Reps. Jim Banks (R., Ind.) and Chip Roy (R., Texas), along with 15 other House Republicans, drafted a letter Tuesday to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) calling for Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D., Calif.) removal from the House Intelligence Committee due to his ties to a suspected Chinese spy.
The letter details both the compromised nature of Swalwell’s position given his personal relationship with alleged Chinese spy Fang Fang in addition to the double standard from congressional Democrats regarding foreign interference in American politics.
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"Speaker Pelosi spent four years yelling about President Trump being compromised by Russia, despite never having evidence to support her claim. Well, now we have proof our foremost adversary compromised a lawmaker who regularly handles highly classified intelligence," Banks said in a press release. "Speaker Pelosi needs to step up, put country over party and call on Rep. Swalwell to resign from the House Intelligence Committee."
Swalwell failed to disclose to the Intelligence Committee his working relationship with Fang, who gained enough influence with the California Democrat to place multiple interns in his office and befriend Swalwell’s brother and father on Facebook. Swalwell chairs one of the four subcommittees on the House Intelligence Committee.
The letter is signed by several other prominent Republican members, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.).
Demands for Swalwell’s removal come the week after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) told Fox News that Swalwell should not only have his committee assignment stripped but should also be removed from Congress.
Last week, Cheney warned that the targeting of Swalwell by a Chinese spy was indicative of larger efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to influence American life through institutions such as colleges and universities. Cheney said the news of Fang's espionage operation warranted the closure of CCP-affiliated Confucius Institutes on campuses nationwide.
"She got her start as one of the infiltrators, it seems, that the Chinese government has throughout academia," Cheney said of Fang. "So I think [we need to do] things like shutting down the Confucius Institutes and making sure we understand this is going to be a challenge for the next generation."