GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee, urging the committee to “immediately open an investigation” into allegations that Rep. Eric Swalwell had been compromised by his close relationship with a woman who turned out to be a Chinese spy.
The suspected spy, Christine Fang, arrived as a student in the U.S. and cultivated “close ties” to Swalwell beginning in 2014. She helped fundraise for his 2014 campaign and placed an intern in his congressional office. The FBI became so concerned about Swalwell’s relationship with her that they gave the congressman a “defensive briefing” to warn him of the fire he was playing with.
“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.
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“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 [result of the] relationship with her,” Sensenbrenner wrote in requesting 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.”
Pelosi has circled the Democratic wagons and is deflecting criticism about Swalwell while maintaining that he’s completely innocent. She says that both Democrats and Republicans were informed of Ms. Fang’s treachery at the same time.
“In terms of Mr. Swalwell — in the spring of 2015, the leadership of the House and the [Intelligence] Committee were informed that overtures from a Chinese person were being made to members of Congress,” Pelosi said. “When that was made known to the members of Congress, it was over.”
Yes, but Swalwell had been in a relationship with Fang since she arrived in the U.S. in 2012. Mr. Swalwell is maintaining his silence about what was going on for the 3 years prior to Congress being informed she was a spy.
Pelosi says she has no intention of asking Swalwell to step down from the Intelligence Committee nor will she ask for background checks to be performed on Swalwell’s interns. If you’re trying to keep the lid on a blockbuster scandal, those are good moves.
They’re not so good if you’re interested in protecting national security.