The New York Times has continued its reporting blackout on ties between Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and suspected Chinese Communist regime spy Christine Fang — not reporting on those ties for more than two weeks after they came to light.
On December 8, Axios reported that Swalwell had been one of several American politicians that Fang had developed extensive ties to, as part of a multi-year spying operation in the United States between 2011 and 2015. Fang was even a campaign bundler for Swalwell and placed at least one intern in his congressional offices, according to the report. The FBI was reportedly so concerned about Fang — who had engaged in romantic relationships with at least two midwestern mayors — that they briefed Swalwell about her in 2015, when she suddenly returned to China.
Swalwell’s office even confirmed that Swalwell knew Fang and that he had spoken to the FBI about her.
“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,” a statement from his office to Axios said.
Swalwell has refused to answer questions about their relationship, and whether it was romantic. He has suggested the revelation was retaliation for criticizing the Trump administration, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said she has no concerns about Swalwell.
Last week, the FBI briefed members of Congress about Swalwell’s relationship with Fang, at Republicans’ request. The Federalist reported after that briefing that two sources directly familiar with the counterintelligence investigation of Fang said she and Swalwell had a sexual relationship and that federal officials were so concerned about the romantic relationship between a U.S. congressman and a suspected Chinese spy that they even investigated whether Swalwell had tipped Fang off about the counterintelligence investigation after the FBI briefed him, but found only limited circumstantial evidence of that.
The Axios report was particularly alarming given that Swalwell sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), a highly coveted committee assignment. Dozens of major news outlets reported on Swalwell’s ties to Fang.
Despite this, the New York Times has not yet once reported on the issue. The Washington Post has done at least one story on it, and has mentioned it several times in newsletters.
Republicans are urging Pelosi to remove Swalwell from the intelligence committee and for his removal from the House altogether, given the threat that China poses to the U.S. and the potential that Swalwell is compromised by the Communist Chinese Party.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has raised a number of questions about Swalwell’s ties to Fang. He asked on Fox News Channel’s Ingraham Angle on December 8:
Did Nancy Pelosi know this had transpired when she put him on the committee? We have our Sen., Dianne Feinstein, for two decades, the personal assistant, that hear all the private phone calls in the car and others, a Chinese spy. Why did the Democrats pull out of the bipartisan China task force I had set up? Why have they denied certain bills that would hold China accountable, that have passed the Senate, not come to the floor? Why do they focus on Silicon Valley members of Congress? Why is he still on the intel Committee? Why is he still a member of Congress? Did Adam Schiff know, as chairman of that committee, that he had this problem?
McCarthy also questioned, on FNC’s Fox & Friends December 10, why Swalwell attacked Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe for warning about Chinese spying.
In August, Swalwell downplayed the threat of Chinese interference in the 2020 election.
He said on MSNBC’s The ReidOut that National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) Director William Evanina’s statement on threats to the 2020 election coming from Russia, China, and Iran was a conflation of threats to protect Trump.
“There is only one country that has a preferred candidate that they are willing to actually help, and the assessment is that Russia is trying to help Donald Trump and to tear down Joe Biden,” he said. “They are truly trying to conflate threats, I believe, to protect the president.