Rep. Troy Nehls Expresses Outrage Over FBI’s Credibility
During special counsel John Durham’s public testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) voiced his outrage over the FBI’s support of the discredited Steele dossier. Nehls compared this to Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D-CA) alleged relationship with a Chinese spy.
Investigating the Origins of Trump-Russia Collusion Claims
Appointed by former Attorney General William Barr, Durham’s inquiry focuses on the flawed origins and conduct of the FBI investigation into the Trump-Russia collusion claims. As Nehls made his comments, the treatment of the Steele dossier was heavily criticized.
Unsubstantiated Allegations and Damage to Public Image
Nehls derided the credulous treatment of the Steele dossier, which contained numerous unsubstantiated allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump. One of the most damaging claims was that Trump met with prostitutes in Moscow. Nehls emphasized the negative impact such allegations could have on any candidate’s public image.
“And then even the director of the FBI, [James] Comey, said it’s possible Trump was with hookers peeing on each other,” Nehls said. “Christopher Steele said that ‘infamous Trump pee tape probably exists,’ ‘alleged pee tape incident was the only sex Trump party in Russia.’ You want to irritate the suburban mom at home? If five months before an election, tell them the Republican leading candidate is peeing on prostitutes.”
Nehls then drew attention to the allegations surrounding Swalwell’s alleged relationship with a Chinese spy, which received mixed reactions from his colleagues.
Allegations and the Need for Accountability
Highlighting Swalwell’s alleged affair with a Chinese spy, Nehls expressed his concern and called for accountability. He emphasized the need to address such allegations seriously and condemned any attempt to further smear Swalwell’s reputation.
“We are aware of the member of this committee having an alleged affair with a Chinese spy, I refer to as Yum Yum, but this is a new low for anyone,” he continued. “And I would hope Mr. Swalwell would agree with me. Imagine if somebody would have said, and taken this a step further; Mr. Swalwell was peeing on Yum Yum. This was unacceptable, this has got to stop.”
Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-MA) interrupted Nehls towards the end of his statement, requesting that his remarks about Swalwell be removed from the record.
Refocusing on the Impact of False Allegations
Nehls concluded his statement by emphasizing the potential consequences of spreading false allegations. He highlighted the impact such claims could have on any member of the committee, including the possibility of facing primary opponents.
“My point is this; if you’re going to say the president United States was in Russia, peeing on prostitutes, or vice versa, I’m just saying, could you imagine how that would affect any member of this committee? It would affect you, you’re going to pick up a primary opponent, I’ll guarantee that.”
Nehls referred to Christine Fang, an operative with the Chinese government who worked with various political campaigns in the United States before being exposed. Fang had volunteered with Swalwell’s reelection campaign in 2014, and allegations of an affair between them arose.
Swalwell has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and in May, the House Ethics Committee concluded its investigation into the incident without pursuing further charges. Swalwell viewed this as vindication and portrayed the allegations as an attempt to smear his reputation.
“If the intent in bringing this complaint and leveling false smears was to silence me, that is not going to happen. I will continue to be a voice on behalf of my constituents and a passionate defender of democracy,” Swalwell said.
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