Tempers rose at a House committee Wednesday after a Republican congressman went off on Rep. Eric Swalwell over his ties to a suspected Chinese spy, leading the Democrat to lash back: “You do not get to say that s–t.”
The Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security and Enforcement hearing grew bad-tempered when Swalwell (D-Calif.) spent his question time probing border security supporter Sheena Rodriguez about her attendance on the Capitol grounds during the Jan. 6, 2021, incident.
At one point during Swalwell’s interrogation of the witness, a Republican senator requested him to surrender, but he resisted and persisted until his time expired.
This is when Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) weighed in.
“I apologize that you had to — you’re here for a hearing on the border, Democrats don’t want to talk about a border. Mr. Swalwell is down there, obviously everyone knows he’s made some comments,” Nehls told Rodriguez, who was at the hearing to speak about the exploitation of migrant children she claimed to have observed during more than three dozen visits to the US-Mexico border.
Swalwell reportedly lost his position on the House Intelligence Committee earlier this year due to an alleged affair. Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, informed Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York, that Swalwell and fellow Democrat Adam Schiff from California had greatly damaged the committee’s crucial national security and oversight responsibilities, ultimately endangering the safety of the nation.
During an argument between Swalwell and Nehls on Wednesday, Pramila Jayapal, a Democratic subcommittee ranking member from Washington, demanded that the Republican’s remarks be struck from the record, as they constituted a direct insult to a committee member, which was not acceptable. Chairman Tom McClintock, a Republican from California, adjourned the committee for two minutes to consider the precedents. When the hearing resumed, Nehls agreed to rephrase his statement to say that Swalwell was a member who had been previously removed from the Intelligence Committee. However, he did not apologize. This incident occurred just one week after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia disrupted a House Homeland Security Committee hearing by alleging that Swalwell had a sexual relationship with a Chinese spy, a claim widely known among people.
Similar to what happened on Wednesday, one of Swalwell’s Democratic colleagues, Daniel Goldman, who represents Lower Manhattan and brownstone Brooklyn, attempted to remove the remarks from the record. However, when Marjorie Taylor Greene made similar allegations, the Republicans on the committee refused to take action and did not remove or modify her statement.