The claim: Rep. Eric Swalwell faces charges for lying to Congress
A Facebook video from May 25 indicates Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, is in trouble for his behavior in Congress.
“‘THEY DEFEND THE F.BI’ (sic) Swalwell DESTROYS career after lying to Jim Jordan… faces INSTANT CHARGES,” the video caption read.
The video has been shared over 300 times in six days.
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Our opinion: False
The video is captioned. It shows Swalwell speaking at a House Judiciary Committee hearing. There is no evidence that Swalwell is accused of lying during the hearing.
No evidence Swalwell faces criminal charges
The video shows part of a Feb. 28 meeting of the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jordan, a Republican from Ohio. The hearing focused on the markup of the judicial authorization and the monitoring plan.
At no point in the clip is Swalwell accused of lying, and there is no credible agency or media report that he will face criminal charges.
Swalwell was among several federal and local officials linked to an intelligence agent for China who ended up volunteering for him. He was never charged for it, and the House Ethics Committee closed an investigation into Swalwell on May 23 without finding any wrongdoing.
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USA TODAY has debunked numerous posts that associate false captions with videos of politicians or cable news programs, a type of misinformation known as “false framing.”
Mike Caulfield, a researcher at the Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington, previously told USA TODAY that the technique works in two ways. First, users tend to trust a post with authentic images from what they recognize as a credible source. It also exploits how users often scroll past the video without sound, never realizing that the caption doesn’t match what the video shows.
USA TODAY contacted the social media user who shared the video for comment and did not immediately receive a response.
PolitiFact also debunked the claim.
Our fact-checking sources:
House Committee on the Judiciary (YouTube), February 28, Markup of the Committee on the Judiciary Authorization and Oversight Plan for the 118th Congress
USA TODAY, November 4, 2022, fact check: Video shows House GOP criticizing January 6 committee, not mocking Liz Cheney
Axios, December 8, 2020, Exclusive: Alleged Chinese Spy Targeted California Politicians
Eric Swalwell’s website, May 23, Bipartisan Ethics Committee makes no findings of wrongdoing as it closes Swalwell China investigation
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: False Claim Swalwell faces charges for lying to Congress | Fact check