Several Senate Republicans mocked the Democrats' choice of Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., as a House impeachment manager for former President Donald Trump's trial.
Swalwell was revealed late last year to be among Democrats with whom a Chinese operative developed close ties.
"That's an interesting choice," Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., told a pool reporter, per Fox News, adding Swalwell is "somebody who's part of a Chinese espionage ring effectively, so it's a provocative choice."
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has said the impeachment trial is unconstitutional because Trump has left office, also scoffed at Swalwell's selection.
"This afternoon we have been lectured to by Eric Swalwell, a guy accused of consorting with a Chinese spy. How appropriate!"
Past and current Republican House members have demanded Swalwell step down from or be removed from the House Intelligence Committee.
Not only did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., decline to remove the congressman from his post, she added him to the Homeland Security Committee after the China story surfaced.
As a House manager, Swalwell is trying to persuade two-thirds of the Senate to convict the former president, who was impeached by the House for inciting protesters to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
"What our commander-in-chief did was wildly different from what anyone here in this room did to raise election concerns," Swalwell said. "This was a deliberate, premeditated incitement to his base to attack our Capitol while the counting was going on."
Swalwell said Trump was guilty of more than uttering words at a pre-riot rally.
"He built this mob over many months, with repeated messaging, until they believed that they had been robbed of their vote and they would do anything to stop the certification," he said. "He made them believe that their victory was stolen and incited them so he could use them to steal the election for himself."
Swalwell has not discussed fully his past relationship with a suspected Chinese spy, who apparently stayed connected to the congressman's relatives for years even after the congressman broke off contact.
Swalwell used his Twitter account after the Capitol riot to criticize Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as the "Coup Klux Klan." The two men were among Republicans who objected to the Electoral College vote tallies.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.