The House has dismissed a Republican attempt to remove California Rep. Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee over his past contact with a suspected Chinese spy who targeted politicians in the United States.
Democrats killed the effort by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, 218-200, after he forced a vote.
His resolution against Swalwell cited reports that the suspected spy, Christine Fang, developed ties with Swalwell’s campaign as he was first running for Congress in 2012.
She participated in fundraising for his 2014 campaign and helped place an intern in his office, the report said. She also allegedly engaged in sexual relationships with two Midwestern mayors.
Federal investigators alerted Swalwell to their concerns — and briefed Congress — about Fang in 2015, at which point Swalwell says he cut off contact with her.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said in a letter to colleagues on Thursday that Swalwell is a “trusted member of our committee” and that he had “acted fully in accordance with his responsibilities” after the 2015 briefing.
Schiff said that Republican leaders, including then-House Speaker John Boehner and the then-chairman of the intelligence panel, Rep. Devin Nunes, were briefed on the situation at the time and “expressed no opposition to his continued service on the committee.”
McCarthy requested his own briefing about Swalwell after the Axios report in December. After the briefing, which was also attended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, McCarthy said he thought Swalwell should be removed.
Introducing the resolution, McCarthy said that members who are appointed by Pelosi to the Intelligence Committee “must possess the highest level of credibility and character” and that “no member should be compromised in any way.”
Members of the committee are regularly briefed on sensitive national intelligence.
Swalwell’s office issued a statement in December saying that he had “long ago” provided information to the FBI about Fang, whom he said he had not seen in nearly six years. He declined to comment further.
Asked about the removal attempt earlier this week on MSNBC, Swalwell said that when he was told that someone who was helping his campaign “was not who we thought they were, we kicked the person out, and we helped the FBI.”
But he would not discuss any further details.
The vote comes after the House voted to remove Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from both her committees last month, an unprecedented punishment that Democrats said she’d earned by formerly supporting conspiracy theories.
“If that’s the new standard,” McCarthy said at the time, “we have a long list.”
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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