A group of House Republicans sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Tuesday demanding to remove Representative Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) from the House Intelligence Committee.
“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,” the Republicans wrote. “Rep. Swalwell kept this information to himself while repeatedly using his position on HPSCI to peddle damaging and baseless conspiracies about President Donald Trump’s unproven ties to Russia for years and still refuses to comment fully on the extent and nature of his relationship with the Chinese Communist Party spy exposed in Axios’ bombshell report.”
The letter follows the publication of a year-long Axios investigation which found that a suspected Chinese spy worked as a fundraiser for Swalwell from 2011 to 2015 — and even placed an intern in his office. The alleged spy, Christine Fang, developed ties with other politicians from the San Francisco Bay area and reportedly had romantic relationships with at least two mayors in midwestern states.
In response to the story, Swalwell alleged that his ties with Fang were leaked as retribution for his criticism of President Trump. Swalwell has declined to reveal details of his relationship with Fang, saying that could expose classified information.
The House Intel Committee “handles some of the most sensitive information our government possesses—information critical to our national defense,” the group of Republicans wrote to Pelosi. “As such, we urge you to immediately remove Rep. Swalwell from his position on the House Intelligence Committee.”
Among the letter’s signatories are Representatives Jim Banks of Indiana, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Chip Roy of Texas, and 13 additional Republicans.
Swalwell cut off contact with Fang in 2015, after federal agents briefed the representative on Fang’s ties with China.
Republicans on the Intel Committee told National Review last week that Swalwell should at least disclose the nature of his relationship to committee members.
“Rep. Swalwell says he can’t talk about the issue because it’s classified? Did he share classified information with this alleged spy?” Representative Brad Wenstrup said. “There’s a place where members can discuss classified information — the SCIF (sensitive compartmented information facility). We need answers.”