One of 9 prosecutors in Trump's second impeachment trial speaks out

Representative Eric Swalwell of California speaks on former President Trump's charge of "incitement of insurrection" and whether he thinks 17 Republicans will vote against Trump in the Senate.
4:21 | 01/24/21

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Transcript for One of 9 prosecutors in Trump's second impeachment trial speaks out
Joining us now is one of the nine house members that will prosecute former president Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. Representative Eric Swalwell of California, congressman, good morning to you. We just mentioned those reports from "The New York Times" former president trump allegedly removing the acting attorney general in an effort to overturn the election. How much will that factor into your case and your strategy? It's such critical evidence, whit. It goes to his motive to stay in power, his intent to do that to call his supporters to radicalize his supporters at all cost, and it also shows that the January 6th rally, the day the supporters were invited, inflamed, incited, it was not a heat of passion crime that this was a big lie that had been propagated by the president. This was not a slip of the tongue. He knew exactly what he was doing and the outcome was deadly. So on that, you've said that this wasn't a crime of passion, are you suggesting that president trump's actions were premeditated in some way? Well, the evidence will show that for months he had told his supporters that the election was stolen from him, he called them his cavalry, he said coming there on the 6th would be wild, and while they assembled, and he knew attacks on the statehouse, his supporters when called show up arm, they bring the Maga hats and the Maga gear. He had foreknowledge of what they would do if they were summoned. He even suggested that he would go up there with them. Yes, he knew exactly what he was doing. Now, if we hear from witnesses in the trial, who would you like to see testify and could that include former president trump? Well, the senate sets the rules on witnesses. I'm not going to reveal our witness list just yet. But unlike any trial that has ever occurred any time in history, the jurors here are witnesses. The jurors here are victims. The jurors here ran for their lives, told their family members they didn't know if they would be coming home. But what about the president and some of his family members? Well, you know, look, I'll leave that to our impeachment team. We're still getting ready for the case -- we're ready, but we're waiting to see what the senate rules will allow. The president's words are well, well known and his posts, his retweeting, at one time he re-tweeted over the summer the best Democrat is a dead Democrat. He has called for violence for so often. It's also important what he didn't do. Once this attack happened, hours passed before he intervened. President Biden has called unity, repeatedly. Many Republicans say this impeachment will accomplish the exact opposite, how much do you worry that this will only further divide this country? We absolutely need unity in our country. But unity also means that as president Biden said at his inaugural, enough of are able to come together for all of us. Unity doesn't mean the inciter in chief. Who commanded them to do so. We need to have accountability. We need to deter a future president from doing this. And we need to disqualify the person who has disdain for democracy who led these events into motion. That's unity, having an accounting and having justice before we have peace. On the topic of unity, some house Republicans joined Democrats to vote for impeachment. In the senate you need 17 Republicans to get onboard to get a conviction. How likely is that to happen? You know, we don't look at it that way. We need two-thirds of the chamber to get a conviction. But we're not breaking it down, Democrats or Republicans. We think these are American citizens, who were attacked by their own citizens, by their own president who incited them. So we hope that they take their oath seriously, the oath that the president didn't take. We believe we can secure a conviction here. Congressman Swalwell, thank you for your time this morning. We appreciate it. My pleasure. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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