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House ethics rules explicitly bar lawmakers from using government resources for campaign purposes with extremely limited exceptions. Democrat California Rep. Eric Swalwell, however, appears to be breaking lower chamber guidelines.
On Tuesday, Swalwell published a post on his official congressional Twitter account directing his more than 1.2 million followers to a DNC-run website that gathers information for list building and fundraising.
“The Republicans won’t stop with banning abortion,” Swalwell wrote, capitalizing on a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court set to send decisions over abortion policy back to the states. “They want to ban interracial marriage,” he added, stoking the flames of a left-wing conspiracy despite the fact that Justice Clarence Thomas, who concurred in the February draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, is in such a marriage with Ginni Thomas, who is white.
Swalwell’s post featured a link to iwillvote.com paid for by the Democratic National Committee.
According to the House Committee on Ethics, “Official resources of the House must, as a general rule, be used for the performance of official business of the House, and hence those resources may not be used for campaign or political purposes.”
When reached for comment, the House Ethics Committee declined.
Mike Davis, a former chief counsel for Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and law clerk for Justice Neil Gorsuch, wondered out loud whether Swalwell’s post violated House rules.
“Why are you using your official U.S. House account and government resources to fundraise for the DNC?” Davis wrote on Twitter.
House rules offer few exceptions for campaign-related activity to overlap with official use of government resources — such as scheduling and press purposes. Ethics laws also allow for distribution of nonpartisan voter registration materials.
“A Member may make nonpartisan voter registration information available in a congressional office, but may not actually register people to vote there,” the rules read.
“Nonpartisan,” however, is the keyword. The website Swalwell linked to, from a government Twitter account, leads users to a DNC-funded operation.
Swalwell’s office did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment by publication time.
In December 2020, the California congressman fell into scandal after news surfaced from Axios of a close relationship between him and a since-vanished Chinese spy. Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee with access to the nation’s top secrets, harbored a close and potentially sexual relationship with a Chinese national named Fang Fang whose whereabouts are unknown. Swalwell’s association with Fang Fang, who made a habit of sexually manipulating a pair of Midwestern mayors according to federal officials who spoke to Axios, raised enough concern within the FBI that the congressman was presented a “defensive briefing” by the intelligence community.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, both of California, were also given an FBI briefing on the matter after details were publicly exposed by Axios. McCarthy left the meeting with demands Swalwell be taken off the Intelligence Committee while Pelosi simply walked away from reporters after.
“He should not be on Intel,” McCarthy said. “I just think there are definitely 200 other Democrats that I know could fill that place.”
Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.