On Tuesday, Representative Eric Swalwell (CA) alleged without evidence that the story published this week about his relationship with a suspected Chinese spy was a “payback” by the Trump administration due to his previous acts of attacking President Trump over Russia.
Axios reported that the spy is a Chinese national named Christine Fang. She allegedly targetted “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” the report continued by saying that Fang did this through “campaign fundraising, extensive networking, personal charisma, and romantic or sexual relationships.”
Although U.S. officials believe that Fang did not receive or passed on classified information, the case was considered a big deal.
A current senior U.S. intelligence official said that there were some “really, really sensitive people that were caught up in the intelligence network.”
Alleged Chinese Spy Got So Close To Democrat Eric Swalwell That ‘Alarmed’ FBI Had To Intervene https://t.co/yNRwSIAbjg
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 8, 2020
Despite a widening counterintelligence probe, federal investigators became so alarmed by Fang’s activities and behaviors back then. Around 2015 they gave Swalwell an alert to their concerns and even gave what is known as “defensive briefing.” Axios reported that after this incident, Swalwell immediately cut ties to Fang, and according to the U.S. intelligence official, Swalwell was not accused of any wrongdoing.
Fang, who allegedly worked in bringing in top donors to Swalwell, left the country in 2015 and returned to China. According to U.S. officials, they believed that the Chinese government “ended her mission and called her back,” possibly because they saw signs that the American government was already starting to close in on her alleged activities.
On Tuesday, Swalwell responded to these reports by suggesting that the Trump Administration is responsible for leaking this story to Axios.
On the other hand, Axios never said that the story was “leaked to them”; instead, they stated that the story was a product of a “yearlong investigation.” One of the Axios reporters covering the story was Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, who was considered the top reporter on China. She also published major stories about China’s concentration camps.
In response to the story damning Swalwell’s reputation, he responded in an interview with Politico by saying, “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 timing feels like that should be looked at.”
Swalwell told Politico. “What it appears though that this person — as the story reports — was unsuccessful in whatever they were trying to do. But suppose intelligence officials are trying to weaponize someone’s cooperation. In that case, they are essentially seeking to do what this person was not able to do, which is to try and discredit someone.”
Meanwhile, Swalwell “refused” to talk about his relationship with Fang. He also refused to say whether he had a sexual relationship with the alleged Chinese spy, saying that that information is “classified.” Swalwell further added that the controversy would not cost him his seat on the House Intelligence Committee.
Fascinating deep dive by Axios on how one alleged Chinese spy sought to penetrate elite California political circles, and got close to Rep. Eric Swalwell, who would go on to sit on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. https://t.co/PFaddTXPo9
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) December 8, 2020
Other than this story between Swalwell and Fang, Axios also provided striking disclosures. At a 2014 conference, an “older Midwest mayor from an obscure city” referred to Fang as his “girlfriend.” Said information was later on associated with Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong.
In addition to this, a current U.S. official also said that Fang has a sexual encounter with an Ohio mayor in a car while she was under FBI surveillance, adding that there was more than romantic chemistry between Fang and the unidentified mayor.
When Fang was asked by the U.S. official why she’s interested in the mayor, the alleged Chinese spy said that he wanted to improve her English.