Did Rep. Eric Swalwell Digitally Alter Trump Supporter’s Tweet, ‘Change Its Meaning’ During Impeachment Trial?
Trump supporter Jennifer Lawrence claimed Rep. Eric Swalwell added a verification badge to her tweet and used the word “cavalry” instead of “cavalry” during his testimony at the impeachment trial on Feb. 10.
During his presentation, Swalwell pointed out how the former President used social media to rally his supporters and urge them to stop what he believed was a stolen election in the days leading up to the deadly insurrection. As part of his testimony, the US Rep shared the former president’s social media interactions as evidence.
Swalwell Added Verified Badge to Tweet
According to a transcript of Swalwell’s arguments, this is what he said at one point:
“On January 3, another supporter tweets, ‘We have been marching all around the country for you, Mr. President. Now, we will bring it to D.C. on January 6th and proudly stand beside you. Thank you for fighting for us.’ When President Trump reposted her tweet, she wrote back, ‘Best day ever. Thank you for the retweet. It has been an honor to stand up and fight for you in our nation. We will be standing strong on January 6th in D.C. with you. We are bringing the cavalry, Mr. President. We are bringing the cavalry.'”
Video footage of the testimony shows Swalwell sharing the tweets posted and reposted by a “verified” Trump supporter named Jennifer Lynn Lawrence in his presentation during the segment.
In the wake of Swalwell’s testimony, Lawrence took to Twitter to accuse the congressman of “faking” tweets that were posted by her days before the Capitol riots and shown during his presentation at the “fact-free impeachment.” She claimed the California Democrat added a verified badge alongside her Twitter handle even though she has “never been” a verified user on the platform.
A screenshot of Lawrence’s now-deleted tweets confirms that her account was not verified at the time of posting.
Lawrence Claimed She Meant ‘Calvary’ and Not ‘Cavalry‘
In a follow-up blog post, Lawrence accused Swalwell of presenting “false misleading evidence” and claimed he had “changed both the appearance and meaning of one [of her] Tweets during [his] testimony on Wednesday” as she used the word “calvary” and not “cavalry” as mentioned by Swalwell.
To further her allegations, she distinguished the meanings between both words, noting that “calvary” meant “an open-air representation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ” while the term “cavalry” referred to “an army component mounted on horseback.” Lawrence claimed she was citing the former meaning as she wanted seeking “salvation of everyone.”
Lawrence claimed she organized three successful protests on Nov. 14, Dec. 12, and Jan. 5. “We believe our sacred institutions have rotted through with bloat and corruption PRECISELY because they have separated the State from God,” she wrote.
As evidence, she shared a photo with Pastor Greg Locke of Tennessee-based Global Vision Bible Church at the “Save America Rally” on Jan 6. “Together with Pastor Brian Gibson and dozens of other Pastors and activists, we had played our role and brought the CALVARY to DC the day before with our PRAY TO SAVE AMERICA RALLY held at Freedom Plaza,” Lawrence wrote.
Lawrence’s Involvement in the Capitol Riots
As pointed out in this article, the Jan. 6 rally at the Ellipse that eventually led to the storming of the Capitol was organized by a pro-Trump group called “Women for America First” and Lawrence “helped organize the effort” along with her fiancee, Dustin Stockton (lead organizer of ‘March for Trump). This assertion was also mentioned in a New York Times story.
“Women for America First” was founded by Tea Party veteran Amy Kremer and led by her daughter, Kylie Jane Kremer. The group was also responsible for putting together a multi-state bus tour to Washington, D.C. and according to BuzzFeed, the bus tour attracted “thousands” of attendees and was one of the “biggest and best-funded efforts to bring people to Washington, D.C., for Jan 6.
In Lawrence’s Jan. 3 tweet that was showcased by Swalwell during his testimony, Lawrence tagged Stockton as well as the Kremers who were responsible for bringing a “cavalry” of Trump supporters to the nation’s capital.
