Who is Eric Swalwell? GOP wants Congressman out from House panel over 'affair' with suspected Chinese spy
The 40-year-old California Democratic Congressman found himself embarrassed after calling President Trump a 'traitor' over alleged collusion with Russia
Ever since reports have revealed that California Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell had an affair with a suspected Chinese spy who also took part in his re-election campaign, America’s political circles are charged up. Now, the Republicans have sought the 40-year-old lawmaker’s ouster with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy calling for Swalwell’s removal from the House Intelligence Committee after the sensational revelations saw daylight.
“It was just the Speaker Nancy Pelosi and myself. It was a very thorough briefing. No one that was in that room could walk out and say Eric Swalwell should be on the Intel Committee. … They had a briefing before in 2015, and I don’t know what that briefing was like compared to this one, but it could not have been the same. 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,” McCarthy on Sunday, December 20, told Fox’s Maria Bartiromo.
Last week, a group of House Republicans signed a letter asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi to remove Swalwell from the committee, questioning the Congressman’s lack of judgment and vulnerability to Chinese intelligence designs. Earlier this month, Axios came up with an exclusive report saying the suspected spy by the name of Fang Fang or Christine Fang targeted a number of up-and-coming politicians in the Bay Area and across the US who look promising to make a national name. The FBI also briefed leaders of the House about Swalwell’s alleged ties with the suspected Chinese spy.
Swalwell reportedly found himself as one of her targets. She took part in the fundraising activity for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign, according to a Bay Area political operative and US intelligence sources. The political operative said though Fang made no illegal contributions, Swalwell’s office was directly aware of Fang’s activities. Fang also had intimate relationships with several California politicians and mayors of midwestern cities between 2011 and 2015 when she abruptly left the US. Swalwell, however, sought to dismiss the charges, saying the expose was essentially a plot on behalf of the Trump administration.
Who is Eric Swalwell?
Eric Michael Swalwell represents California’s 15th congressional district in the House. He took office in January 2013 and last month, won his fifth term beating Republican Alison Hayden by a wide margin. Swalwell’s district covers most of eastern Alameda County and a part of central Contra Costa County.
Swalwell was born in Iowa’s Sac City in November 1980. He is the first of the four sons of Eric Nelson Swalwell and Vicky Joe Swalwell, both of whom are Republicans. After leaving Iowa, the Swalwell family settled in Dublin, California where Eric received his education.
Swalwell graduated from Wells Middle School followed by Dublin High School in 1999. He suffered from Bell’s palsy in his childhood days and had to wear an eye patch to better his condition. Between 1999 and 2001, Swalwell attended North Carolina’s Campbell University on a soccer scholarship. He later transferred to University of Maryland, College Park and in 2003, he completed his bachelor’s degree in government and politics there. In 2006, he earned his Juris Doctor after enrolling at the University of Maryland School of Law.
After graduating from law school, Swalwell worked as an Alameda County deputy district attorney and also served on the Dublin Heritage & Cultural Arts Commission between 2006 and 2008. He later worked on the Dublin Planning Commission from 2008 to 2010 before becoming a member of the Dublin City Council in 2010.
Swalwell was elected to the US House in November 2012 at the age of 32, defeating 40-year incumbent Pete Stark. He was also a candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries between April and July 2019 after failing to beat other young faces in the race -- Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke. He instead focused on getting another term in Congress which he did. He endorsed President-elect Joe Biden.
Swalwell’s political positions:
Among political positions that Swalwell has taken are his support for more funding in education and less in defense, backing renewable energy jobs with federal stimulus funds and attempting to raise the cap on the Social Security payroll tax. He also sought a “mobile Congress” whereby the members would cast votes remotely and spend more time in their respective districts. In 2013, Swalwell opposed the idea of allowing passengers to take knives on flights. He is also known to be same-sex marriage and is pro-choice. In foreign affairs, Swalwell slammed Trump’s trade with China and condemned Turkey’s offensive into north-eastern Syria last year and called for suspension of Ankara’s Nato membership.
A strong Donald Trump critic:
Swalwell, who in May announced the launch of a political action committee aiming at registering new voters and winning key races for the Democrats around the country to widen the party’s lead in the House and also take control of the Senate, has been a staunch critic of President Donald Trump. He has slammed the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 317,000 people in the US so far and also called the president a “traitor” over the allegations of his collusion with Russia even though the Mueller probe did not produce any indictment. That specific attack against the incumbent now appears embarrassing for the man who himself has now been found at the receiving end over allegations of having affair with a suspected Chinese spy.