WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — 17 House Republicans sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, demanding Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15) be removed from the House Intelligence Committee because of his ties to Christine Fang, a woman we now know to have been a suspected Chinese intel operative.
This letter is the latest move from House Republicans to pressure top Democrat leaders on Swalwell.
In 2015, Swalwell was one of a number of officials from the San Francisco Bay Area who Christina Fang worked for, according to Axios, who broke this story after a yearlong investigation.
She was mostly raising campaign funds, and recruiting an intern for Swalwell’s office.
The FBI became aware of Fang’s activity and briefed Swalwell’s office, Axios reported. He then reportedly cut ties with Fang.
In their letter, House Republicans claim Swalwell didn’t disclose his 2015 FBI briefing to Congress.
They also argue his ties to Fang might have made him a national security risk. For those reasons, they want him off the intelligence committee, which often deals in classified material.
“Well I don’t have any concern about Mr. Swalwell,” Pelosi said last week. “The leadership of the House and the committee were informed that overtures from a Chinese person were being made to members of Congress. When that was made known to members of Congress, it was over. That was the end of any communication.”
The Republican letter waded into politics too, noting Swalwell has been one of the most critical voices toward President Donald Trump for ties to Russia.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany referenced that point on Tuesday.
“There was no coverage, however, of Swalwell being the one implicated with not Russia, but China,” she said. “The New York Times website as of this morning had not one result for Eric Swalwell’s ties to Chinese spies, not one result and when the story broke, guess how many minutes of coverage it got on ABC, NBC, MSNBC and CBS? Zero.”
Swalwell’s office referred NewsNation to a statement that appeared in the original Axios story, saying Congressman Swalwell hasn’t had any contact with Fang in almost six years.
The Congressman also talked to CNN.
NewsNation tried to get a direct response to the Republican letter from the Congressman. His office declined.