CORNISH: So you do have Democrats who have been talking about there being an impeachable offense here. At the same time, they will not go far as to say that they'd go forward with impeachment proceedings. Do you feel the same way?

SWALWELL: I do. I feel like, you know, this payment to Stormy Daniels and others is probably the least of the things that the president should be worried about. And I don't want to see us repeat some of the same mistakes that Republicans committed in the Clinton impeachment proceedings. But I do think...

CORNISH: What do you mean by that?

SWALWELL: Well, they went after, you know, conduct that I think most Americans did not believe was worthy of dragging the country through the most extraordinary remedy.

But what I think we can learn from this payoff is that the president and his attorney were shadowy operators, and it probably informs us a lot about more concerning conduct like and as it relates to the president's financial interests and how that's driving foreign and domestic policies.

CORNISH: Then what's your response to President Trump saying that Democrats are focusing on this essentially because there is nothing in the Mueller filing that implicates him in a conspiracy with Russians to interfere in the 2016 election?

SWALWELL: I would give him the number 16. That's the number of Trump family, business and political associates who were in contact with Russians as they were attacking our democracy. And that number keeps growing as we learn more about the investigation.

And so I'm not going to rush to judgment on what that investigation will find. But as long as Bob Mueller is able to pursue and follow all the evidence, and as long as witnesses aren't obstructing, lying and tampering, I'm confident that, you know, he will have a report soon. And then it'll be on Congress to decide, you know, whether the president should be held accountable.

Originally heard Dec. 10, 2018