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Rep. Eric Swalwell and U.S. politicians targets of suspected Chinese spy, report

The report says suspected spy Christine Fang embedded herself in Bay Area political scene for the better part of five years.

Published: December 8, 2020 11:08am

Updated: December 8, 2020 12:20pm

A woman suspected of acting as an operative for Chinese intelligence outfits infiltrated the inner circles of Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell and other U.S. politicians for nearly a decade, according to a new report from Axios.

The women, identified as Christine Fang, primarily targeted local and national politicians in California. Fang never got her hands on any classified information but was "caught up" with "some really, really sensitive people," according to a senior U.S. intelligence official. 

"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," the congressman's office said in a statement to Axios.

Fang cultivated a relationship with Swalwell while he was a council member for Dublin City. She periodically brought big donors to his office and maintained a relationship with his Capitol Hill staff, the report states. 

Fang is believed to have overseen several sub-agents from 2011 to 2014, including at least one whom she placed in Swalwell's office as an intern.

In 2015, Fang left the country as the FBI's investigation into her efforts kicked into high gear. Swalwell reportedly received a defensive briefing from the FBI as they delved further into the Fang matter. He is not accused of any wrongdoing. 

Axios also reported that Fang had romantic relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors over the course of a three-year period and that several of her sexual encounters with elected officials were recorded as part of FBI surveillance. 

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