GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner has filed a complaint to the House Ethics Committee demanding the panel ‘immediately open an investigation’ into allegations that Rep. Eric Swalwell has been compromised by a suspected Chinese spy.
‘I respectfully request the House Committee on Ethics immediately open an investigation into the allegations recently made public by an article in Axios regarding the compromising of Representative Eric Swalwell, a member of Congress and a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,’ wrote Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.
Sensenbrenner’s statement referred to a report that a suspected spy for China, named Fang Fang or Christine Fang became close with a number of politicians including Swalwell, a Democrat from California.
GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner has asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate Rep. Eric Swalwell’s relationship with suspected Chinese spy Fang Fang
Eric Swalwell was just one of the California Democrats Fang had a relationship with. He refuses to say whether that relationship was sexual, claiming it’s ‘classified’
At one point the FBI stepped in to break up the situation.
‘Swalwell was completely cooperative and under no suspicion of wrongdoing… It was a defensive briefing. Information was obtained where we do a duty to warn… that he may be targeted by a foreign government,’ an FBI official told Fox News.
Swalwell has refused to comment on the story for days apart from a brief statement.
Axios reported Monday that as part of a year-long investigation they found that Fang, posing as a Democratic fundraiser and befriending those in the Democratic Party between 2011 and 2015, was actually a Chinese spy.
They also reported that, according to FBI eavesdroppers, she slept with at least two unidentified mayors from the midwest.
Fang was in the United States from 2011 to 2015 posing as a Democratic fundraiser got close to Swalwell and several others
Swalwell has been revealed as having a years-long friendship with Fang Fang
Swalwell refuses to say if he had sex with Fang, claiming it’s a matter of national security that he not share more details of their relationship.
As the FBI investigated Fang and her infiltration efforts, she fled the country.
Swalwell demanded Wednesday that there be an investigation into who leaked his relationship with Fang, claiming it was done because he is an ardent critic of President Trump.
‘The story indicates that the FBI was so concerned with his close relationship with Fang that they had to warn Swalwell about his connections to a known spy in 2015, including Rep. Swalwell’s decision to place an intern in his Congressional office on Fang’s recommendations,’ Sensenbrenner wrote, noting ‘2015 was also when then-Leader [Nancy] Pelosi appointed Rep. Swalwell to the Intelligence Committee, providing the then-second term congressmen with significant access to highly sensitive and classified information.’
Rep. Eric Swalwell said he cut off ties with Fang Fang when the FBI told him of their concerns she was a Chinese spy
Fang is said to have taken part in fundraising for Swalwell’s 2014 reelection campaign however she did not make any donations and there was no evidence of any illegal contributions.
Fang’s earliest known engagement with Swalwell occurred through the Chinese Student Association, Axios reported, and by 2014, she had developed ‘close ties’ to Swalwell’s office.
Fang is also reported to have managed to place at least one intern in Swalwell’s office and met with him at various events over the years.
Swalwell is pictured with Fang at one of their numerous social engagements
Swalwell is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and a fierce critic of Trump’s
Christine Fang is seen in photos from her Facebook page. Accused Chinese government spy Fang Fang, a k a Christine Fang, entered the US through California as a college student in 2011 – and spent the next four years wooing everyone from local politicos to US congressmen
THE FANG FANG MYSTERY – WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
WHO IS ‘CHRISTINE’ FANG FANG?
Fang – if that is her real name – arrived in the U.S. as a Chinese national student at Cal State East Bay in 2011 as an undergraduate – although she appeared to be in her late 20s or early 30s. She became president of the Chinese Student Association then used her position to become part of the area’s Democratic political scene.
HOW DID SHE MEET SWALWELL?
Sometime in 2012, although exactly how is unclear but she was almost ubiquitous at political events – not just Democratic ones – in the Bay area between 2013 and 2015. Swalwell won his district in 2013, and before that was a member of the Dublin City Council. Pictures of them together are all at political events in the Bay area.
DID THEY HAVE SEX?
