Rep. Eric Swalwell calls for Trump impeachment, gun reforms at San Francisco rally

Congressman Eric Swalwell, speaking in San Francisco, is no longer on the fence about Donald Trump's impeachment.

Calling Trump a "lawless" U.S. President who has "taken a wrecking ball to democracy," Swalwell is urging the House of Representatives to open an impeachment inquiry.

"He has just left us with no options," said Swalwell, appearing at the Commonwealth Club Friday evening.

Trump's admitted willingness to accept foreign intelligence on a political opponent, was a tipping point, said Swalwell, himself a candidate for President.

"Trump is willing to risk our democracy to benefit himself, so I don't see another choice," said Swalwell, "and If we do nothing the standard of conduct for future presidents will be so low it's next to nothing."

Swalwell's remarks came on the heels of his acceptance into the Democratic debates, to be held over two nights, later this month.

He will share a stage in Miami with nine other candidates, and had to qualify by meeting fund-raising and polling targets.

"I'm really excited, look we're in the top twenty," Swalwell told KTVU, eager to introduce himself to a national audience.

His debate strategy? "I don't have to swing for the fences, I'm going to be myself, and share my vision for the country."

That vision - he told Commonwealth Club members - is shaped by his own life.

Swalwell is from Dublin, the first person in his law-enforcement family to attend college, and a former prosecutor with the Alameda County DA's office.

Elected to Congress seven years ago, he still has student debt, rents his home, and worries about finding child care for his two kids.

He believes voters can relate to him, as he understands their struggles.

On health care, Swalwell touts coverage for all, but leaves room for private insurance.

"People just want to know that you recognize how expensive health care is, and that you don't think the status quo is working," he told the crowd.

Swalwell has made gun reform a central theme of his campaign: proposing a ban and buyback of all assault rifles.

"Thoughts and prayers in Congress are an alibi for doing nothing," he observed.

Activism by students and families after the massacre in Parkland, Florida, he says, restored his faith real change is possible.

The people who are against this are a very vocal, tweeting, bullying minority," said Swalwell, "and politicians better worry about pissing off the moms more than pissing off the NRA."

As for the polls that give Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders commanding leads among Democrats?

"With great respect for both those individuals, I just happen to think the best way to beat Donald Trump is to have new energy and new ideas, running against him," smiled Swalwell.