House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy believes that his Democratic colleague from California, Rep. Eric Swalwell, is a major risk to national security after his years-long relationship with a Chinese spy, so he’s pushing to have him removed from the House Intelligence Committee.
McCarthy has filed a two-page resolution that says Swalwell “has not denied public reporting that a suspected Chinese intelligence operative helped raise money for Representative Swalwell’s political campaigns” and “other troublesome elements of public reporting.”
McCarthy’s resolution comes months after Axios reported exclusively on Swalwell’s sexual relationship with a spy named Fang Fang, a.k.a. Christina Fang, who has since fled the United States and is believed to be back in her native China:
The woman at the center of the operation, a Chinese national named Fang Fang or Christine Fang, targeted up-and-coming local politicians in the Bay Area and across the country who had the potential to make it big on the national stage.
Among the most significant targets of Fang’s efforts was Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.).
“Fang took part in fundraising activity for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign, according to a Bay Area political operative and a current U.S. intelligence official. Swalwell’s office was directly aware of these activities on its behalf, the political operative said. That same political operative, who witnessed Fang fundraising on Swalwell’s behalf, found no evidence of illegal contributions,” Axios added.
“Fang helped place at least one intern in Swalwell’s office, according to those same two people, and interacted with Swalwell at multiple events over the course of several years.”
Swalwell’s office released a statement claiming that he cooperated with the FBI while downplaying the incident.
“Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person — whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years — to the FBI. To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story,” the statement said.
But McCarthy isn’t satisfied. “A Member… of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House,” the resolution states.
And while Swalwell denounced McCarthy’s resolution, in December the Minority Leader said following a briefing on the situation he felt sure that the California Democrat should be removed from the Intelligence Committee by another California Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Other Republicans have voiced similar concerns to Pelosi that Swalwell is compromised.
“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,” it said.
“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,” the letter added.
“Rep. Swalwell withheld information for five years from the House Intelligence Committee about an ongoing Chinese espionage operation targeted at him and his own colleagues.”
For his part, Swalwell doesn’t make it any easier to trust him. He’s an avid China cheerleader while regularly spouting conspiracies about Russia (especially ‘Trump-Russia collusion’) though U.S. intelligence agencies and the Pentagon have identified China as the biggest long-term threat to American national security.