Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) continues to hang like an albatross from the neck of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) after news broke that he consorted with a suspected Chinese spy. It doesn’t seem Pelosi is about to do anything about it, however.
Swalwell was allegedly involved with purported Chinese spy Christine Fang, a problematic relationship that should bar him from his position on the House Intelligence Committee, the Washington Examiner reported. Pelosi won’t budge, however, so a group of prominent House Republicans has sent the speaker a letter ordering her to oust him from the committee.
“We write to you today out of concern with Congressman Eric Swalwell’s reported, close contacts with a Chinese Communist Party spy recently reported by Axios,” the Examiner shared from the letter obtained by the publication. “Because of Rep. Swalwell’s position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, his close interactions with Chinese intelligence services, however unintentional they may be, are an unacceptable national security risk.”
The letter was signed by 17 Republican lawmakers including Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, and Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana. It went on to say that “HPSCI handles some of the most sensitive information our government possesses — information critical to our national defense. As such, we urge you to immediately remove Rep. Swalwell from his position on the House Intelligence Committee.”
The Republicans also reminded Pelosi of her position that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was “not fit to serve…and must resign” in 2017 for failing to disclose to Congress two meetings he had with the Russian ambassador. “Rep. Swalwell withheld information for five years from the House Intelligence Committee about an ongoing Chinese espionage operation targeted at him and his own colleagues. Obviously, Rep. Swalwell’s interactions with a Chinese spy were more dangerous and unusual than AG Sessions’ meetings with a Russian diplomat,” the letter stated.
Earlier this month, Axios broke the story that Swalwell and Fang, also known as Fang Fang, worked together on his campaign in 2014. She helped place at least one intern in his office, but Swalwell said he cut ties with Fang in 2015 after federal investigators shared their concerns about her to the Congressman.
According to the publication, the Chinese government purposely targeted low-level politicians to form bonds with agents in the hopes of maintaining those relationships as the lawmakers gained more prominent positions. Fang sidled up to Swalwell, attended mayors’ conferences, and had sexual or romantic relationships with at least two mayors from Midwestern cities in order to gather information and influence.
Someone in Swalwell’s position should have been skeptical of a person like Fang, a young, attractive Chinese national who was so heavily interested in American politics. Even if he wasn’t knowingly cooperating with her, his instincts failed him miserably. A man like that does not belong on the intelligence committee, and Pelosi needs to do something about it now.