House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday he has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a briefing on Rep. Eric Swalwell’s reported ties to a Chinese spy and the agency has canceled two times.
“Swalwell is a national security liability. This is too important for the FBI to continue to stonewall,” he tweeted.
Pressure is increasing on Swalwell to answer questions about a report that alleged a female Chinese spy named Christine Fang, or Fang Fang, targeted Swalwell between 2011 and 2015 as part of a political intelligence operation.
Fang, as reported by Axios, met Swalwell while he was a council member for Dublin City, California, and she was a Chinese student organizer. She would become a campaign bundler for him and even placed at least one intern in one of his congressional offices.
Axios said Fang’s behavior was so worrisome that the FBI briefed Swalwell about her in 2015, after which he allegedly cut ties with her and she unexpectedly returned to China. However, his father and brother remained Facebook friends with her as recently as last week.
Swalwell has so far refused to answer whether his relationship with Fang was romantic. The Axios report said Fang had a romantic relationship with at least two unidentified Midwestern mayors.
Swalwell has tried to blame the Trump administration for the story.
“The wrongdoing here, Jim, is that at the same time this story was being leaked out is the time that I was working on impeachment on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees,” he told CNN Newsroom last week. Axios reporter Jonathan Swan called that explanation “absurd.”
Pressure is also rising on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to address the issue. On Tuesday, a group of top House Republicans sent a letter to Pelosi asking her to remove Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee. The letter said:
Because of Rep. Swalwell’s position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, his close interactions with Chinese intelligence services, however unintentional they may be, are an unacceptable national security risk. HPSCI handles some of the most sensitive information our government possesses — information critical to our national defense. As such, we urge you to immediately remove Rep. Swalwell from his position on the House Intelligence Committee.