The letter, which was signed by prominent GOP House members including Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, asked for Pelosi to remove Swalwell because the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence handles “the most sensitive information.”
“We write to you today out of concern with Congressman Eric Swalwell’s reported, close contacts with a Chinese Communist Party spy recently reported by Axios. Because of Rep. Swalwell’s position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, his close interactions with Chinese intelligence services, however unintentional they may be, are an unacceptable national security risk,” the Republicans wrote in the letter. “HPSCI handles some of the most sensitive information our government possesses — information critical to our national defense. As such, we urge you to immediately remove Rep. Swalwell from his position on the House Intelligence Committee.”
Swalwell’s office has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.
This comes a few days after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Fox News that Swalwell should be removed from the committee.
“I did not know about that but this goes much deeper than this; the intel committee is different than any other committee,” the California Republican said last week. “This man should not be in the intel committee. He’s jeopardizing national security, what is being said in those meetings inside the SCIF that you don’t want other people to hear or listen.”
Pelosi defended Swalwell at her news conference last week, telling reporters that House leaders have known for five years about Chinese attempting to influence officials, including Swalwell.
She said McCarthy was trying to “deflect” by trying to make an issue of it now after sitting on information since 2015.
“I don’t have any concern about Mr. Swalwell,” the California Democrat said last week. “In the spring of 2015 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 the members of Congress, it was over.”