I felt a great disturbance in the legal system, as if millions of defense attorneys suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday afternoon that President Donald Trump “is acting like a very guilty person” because the president isn’t cooperating with Democrats’ attempts to impeach him. Swalwell, for reference, graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law and was once employed as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County in California.
Perhaps it is the prosecutor part of him that led him to tell Blitzer the following:
Unless you send [witnesses] to us, we can only conclude that you’re guilty because in America, innocent men do not hide and conceal evidence, in fact Wolf they do just the opposite, they are forthcoming and they want to cooperate and the president is acting like a very guilty person right now.
Ben Williamson, communications director for Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), posted the clip of Swalwell’s comment on Twitter, saying that “the Fifth Amendment was just repealed on live television.”
Criminal defense attorney Scott Greenfield went a step further, saying, “No matter how bad Trump is, putting Swalwell on TV to spew this horse****, that only guilty people refuse to cooperate, has got to stop.”
No matter how bad Trump is, putting Swalwell on TV to spew this horseshit, that only guilty people refuse to cooperate, has got to stop. https://t.co/8MrfgeclFB
— Scott Greenfield (@ScottGreenfield) December 18, 2019
Swalwell followed up his opinions about defendants’ rights on Twitter, comparing Trump’s refusal to allow his staff to testify before partisan lawmakers hellbent on painting him as guilty to an athlete refusing to take a drug test.
Sports fans: if a baseball player refuses to take a drug test, MLB treats it as a positive result. Why? Only a player who’d test dirty would refuse a test,” Swalwell tweeted. “Why won’t @realDonaldTrump send witnesses or documents to Congress? Because he’d test dirty.”
Let’s set aside the fact that any time a conservative makes a due process claim about the impeachment proceedings against Trump, the Left responds apoplectically by saying this is not a court of law and the rules are different. Swalwell just tried to make legal comparisons on CNN and a tortured analogy on Twitter. His arguments should strike fear in the heart of every American citizen.
Tom Elliot, founder of Grabien, presented Swalwell with another analogy, asking the California congressman, “So if cops in your district pulled over a random black dude for no reason and then demanded to search the car, you’re saying he should submit?”
So if cops in your district pulled over a random black dude for no reason and then demanded to search the car, you’re saying he should submit? After all he must be guilty if he cares about his rights.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 17, 2019
Under Swalwell’s logic, the man must submit, because only guilty people would deny cops the search without a warrant.
Innocent Americans do not have to cooperate with an investigation. The burden of proof is on the prosecutors, not the defendants (though the Left is trying to change that). Defense attorneys know that evidence and statements can be twisted to make someone appear guilty, so it is best not to provide that information to prosecutors – and defense attorneys have no obligation to do so either.
For those of you who have seen Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell,” you should understand far too well how cooperating with law enforcement can lead to an innocent person’s destruction.