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Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee

Top Republicans in the House are calling for Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellDemocrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' The Memo: New riot footage stuns Trump trial New security video shows lawmakers fleeing during Capitol riot MORE (D-Calif.) to be removed from the Intelligence Committee following reports that he was allegedly targeted by a woman believed to be a Chinese spy. 

In a letter sent Tuesday to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote Clinton, Pelosi holding online Women's Day fundraiser with Chrissy Teigen, Amanda Gorman What good are the intelligence committees? MORE (D-Calif.), the lawmakers, including House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Merrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat Why Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now MORE (R-La.) and House Republican Conference Chair Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyRomney released from hospital after fall over the weekend MAGALand in Orlando Kinzinger: Trump just wants to 'stand in front of a crowd and be adored' MORE (Wyo.), said Swalwell's contacts posed a national security risk. 

“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,” they wrote. 

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It said the panel “handles some of the most sensitive information our government possesses," and that as a result Swalwell should be removed from his position. 

Axios first reported that Swalwell had been targeted by an alleged Chinese Ministry of State Security operative named Christine Fang, who also goes by Fang Fang. The woman, according to the report, helped Swalwell’s fundraising during his 2014 reelection campaign and she also helped place an unpaid intern inside his office. 

The Republicans drew a parallel to Democratic calls for former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsManchin flexes muscle in 50-50 Senate Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' Ocasio-Cortez targets Manchin over Haaland confirmation MORE to resign after he met with a Russian ambassador without alerting Congress. 

The lawmakers said that Swalwell should be held to the same standard as Sessions, arguing that his interactions with the Chinese agent “were more dangerous.”

“Rep. Swalwell withheld information for five years from the House Intelligence Committee about an ongoing Chinese espionage operation targeted at him and his own colleagues,” they wrote. 

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“Obviously, Rep. Swalwell’s interactions with a Chinese spy were more dangerous and unusual than AG Sessions’ meetings with a Russian diplomat. But to make matters worse, Rep. Swalwell kept this information to himself while repeatedly using his position on [the Intelligence Committee] to peddle damaging and baseless conspiracies about President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend MORE’s unproven ties to Russia for years and still refuses to comment fully on the extent and nature of his relationship with the Chinese Communist Party spy exposed in Axios’ bombshell report.” 

Swalwell told Politico last week he severed contact with Fang after he was alerted by federal investigators of alleged suspicious activity and is not accused of any wrongdoing, adding Democratic leadership knew about the interactions. 

He also questioned the timing of the report, arguing that there was political motivation behind the leak given his rebukes of the Trump administration. 

Fang left the country in 2015 during the FBI investigation into her activities. 

Pelosi has previously stated she has no concerns about Swalwell remaining on the panel. 

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"I don't have any concern about Mr. Swalwell,” she told reporters last week. 

Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (Ind.) and GOP Reps. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Rep. Gosar denounces 'white racism' after controversial appearance Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance MORE (Ariz.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceConnolly to GOP: I won't be lectured by those who voted to overturn the election DeJoy apologizes for mail delays while defending Postal Service changes 42 GOP lawmakers press for fencing around Capitol to be removed MORE (Ga.), Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Fallen Capitol Police officer to lie in honor in Rotunda Capitol Police back bill to allow officer to lie in honor MORE (S.C.), Bob GibbsRobert (Bob) Brian GibbsREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee House Republicans ask Amtrak CEO for information on Biden's train trips MORE (Ohio), Greg Murphy (N.C.),  Ron WrightRon WrightAnti-Trump Republican will seek Texas seat Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress Susan Wright, wife of Texas congressman who died of COVID-19, announces run for seat MORE (Texas),  Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul BuddRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC 42 GOP lawmakers press for fencing around Capitol to be removed READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (N.C.), Jeff DuncanJeffrey (Jeff) Darren DuncanREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee MORE (S.C.), Warren DavidsonWarren Earl DavidsonREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit MORE (Ohio), Fred Keller (Pa.) and Kevin HernKevin HernREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee Lawmakers call for small business aid at all levels of government MORE (Okla.) also signed on to the letter.

Other GOP lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC This week: Senate takes up coronavirus relief after minimum wage setback Trump calls on Republicans to 'get rid' of Cheney, other GOP critics MORE (Calif.) and retiring Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingTop GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee Republican Garbarino wins election to replace retiring Rep. Pete King Katko announces bid to serve as top Republican on Homeland Security panel MORE (N.Y.), who previously sat on the Intelligence Committee, have also called for Swalwell's removal from the panel.

"I will accept Swalwell’s claim that he ended all involvement with Fang after he was informed by the FBI that she was a spy," King wrote in an op-ed in The Hill on Tuesday. "Nevertheless, the fact remains that he was compromised and made susceptible to blackmail by the Chinese, who could threaten him with the disclosure of his involvement with their alleged agent. No matter what anyone thinks of Swalwell, his appointment was not a risk worth taking."