House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Friday he will offer a resolution next week to remove California Democrat Eric Swalwell from the House Standing Committee on Intelligence, an effort that a top Democratic adviser called it a “waste of time” that will not go anywhere.
“Pelosi just reappointed Eric Swalwell as a member of the Intelligence Committee. According to the report she and I received together, Swalwell should not be on the panel in charge of protecting our nation’s secrets,” McCarthy said. in a tweet.
His tweet references a briefing by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and McCarthy, received from the FBI on December 18, 2020, about Swalwell’s contacts with an alleged Chinese intelligence agent, according to a McCarthy aide. .
According to a 2020 story by Axios, the operative, named Christine Fang or Fang Fang, contacted various Bay Area politicians between 2011 and 2015 as part of an intelligence operation led by China’s civilian espionage agency. . She helped with fundraising for Swalwell’s re-election campaign in 2014, helped place at least one intern in his office, and interacted with the congressman at multiple events.
Axios also reported that a current senior US intelligence official did not believe Fang passed or received classified information, and federal investigators alerted Swalwell to his activities in 2015, at which point he severed all ties.
At the time of the story, Swalwell’s office acknowledged that he met Fang more than eight years ago and that he provided information about her to the FBI when informed of her identity. He hadn’t seen her in six years.
Following McCarthy’s tweet on Friday, Swalwell said: “I look forward to continuing the important work of protecting Americans and supporting the hardworking heroes of our Intelligence Community, and I thank Speaker Pelosi and President Schiff for their support and trust”.
A senior Democratic aide said McCarthy’s resolution would be “postponed” or thrown out by the House instantly, calling it a “waste of time.” Swalwell, the aide said, had acted appropriately and has not been accused of doing anything wrong.
“Republicans should be very cautious when starting something like this,” the aide warned. “His lecture is full of exposure.”
Republican lawmakers pointed to the story to try to discredit Swalwell when he served as one of the impeachment managers during former President Trump’s Senate trial last month and to warn that it would be grounds for stripping him of his committee assignments. if Republicans regain power in the House, just as Democrats moved to strip Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments earlier this year. Greene’s impeachment followed comments he had made prior to his campaign for Congress in which he had voiced support for QAnon’s conspiracy theories and other racist and anti-Semitic comments.