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Investigators delve into suspected Chinese spy’s' ties with Swalwell staff

The concerns applied overall to people who worked for Chinese operative's suspected targets, an intelligence official said.

Updated: December 10, 2020 - 8:58am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The investigation into suspected Chinese spy Christine Fang's relationship with Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell included monitoring her activities with others in the California congressman's office, according to security authorities.

"There were concerns about who else in his office she was close to," one intelligence official told Just the News. "Who could give her information or help her achieve her goals?"

These concerns applied overall to people who worked for Fang's suspected targets, the official said. "These were deeply cast nets," the official said.

The woman, also known as Fang Fang, reportedly infiltrated the inner circles of several U.S. politicians, mainly targeting those based in California. She is believed to have worked for years under a Communist Chinese spy boss in California, and also to have managed her own line of sub-agents, the official confirmed. 

"There was considerable interest in learning who those agents were, and where they worked," the official said.

Swalwell would be a prime target for foreign spies because he sits on the House Intelligence Committee — where he remains so far — despite the recent revelations about his dealings with Fang.

According to a report from Axios, Fang began her relationship with Swalwell early in his political career, while he was a city council member in Dublin, California. She helped raise funds for him, and came to know his family members in some capacity. 

In 2015, Fang fled the U.S. while the FBI was investigating her overall activities. 

Although Fang has not been charged with espionage, her behavior fits a suspicious pattern, according to one expert.

"Christine Fang has left the U.S.," said author Gordon Chang, who has studied China extensively. "She apparently left abruptly, which is an indication that she was working with Chinese intelligence." Chang made his remarks Wednesday during an appearance on Just the News a.m. with Carrie Sheffield.

Swalwell's 15th Congressional District in California encompasses a swath of the state's Bay Area, including portions of Silicon Valley. The district is home to the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories.

"The cutting-edge research projects at the laboratories are critical to our country’s national and energy security," Swalwell notes on his official congressional website. The site also notes: "More Ph.D. candidates live in the 15th District than any other congressional district in the nation."

Swalwell has said that he severed ties with Fang after the FBI gave him a "defensive briefing" some five years ago about his dealings with Fang. He has not been accused of illegal activity.

In Fang's absence, Communist China continues to pursue targets inside the U.S., experts affirmed.

"China's intelligence operations in the United States are massive," Chang said. "They're directed against both parties." For a partial solution, he said: "We maybe need to start closing more Chinese consulates."

The Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. did not respond to a request for comment.

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