Therefore, although the congressman’s presentation did alter Lawrence’s tweet and did change its meaning, the truth behind the claim that Lawrence did actually intend to make a reference to the Lord or whether “calvary” was a typo for “cavalry” is still up for debate.
Eric Swalwell should be kicked off intel committee and stripped of security clearance, experts say
Eric Swalwell’s relationship with Fang Fang, a suspected Chinese spy, should have seen him stripped of his security clearance and kicked off the House Intel Committee, according to military and intelligence experts.
“These are types of relationships that if I, a military member, had would be fired or possibly prosecuted. Reporting it to authorities would just mean the end of my career,” retired Navy Brig. Gen. Rob Spalding, who previously served as a defense attache to China and member of President Trump’s National Security Council, told the Washington Examiner. “If you’re gonna sit on the intel committee and you have these kinds of relationships, you should be off these committees. This is just common practice. You know what the Chinese do? You won’t even be part of the government if you have these relationships.”
Scrutiny over Swalwell’s position on the House Intel Committee and as lead Democrat on the Subcommittee on the Central Intelligence Agency has thus far come only from congressional Republicans demanding his removal. Last month, 17 GOP lawmakers sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanding Swalwell be stripped of his committee assignment. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has repeatedly called Swalwell’s continued presence on the committee a national security risk.
GOP senators like Rand Paul of Kentucky have called for his resignation from Congress altogether.
The extent of Swalwell’s relationship with Fang remains unclear. Axios indicated their relationship went back to at least 2012, when Swalwell was a Dublin City, California, councilman. From then to 2015, the two grew closer, with Fang holding fundraisers for Swalwell’s congressional bid and even facilitating the placement of an intern in his office.
Swalwell, one of the most vocal House critics of the president and proponent of the theory that he is compromised by the Russian government, was informed of Fang’s potential connections to Chinese intelligence in 2015 and immediately ended all contact, according to statements from his office. He has since called the leaking of his yearslong relationship with Fang a retribution campaign from the Trump administration.
Nonpartisan China analysts have called the relationship a wake-up call and an opportunity to review the security clearance process. Unlike civilian government employees or members of the military, there is virtually no independent approval process for lawmakers to gain access to the nation’s most closely kept secrets and no remedies aside from congressional intervention to discipline those who abuse the privilege.
“The threat of Chinese espionage is real. It’s hard to assess how much it is increasing, but we have anecdotal evidence in the form of media reports that suggest that it’s been increasing. They’ve been using these honey-pot tactics to flip vulnerable people,” said Timothy Heath, an expert on U.S.-China relations and former analyst for the United States Indo-Pacific Command China Strategic Focus Group. “[Swalwell’s] case is yet another example of the Chinese exploiting some of the features of a liberal democracy to insinuate themselves and gain access. Going after campaigns of lower-level politicians like Swalwell makes sense, but the fact that he had PRC nationals around him, if I was with people like that, I wouldn’t get a security clearance. The standards for our officials to get a clearance is a lot lower than the average Joe, and that is a huge vulnerability. It’s an issue. It’s just shocking how little it’s taken seriously.”
Democratic leadership remains loyal toward Swalwell. In December, Pelosi called Republican criticisms of Swalwell’s relationship with Fang a distraction “to deflect attention from the fact that [McCarthy] has QAnon in his delegation,” referring to GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who has professed a belief in the right-wing conspiracy theory that a global cabal of pedophiles secretly controls the U.S. government.
“It has to do with personal discretion. To the extent that China would have targeted him, it would have been for reasons of personal discretion,” Spalding said. “They would go after anybody in this way, but they’re more likely to go after those who are, quite frankly, susceptible to these kinds of approaches. I think there is a double standard if you’re in politics.”
Lessons to be learned from Eric Swalwell’s brush with Chinese espionage
By virtue of Christine Fang’s access to Swalwell, she would have been able to help Chinese intel agencies