Wednesday on “CNN Newsroom,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) reacted to the bombshell Axios report that claimed a Chinese spy named Fang Fang had relationships with powerful Democratic Party figures, including Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Swalwell noted that the story was leaked at the same time he was working to impeach President Donald Trump. He added nobody wants to live in a country where people who are critical of the president have “law enforcement information weaponized against them.”
“You know, just over six years ago, I was told about this individual, and then I offered to help, and I did help. And I was thanked by the FBI for my help, and that person is no longer in the country. And I was a little surprised to read about my cooperation in that story because the story says that, you know, there was never a suspicion of wrongdoing on my part, and all I did was cooperate,” Swalwell explained. “And the FBI said that yesterday, but the wrongdoing here, Jim, is that at the same time this story was being leaked out is the time that I was working on impeachment on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. And if this is a country where people who criticize the president are going to have law enforcement information weaponized against them, that’s not a country that any of us want to live in. And I hope it is investigated as to who leaked this information.”
Host Jim Sciutto asked Swalwell if he was concerned about sharing any information with the Chinese spy before being notified by the FBI.
“Well, I know that I didn’t,” Swalwell replied. “Again, I can’t talk too much about the details of the case even though others may have violated their oath I’m not going to violate mine, but the Axios story made it absolutely clear that no information was ever shared, except, Jim, the people who did share classified information were the people who leaked this story. And to do that against a critic of the president, they may think that they’re going to silence me. They are not going to silence me but what they are going to do is they are going to make others think twice when they are asked to sit down and provide defensive information about people like this.”
He added, “I hope none of my colleagues ever find themselves in the position that I find myself in by having to sit down with the FBI because someone who had helped the campaign was trying to do this. But I hope every person would want to help their country just as I did.”
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent