House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) fumed late Thursday after the House voted against his resolution to remove Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from the House intelligence committee due to his contact over six years ago with a suspected Chinese spy who is alleged to have targeted American lawmakers.
“Every Democrat is now on the record,” McCarthy wrote in a tweet on Thursday night, accusing his colleagues of choosing “politics over national security,” after they sunk his resolution to strip Swalwell from the intelligence panel over the California lawmaker’s years-old likely unwitting contact with the alleged spy in a 218 to 200 vote.
Every Democrat is now on the record: They just voted to keep Eric Swalwell on the House Intelligence Committee—despite his long-standing relationship with a reported Chinese spy.
They chose politics over national security.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 19, 2021
McCarthy’s resolution sought to boot Swalwell from the intelligence panel over the fact that he has not denied “public reporting that a suspected Chinese intelligence operative helped raise money” for his campaign for and helped interns seek potential positions in his congressional office.
The resolution cited an Axios report from December, that the alleged spy, Christine Fang, came into contact with Swalwell’s campaign in 2012 and had also participated in fundraising for Swalwell’s 2014 campaign and helped place an intern in his office.
After federal investigators made Swalwell aware of their concerns and briefed Congress on the issue in 2015, the California lawmaker says that he cut ties. He was not charged with any wrongdoing.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said in a letter to colleagues on Thursday obtained by the Associated Press that Swalwell is a “trusted member of our committee” and that he had “acted fully in accordance with his responsibilities” after the 2015 counterintelligence briefing.
A fierce critic of former President Donald Trump, Swalwell served as a House impeachment manager during the former president’s second impeachment trial last month.
During an MSNBC interview, Swalwell said that McCarthy’s effort to boot him from the committee was an attempt at retribution for the role he played as a House impeachment manager in Trump’s trial last month.
“It’s only about payback right now because of my role in the impeachment proceedings, and holding the president accountable,” Swalwell said.
The California Democrat also punched back in a tweet Thursday morning that McCarthy’s resolution failed to include “multiple FBI statements” that he had not be charged with wrongdoing and that he had cooperated with their investigation.
“All of this to deflect from @GOPLeader’s support for QAnon,” Swalwell wrote.
McCarthy’s effort to strip Swalwell from the panel comes after the House voted to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from her committees last month, after reports surfaced showing that she had endorsed violence against some Democratic lawmakers, had suggested a school shooting was a “false flag” operation, and had promoted myriad other baseless conspiracy theories.