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Furious calls for Eric Swalwell’s resignation follow report he was ‘significant’ target of Chinese spy

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It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy than Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.

A suspected Chinese intelligence operative — see communist spy — got so close to the smarmy attention-seeking Democratic lawmaker that the FBI had to intervene to clue him in to the fact that he was being exploited. Swalwell was a 2020 Democratic candidate for the White House, as you may recall.

The alleged spy, Chinese national Christine Fang, was part of an operation between 2011 and 2015 targeting up-and-coming local politicians in the Bay Area and across the country who had the potential to make it big on the national stage, Axios reported.

Through campaign fundraising, networking, personal charisma, romantic or sexual relationships, Fang manipulated politicians to gain proximity to political power, the article noted.

Swalwell was among Fang’s “most significant targets,” with the relationship starting when he was a councilmember for Dublin City, Calif, — this being an indication of the long game China is engaged in.

More from Axios on that relationship:

  • Fang took part in fundraising activity for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign, according to a Bay Area political operative and a current U.S. intelligence official. Swalwell’s office was directly aware of these activities on its behalf, the political operative said. That same political operative, who witnessed Fang fundraising on Swalwell’s behalf, found no evidence of illegal contributions.
  • Fang helped place at least one intern in Swalwell’s office, according to those same two people, and interacted with Swalwell at multiple events over the course of several years.

 

After a defensive briefing by the bureau, Swalwell reportedly cut off all ties to Fang — he has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

According to Axios, Fang also helped with a 2013 fundraiser for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and appeared in photos over the years with a host of California politicians, including Swalwell, Reps. Ro Khanna and Judy Chu, both Democrats and then-Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif.

One might argue there’s a reason the ChiComs appeared to target only Democratic politicians.

“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. To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story,” Swalwell’s office said in a statement to Axios.

As for the fallout, there were immediate calls for Swalwell to resign, including from Richard Grenell, the former Acting Director of National Intelligence.

There was a call for him to step down from the House Intelligence Committee until it can be determined that China has nothing on him they could blackmail him over.

Count Donald Trump Jr. among those questioning why Swalwell would be allowed to remain on the committee — President Trump’s son said Swalwell was “sleeping with a Chinese spy,” though it was not reported that he had sex with Fang.

Swalwell’s name was trending online Tuesday as a result of the story — here’s a small sampling of responses from Twitter:

Tom Tillison

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