Should a man who had to be warned by the FBI because he was getting too close to a woman he didn’t realize was an alleged Chinese spy be a member of the House Intelligence Committee?
According to The Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Caif.) believes so, which is why she named Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) to the panel.
House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) disagrees. He expressed his displeasure with Swalwell’s appointment on Friday, March 12, on Twitter and promised to fight it.
“Pelosi just reappointed Eric Swalwell to the Intelligence Committee. Based on the briefing she and I received together, Swalwell should not be on the panel in charge of guarding our nation’s secrets,” McCarthy tweeted.
“Next week, I will offer a resolution to remove him from the Intel Committee,” he added.
Pelosi just reappointed Eric Swalwell to the Intelligence Committee. Based on the briefing she and I received together, Swalwell should not be on the panel in charge of guarding our nation’s secrets.
Next week, I will offer a resolution to remove him from the Intel Committee.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 12, 2021
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also weighed in on the appointment.
To be fair, he has done a lot of undercover work on Chinese communists. https://t.co/rWTjXGpaIa
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 12, 2021
Swalwell was given an FBI briefing in December after reports surfaced that he had been so close to a woman suspected of being a Chinese spy that he had been warned away.
Some people thought Swalwell shouldn’t be on the Intelligence Committee at the time.
“He was the most over-the-top critic of President Trump on Russia collusion, and it turns out he’s sleeping with a Chinese spy.”@RandPaul says @ericswalwell “ought to just resign from Congress,” after his association with an alleged Chinese spy was revealed. pic.twitter.com/84bmxfmHsn
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 16, 2020
Christine Fang, also known as Fang Fang, was a major fundraiser for Swalwell’s congressional campaign in 2014 and was said to have placed an intern in his office.
According to Axios, Fang had developed relationships with a number of other politicians, including two unnamed Midwestern mayors with whom she allegedly had sexual relationships.
The FBI gave Swalwell a “defensive briefing” in 2015, alerting him to the fact that they suspected Fang of being a spy. Although several of Swalwell’s family members remained Facebook friends with Fang after the story broke, Swalwell claims he cut off contact.
According to NPR, the FBI briefed Pelosi and McCarthy on the matter at McCarthy’s request.
McCarthy later said the briefing “only raised more questions. The one thing that was fundamentally answered: He should not be on Intel.”
In a December interview, former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy put the issue succinctly in a hypothetical question he would ask Pelosi about Swalwell’s membership on the House Intelligence Committee at the time.
“There are 230 [House] Democrats, and you mean to tell me she cannot find a single one that didn’t date a Chinese spy?” Gowdy explained.
Gowdy said he is concerned that Swalwell has never been honest about the extent of his relationship with Fang.
Gowdy stated, ““I don’t think Swalwell has denied having a relationship [with her]. He said it was classified. I’ll be damned if I know what that means: All you’ve got to say is, ‘I didn’t sleep with her,’ Eric. That’s all you got to say.”