never get[ting] anything done” on impeachment, calling witnesses against the President, and for bringing in CNN contributor John Dean for a “ridiculous” hearing.

 

 

“Well, I’ll see when any of your ploys work. Congressman, I’ve watched the Democrats play around with process. Adam Schiff talking about what he’s going to do, what he’s not going to do. Then he’s disappeared. You guys never get anything done,” Matthews added.

Swalwell twice insisted that “we’re winning,” but Matthews trampled right over him: “You’ve never been able to get a single witness up there that didn’t want to come up. Name a witness you got to come before your committee in all these months you’ve had subpoena power.”

Swalwell hit back by promising Matthews that he’d come back on the show if Congress isn’t successful (which he’d later add to include whether Trump ends up being impeached). 

To Matthews’s credit, he kept pressing by wondering who could testify that would “turn the issue around” for more Democrats “so you can move on impeachment”. And after Swalwell warned that “[e]mpty witness chairs will now mean empty pockets,” the MSNBC host turned to Monday’s hearing featuring Dean.

Matthews simply wondered if Dean’s appearance “served any purpose” and, not surprisingly, Swalwell gave a roundabout answer by declaring that “[t]here’s....generations of people who have never seen our country go through this before.”

It was here that Matthews dropped the hammer (click “expand”):

MATTHEWS: Did you know he was going to testify he was not a fact witness? He had no facts to offer to this debate about the guilt or innocence of the President? Did you know ahead of time he was going to say I'm not a fact witness? 

SWALWELL: No, I didn't know that. 

MATTHEWS: Well, that's dramatic stuff. It sort of takes him off the table as just sort of a, you know, guilt by nostalgia. It seems like the purpose of — somebody talking about a ouija board bringing him back. Can he bring Nixon back? It became halluc — it became, I thought, ridiculous. But what he —

SWALWELL: But I thought what it showed was what is at stake. This democracy of ours is very, very fragile and this is not the first time we’ve had a lawless President. It won't be the last and so here, Congress. Here's what Nixon did. Here’s what you can do now. I thought it laid the foundation. 

The liberal pundit tried again on what’s the missing piece keeping the House from impeaching Trump, but Swalwell’s answer this time of “[t]he full Mueller report and his taxes” again left Matthews unsatisfied.

Even though it’s safe to say that the impeachment tsunami will come ashore due to the level of energy on the left residing in the pro-impeachment crowd, it was nonetheless amusing to watch a flustered Matthews. Cue the sad trombone!

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on June 11, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
June 11, 2019
7:23 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, I’ll see when any of your ploys work. Congressman, I’ve watched the Democrats play around with process. Adam Schiff talking about what he’s going to do, what he’s not going to do. Then he’s disappeared. You guys never get anything done. 

CONGRESSMAN ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): No, we’re winning. We’re winning.

MATTHEWS: You’ve never been able to get a single witness up there that didn’t want to come up. Name a witness you got to come before your committee in all these months you’ve had subpoena power. 

SWALWELL: You know what, Chris? You bring me back in three months and if that’s the case if we hadn't gotten witnesses because of this winning court fights, I will say that you’re right. I went to the Department of Justice today and I reviewed materials that I was not allowed to review —

MATTHEWS: You’re going to get McGahn, you’re going to get Mueller —

SWALWELL: — two weeks ago.

MATTHEWS: — you’re going to get who? Who are you going to get to testify that’s important in this race that they’re going to turn the issue around so you can move on impeachment? Who’s going to come up? 

SWALWELL: Empty witness chairs will now mean empty pockets. So, they can either go broke or they can come forward and tell the truth. That’s what today’s contempt vote means.

MATTHEWS: Do you think bringing back John Dean served any purpose yesterday? 

SWALWELL: Yes, of course. I think laying the foundation of what this means in the perspective of history. Chris, I — I was in high school when Bill Clinton went through impeachment. I wasn’t alive when Richard Nixon went through impeachment. There’s a whole generation — generations of people 

MATTHEWS: Right.

SWALWELL: — who have never seen our country go through this before. So, I think it’s important not to just assume everyone has seen and is familiar with Watergate and so lay it out for them so they know what’s at stake. 

MATTHEWS: Did you know he was going to testify he was not a fact witness? He had no facts to offer to this debate about the guilt or innocence of the President? Did you know ahead of time he was going to say I'm not a fact witness? 

SWALWELL: No, I didn't know that. 

MATTHEWS: Well, that's dramatic stuff. It sort of takes him off the table as just sort of a, you know, guilt by nostalgia. It seems like the purpose of — somebody talking about a ouija board bringing him back. Can he bring Nixon back? It became halluc — it became, I thought, ridiculous. But what he —

SWALWELL: But I thought what it showed was what is at stake. This democracy of ours is very, very fragile and this is not the first time we’ve had a lawless President. It won't be the last and so here, Congress. Here's what Nixon did. Here’s what you can do now. I thought it laid the foundation. 

MATTHEWS: I respect you, but I’m asking this: Do you believe Nixon — I'm sorry, I’m back in the past now — do you think Trump obstructed justice by what you’ve seen? 

SWALWELL: Yes. 

MATTHEWS: Well, what's holding you up from impeachment then if he obstructed justice? He committed a crime. 

SWALWELL: The evidence that we need to show the American people he obstructed justice is — 

MATTHEWS: What do you need to know that you don’t know that you don’t know that you need to see?

SWALWELL: The full Mueller report and his taxes and Mnuchin and Barr are blocking that. 

MATTHEWS: You need to know — you need to see his taxes before you can prove obstruction of justice?

SWALWELL: I think — I don’t — I don’t think we want to do this, like, a la carte impeachment. I think we want to have one full body of articles and not just say, “oh, we got the taxes, so let’s add that on.” So we’re going about this — 

MATTHEWS: Okay.

SWALWELL: — we’re seeking everything we want and I think that’s where we head, Chris. The question that I see is, you know, look, we all know how the story ends. It’s just a matter of how many pages before we get there?

MATTHEWS: Okay.

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