Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell has been making headlines for his involvement with a suspected Chinese spy back in 2012. He was removed from the House Intelligence panel by Speaker Kevin McCarthy last week over allegations that his relations might have compromised American security, leaving him unfit to serve on the panel.
The following article will explain the Eric Swalwell Chinese Spy controversy in detail. Read on to know more on the topic.
Eric Swalwell Chinese Spy Controversy Explained
California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell has been subjected to intense scrutiny and backlash from Republicans following his relations with Fang Fang (who also went by Christine Fang), a suspected spy from China was revealed earlier this month.
Fang worked as a prominent fundraiser for Eric for several years, during which she was even able to influence a job hire in Swalwell’s office. Fang played a key role in raising substantial funds for Swalwell’s House re-election campaign in 2014 and convinced several wealthy donors to make hefty donations for his campaign.
Fang left the US in 2015 unexpectedly, amidst an investigation into her activities led by the US intelligence. Swalwell immediately severed all ties with Fang after the FBI alerted him of the ongoing investigation and there’s no evidence available to support that he had any knowledge or suspicion of Fang’s connection to the Chinese government.
According to reports, Swalwell first met the suspected Chinese spy around 2011-12 while he was a California city councilman and Fang was a member of the Chinese Student Association at California State University East Bay. Fand reportedly made connections in political circles through student organisations.
Swalwell has not been accused or suspected of any wrongdoing by the FBI; neither is Fang, for there is no evidence that she broke any laws during her time in the US or through her fundraising attempts for Swalwell’s campaign.
“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,” reads a statement released by the Democrat’s office.
“This is some Bakersfield B.S.”- Swalwell response to allegations of compromising American security
In a Sunday interview with host Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union, Swalwell was asked if he ever put himself in “a vulnerable position in any way, so that this alleged Chinese spy could have benefited or even learned American secrets?”
Swalwell replied saying “Absolutely not,” adding, “But, Dana, don’t take my word for it. Take the FBI’s word for it. They never talk about ongoing investigations. And former Chairman [Adam] Schiff knows this, as a member of the Gang of Eight. Three different times, they came out and said two things. All I did was help them, also, I was never under any suspicion of wrongdoing.
“This is some Bakersfield B.S. It’s Kevin McCarthy weaponizing his ability to commit this political abuse because he perceives me, just like Mr. Schiff and Ms. Omar, as an effective political opponent.”
According to Swalwell, the story may have been pushed by the Republicans in response to his criticism of former president Donald Trump and his administration.
“I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him,” Swalwell said in an earlier interview. “The timing feels like that should be looked at.”
“What it appears though that this person — as the story reports — was unsuccessful in whatever they were trying to do. But if intelligence officials are trying to weaponize someone’s cooperation, they are essentially seeking to do what this person was not able to do, which is to try and discredit someone,” he added further.
Swalwell has refused to comment on his relationship with Fang.
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