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Pelosi Names Impeachment Managers, Faces Criticism For Some Selections
UNITED STATES - January 7: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during her weekly news conference in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.
Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced criticism on Tuesday over some of the members of Congress that she selected to be managers in the Democrats’ latest impeachment effort of President Donald Trump.

“Tonight, I have the solemn privilege of naming the Managers of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump,” Pelosi said in a statement. Pelosi announced that the impeachment managers are Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Diana DeGette (D-CO), David Cicilline (D-RI), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Virgin Islands delegate Stacey E. Plasket (D).

Critics and commentators online quickly noted that Swalwell and Lieu were controversial picks because of their combativeness toward Trump and because of a recent scandal involving Swalwell.

A report from Axios late last year revealed that Swalwell had previously had close ties to an alleged Chinese spy named Fang Fang, or Christine Fang.

Fang “targeted up-and-coming local politicians in the Bay Area and across the country who had the potential to make it big on the national stage” through “campaign fundraising, extensive networking, personal charisma, and romantic or sexual relationships,” Axios reported. “Even though U.S. officials do not believe Fang received or passed on classified information, the case ‘was a big deal, because there were some really, really sensitive people that were caught up’ in the intelligence network, a current senior U.S. intelligence official said.”

Fang’s ties to Swalwell began when he was a councilmember for Dublin City, California, and she eventually became a fundraiser for him.

“Amid a widening counterintelligence probe, federal investigators became so alarmed by Fang’s behavior and activities that around 2015 they alerted Swalwell to their concerns — giving him what is known as a defensive briefing,” the report added. “Swalwell immediately cut off all ties to Fang, according to a current U.S. intelligence official, and he has not been accused of any wrongdoing.”

Swalwell has faced calls for removal by other members of Congress, has suggested without evidence that the Trump administration could be behind the story, and has been accused of having a sexual relationship with the alleged spy.

Pelosi offered the following information on the two congressmen:

Congressman Eric Swalwell: Congressman Swalwell serves on House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he chairs the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee, and on the Judiciary Committee.  He is a former prosecutor and is the son and brother of law enforcement officers.  He is serving his fifth term in Congress.

Congressman Ted Lieu: Congressman Lieu serves on the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Foreign Affairs.  He is a former active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force who served as a prosecutor in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and currently serves as a Colonel in the Reserves.  He is serving his fourth term in Congress.

The Democrats’ second impeachment effort of the president comes after a riot broke out at the U.S. Capitol Building last week following a political rally that the president held in the nation’s capital.

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