OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
After being booted off the House Select Committee on Intelligence following a suspicious relationship with a suspected Chinese spy, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) was back in the news on Thursday, making an unusual — and some say desperate — demand.
As former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign for the GOP nomination picks up steam, Swalwell, along with Democrat Representative Nikema Williams (D-Ga.), have sponsored a resolution that, if passed, would instruct the Capitol Police, along with the Sergeants-at-arms of the House and Senate, to take action if Trump enters the Capitol Building.
In addition, the resolution calls for similar actions to be taken against a handful of other Trump associates and former administration officials.
“The Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives, the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate, and the United States Capitol Police shall take such actions as may be necessary to prohibit President Donald John Trump, Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, Peter Navarro, Jeffrey Clark, John Eastman, Kenneth Cheseboro, and Rudy Giuliani from entering the United States Capitol,” it says.
Swalwell’s resolution also claims that those people damaged “the functions of democracy” and the “integrity of Congress’ role in certifying the election results.”
In a statement on his Truth Social platform, Trump lashed out at Swalwell’s resolution.
“Little respected Representative Eric Swalwell was just kicked off the Intelligence Committee for reasons of ‘Integrity and lack of Intelligence’ and, for having the poor judgment of dating and falling desperately in love with a Chinese Spy, Fang Fang, whose honey net has gotten massive amounts of information for her beloved China,” he wrote.
“This idiot is now calling … for some Great American Patriots, including me, to be banned from the Capitol … Fortunately, people understand that Swalwell is a ‘low life,’ not respected by anybody, and merely used for entertainment reasons by the Fake News Media to continue their assault on President Donald J. Trump, and America!” he added.
Swalwell joined fellow California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the former Intelligence Committee chairman, to complain about being removed from the panel last month by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican who is also from California.
“We will not be quiet,” he told reporters. “We’re not going away. I think he will regret giving all three of us more time on our hands. But at the end of the day, our mission is to restore the credibility and integrity of this institution of which the Speaker has so gravely, so gravely smashed and destroyed.”
Democrat Eric Swalwell — who was rejected from the Intel Committee because of his past relationship with a Chinese spy — says he “will not be quiet” and is on a “mission” to “restore the credibility and integrity” of the House. 🥴 pic.twitter.com/LibpadcA8h
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 25, 2023
“Kevin McCarthy just kicked me and @RepSwalwell off the Intelligence Committee. This is petty, political payback for investigating Donald Trump. If he thinks this will stop me, he will soon find out just how wrong he is. I will always defend our democracy,” Schiff added on Twitter.
McCarthy was fulfilling a promise he made before the midterm elections to remove them should the GOP win back the House majority and make him speaker.
“House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) had written to McCarthy on Saturday asking that both Schiff and Swalwell be seated on the Intel panel, where membership assignments come solely at the discretion of the Speaker,” The Hill reported in January.
However, McCarthy countered that previous actions by both lawmakers had made them unqualified to serve on such a sensitive committee.
“In order to maintain a standard worthy of this committee’s responsibilities, I am hereby rejecting the appointments of Representative Adam Schiff and Representative Eric Swalwell to serve on the Intelligence Committee,” McCarthy responded.
The Hill added:
Republicans have been up in arms over the issue since 2021, when Democrats staged votes to remove GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) from their committees following revelations that they had promoted violence against some of their Democratic colleagues. The eviction votes came after McCarthy declined to punish either lawmaker internally within the GOP conference, which is typically where such disciplinary actions are meted out.
Still, McCarthy on Tuesday denied that his decision regarding Schiff and Swalwell was retribution for Greene and Gosar.
“This is not anything political. This is not similar to what the Democrats did,” McCarthy told reporters late Tuesday afternoon outside his Capitol Hill office.