Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell denied any wrongdoing in his reported ties to alleged Chinese spy Christine Fang, also known as “Fang Fang,” on “The View” Wednesday.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced his intention to remove Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee for his alleged ties to Fang, who reportedly worked in the California Bay Area on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Ministry of State Security, the country’s internal spy agency. She allegedly assisted the representative’s 2014 reelection campaign through fundraising and later interned in his congressional office.
“The View” co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin questioned Swalwell on McCarthy’s recent remark that Swalwell should not serve on any committee.
“First and foremost, and you don’t have to take my word for it, take the FBI’s word for it … when they told me who [Fang Fang was] … I did everything that I hoped everyone would do, which was to cooperate and help the FBI, and she was removed,” the representative said. “By the way, Speaker Boehner was briefed about this, never sought to remove me from the [Intelligence] Committee. Devin Nunes, who was chair of the Intelligence Committee, was briefed about this.”
“And Donald Trump, who would later find out about this when he was president, with the greatest access to classified information of anyone who walks the earth, if he could’ve embarrassed me by showing any wrongdoing, after all the names he’s called me, he would’ve,” Swalwell continued. “And today, The Washington Post fact checker … Glenn Kessler gave Kevin McCarthy four Pinocchios for his claims about this. So, it looks to me like political vengeance.”
McCarthy told reporters Thursday that an FBI briefing on Swalwell’s position on the Intelligence Committee “jeopardized” the nation’s national security. He also accused Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff of openly lying about the now-discredited Steele dossier, a document compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele alleging former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia. (RELATED: Rep. Lauren Boebert Goes After Eric Swalwell Over His Relationship With ‘Fang Fang, A Chinese Spy’)
“Have you asked the questions about Swalwell? Not only was he getting a clearance, he was inside an intel committee. He had more information than the majority of all the members. Did you ever raise that issue? No, but you should’ve,” McCarthy told reporters. “The only way that they even knew” about the security risks associated with Swalwell “is when they went to nominate him to the Intel Committee, and then the FBI came and told the leadership then, ‘He’s got a problem.’ And they kept him on. That jeopardized all of us.”
Kessler wrote in a Wednesday article for The Washington Post that there is “no evidence [Swallwell] did anything wrong.” He cited an Axios article from 2000 detailing the relationship between Swallwell and Fang Fang, arguing Swalwell “immediately cut ties” with the alleged spy after the FBI and other House members briefed him on its concerns about her identity.
Fang fled the U.S. in 2015 during an FBI investigation into her relationship to the CCP, WaPo reported. It is currently unclear whether Fang obtained and returned any classified information to China.