House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday, Jan. 14, announced that she named Rep. Eric Swalwell to return to the Homeland Security Committee.
“In the election, the American people elected a Democratic House Majority that not only will ensure that our nation recovers from this historic pandemic and economic crisis, but will Build Back Better,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“As House Speaker, I am pleased to announce the appointments of these outstanding members to key committees, where they will be relentless in leading Democrats’ work to combat disparities in our economy and country and to advance justice and progress For The People.”
Swalwell, who is also on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, previously served on the Committee for Homeland Security during his first term in Congress from 2012 to 2014.
After Axios broke the news in December that Swalwell and other California politicians had for years been targeted for information by a suspected Chinese spy Christine Fang, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and several Republicans had called for Swalwell’s removal from the high-powered committee.
Pelosi and McCarthy, who decide which lawmakers get appointed to the House Intelligence Committee, received an FBI briefing regarding Swalwell’s ties to the suspected Chinese spy in December.
“No one that was in that room could walk out and say Eric Swalwell should be on the intel committee,” McCarthy told reporters after the briefing. “The one answer that I got out of that briefing was there is no way Eric Swalwell should continue to serve on the intel committee.”
Pelosi did not comment after the briefing and said she doesn’t have “any concern about Mr. Swalwell.” Meanwhile former acting Director of United State National Intelligence Richard Grenell said Swalwell’s story is only “the tip of the iceberg.”
Swalwell, said that he was “a little surprised” to read the Axios story and denied any wrongdoing. He blamed President Trump for the leaked information because of his work on the president’s impeachment.
Swalwell remains on the House Intelligence Committee despite the scandal. His father and brother were Facebook friends with Fang years after the FBI flagged her for suspicious activities and Swalwell allegedly cut her off. Their accounts disappeared on her friends list following reports on the connections.
Earlier this week, Pelosi appointed Swalwell as one of nine impeachment managers for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump following the Capitol breach on Jan. 6.
During an interview Tuesday with PBS “NewsHour,” Swalwell claimed that many of the people arrested in connection with the Capitol riot that they had been “called there by the president.” He likened President Trump with Osama bin Laden and referred to a number of Republicans as the “Coup Klux Klan.”
“Osama bin Laden did not enter US soil on Sept. 11, but it was widely acknowledged that he was responsible for inspiring the attack on our country,” Swalwell said. “And the president, with his words—using the word ‘fight,’ with the speakers that he assembled that day, who called for trial by combat and said we have to take names and kick [expletive], that is hate speech that inspired and radicalized people to storm the Capitol.”