He refuses to say, saying their relationship is a matter of national security. If the FBI was following her and bugging her, they may have a good idea of whether the two did or not – but they could not legally have eavesdropped on him as a congressman, and if they did so intentionally, that would be a major breach of the law. Swalwell was divorced from his first wife by 2012 and married his second wife, Brittany Watts, in 2016.
HOW DID THE FBI FIND HER OUT?
Fang seems to have been monitored since she was a student but exactly when the FBI surveillance operation started is unknown. It is known that she had contact with a suspected Chinese intelligence officer stationed at its San Francisco consulate. Diplomatic communications are routinely monitored.
WHO ELSE DID SHE ENSNARE?
Fang had sex with two unnamed mayors, one of an ‘obscure’ Ohio city (anywhere with a population of more than 5,000 in Ohio is a city) and one an ‘older’ mayor from the midwest. They had sex in a car but he claimed he was teaching her English. Both encounters were overheard by the FBI. She is also Facebook friends with current and former mayors and attended get-togethers for urban leaders.
WHY WASN’T SHE ARRESTED?
It is unclear but counter-intelligence operations by the FBI are often intended to simply disrupt enemy spying and get them out of the country. Fang seems to have known she was compromised when she vanished in 2015.
DID SWALWELL DO ANYTHING WRONG?
So far the leaked FBI investigation and Swalwell’s own account is clear that he acted properly, cutting ties with her when the FBI told her she was a danger to national security. However her lingering presence in his family’s Facebook friendship circuit must raise questions about the extent to which he cut ties.
WHY DIDN’T WE KNOW ABOUT THIS BEFORE?
The FBI keeps its secrets close to its vest and disrupting a spy who was targeting at least two members of Congress would have been a major coup for its counter-intelligence agents. Letting China know just how much the agency had come to understand of Fang’s activities in her four years in the U.S. helps them hone their espionage in future to make it more difficult to detect.
‘Rep. Swalwell repeatedly refuses to answer any questions about these allegations, including whether he alerted then-Leader Pelosi to the potential compromise when she appointed him’ to the House Intelligence Committee,’ Sensenbrenner continued.
‘It is unknown how much private and/or classified information Fang had access to as a result of her relationship with Rep. Swalwell and whether Rep. Swalwell was compromised as a relationship with her,’ Sensenbrenner wrote as he requested the investigation.
He added: ‘Allowing an international spy to forge a close relationship with a member of Congress and then allowing personnel decisions to be influenced by a Chinese national does not reflect creditably on the House.’
Sensenbrenner said that the reports ‘should be sufficient’ for the House Ethics Committee to start an investigation.
The committee, the chair and ranking member will now have 14 calendar days, or five legislative days, to decide whether there is enough information under which an investigation can take place.
If the requirements are met then a decision must be made within 45 days as to whether the complaint warrants further investigation through an investigative subcommittee or that it be disposed of.
Swalwell said he first became aware that Axios was looking into Fang’s activities in July 2019, around the time he was ending his brief bid for the Democratic presidential nomination – during which he was a strong critic of Trump’s.
He was on the intelligence panel when it was conducting its impeachment investigation of President Trump.
While Fang interacted with other current members of the House, Swalwell believes the information was leaked to specifically target him.
‘I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him,’ the California congressman told Politico on Tuesday.
‘The timing feels like that should be looked at.
‘What it appears though that this person — as the story reports — was unsuccessful in whatever they were trying to do,’ Swalwell said of Fang.
‘But if intelligence officials are trying to weaponize someone’s cooperation, they are essentially seeking to do what this person was not able to do, which is to try and discredit someone,’ he said.
Swalwell said he is not compromised by his relationship with Fang, and says the controversy would not cost him his seat on the Intelligence Committee.
‘As the story referenced, this goes back to the beginning of the last decade, and it’s something that congressional leadership knew about it,’ Swalwell told Politico.
Swalwell was single at the time of Fang’s mission in the United States, and did not marry his wife Brittany until 2016.
Fang met Swalwell in 2012, when her cover was a student in the Bay Area and became involved in activism and politics, moving on to fundraising activities.
Intelligence agencies were so concerned about Fang’s involvement in Swalwell’s office that they organized a briefing for Swalwell, and he said after that briefing he severed ties with her immediately.