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Congressional Republicans request FBI briefing on Swalwell's connections to Chinese spy

Swalwell remains seated on several committees that are regularly briefed on top secret information pertaining to American national security

Published: February 24, 2021 2:04pm

Updated: February 24, 2021 3:11pm

House Republicans are asking FBI Director Christopher Wray to hold a briefing on any past ties that Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell might have had to an alleged Chinese spy.

The members are asking to be briefed on the "full extent" of the Chinese targeting of Washington lawmakers.

"As our nation faces a growing security threat from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) attempts to infiltrate and undermine the United States Government, we write to request a full briefing regarding counterintelligence threats to Members of Congress, including information related to Rep. Eric Swalwell’s ties to a suspected Chinese intelligence operative," the 14 members wrote in a letter Wednesday to Wray.

In December, it was revealed that, several years ago, a Chinese national named Christine Fang (or Fang Fang) had targeted and successfully infiltrated the circles of up-and-coming politicians including Swalwell, of California. 

Fang interacted with Swalwell for years and placed at least one intern in his office. Swalwell was briefed by investigators about Fang's loyalties in 2015, and promptly cut off all ties with the spy. 

More recently, Swalwell told Politico that he believes his role as an outspoken critic of former President  Trump made him a prime target for the initial information leak that linked his office to Fang Fang.

"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," the congressman said.  

Republicans, however, have not dropped the matter as they continue to express concern about Swalwell's position on committees including the House Homeland Security Committee, which grants him access to significant amounts of classified information. Repeatedly, since December, Republicans have questioned the decision to allow Swalwell to remain on committees that traffic in top secret information pertaining to American national security. 

"Given these injurious efforts to target a Member of the Committee, it is imperative that the House Committeee on Homeland Security receive a classified briefing detailing Rep. Swalwell’s relationship with Fang and any potential exposure of classified information," wrote the lawmakers. 

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