A group of 17 members of the Republican House sent a letter to speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday urging her to “immediately remove” Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee.
It comes from reports of his previous ties to a spy from China, posing as a student, networked with up-and-coming US officials, and reportedly sleeping with a few Midwestern mayors.
“Because of Rep. Swalwell’s position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, his close contacts with Chinese intelligence agencies, however unintentional, pose an unacceptable risk to national security,” the letter read.
While we note that the committee is “dealing with some of the most sensitive information our government holds – information critical to our national defense,” the letter continued, “we urge you to immediately remove Rep. Swalwell from his position. the House Intelligence Committee. “
Representatives who signed the letter include Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) And Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Chip Roy (Texas), Liz Cheney (Wyo.) And Paul Gosar (Ariz.).
They noted that in 2017, Pelosi accused former Attorney General Jeff Sessions of being “unfit to serve” after reports emerged that he had failed to disclose to Congress a few meetings with the Russian ambassador. At the time she called on him to resign.
“Rep. Swalwell has withheld information from the House Intelligence Committee for five years about an ongoing Chinese espionage operation targeting him and his own colleagues,” the letter reads. “It is clear that Rep. Swalwell’s meetings with a Chinese spy were more dangerous and unusual than AG Session’s encounters with a Russian diplomat. ”
FBI JOINED AFTER EXPECTED CHINESE SPY FIND CLOSE TO SWALWELL, OTHER POLITICIANS
GOP House members argued that Swalwell used his position on the House Intelligence Committee to carry out attacks on President Donald Trump’s “unproven ties to Russia,” while refusing to explain his own ties to the Chinese espionage report .
Fang Fang, also known as Christine Fang, disguised as an exchange student, came to the US to build relationships with up-and-coming politicians on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, Axios reported last week. One of her most prominent targets was Swalwell, whom she met nearly a decade ago while still a councilor in the East Bay city of Dublin.
She reportedly used student extracurricular activities at California State University, East Bay, to network with and befriend local officials – and eventually branched out nationally, reportedly having romantic encounters with two Midwestern mayors.
Swalwell, for his part, has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and after the FBI gave him a defensive briefing in 2015 about Fang’s suspected activities, he interrupted her. Fang is not suspected of having access to classified information.
INTELLIGENCE EXPERT KNOWS WHAT A SPY CAN COLLECT BY LINKING ON FACEBOOK FRIENDS LISTS
But his father and brother, along with a handful of other local politicians, remained Facebook friends with her until they reported on the connections last week. That likely gave China a stream of data to keep an eye on for years, intelligence experts said.
Pelosi said last week that Congress leaders of both parties were briefed on the incident in the spring of 2015.
“I think it’s a shame Mr. McCarthy is trying to make a point of this when we all found out at the same time,” said Pelosi, referring to Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the House GOP.
McCarthy did not sign the letter, but has called for Swalwell’s resignation from the Intelligence Commission.