House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday confirmed that she’s keeping Rep. Eric Swalwell on the House Intelligence Committee despite questions swirling about his relationship with Chinese spy Fang Fang, who seduced US politicians as part of her work.
Pelosi previously reappointed the fellow California Democrat to the House Homeland Security Committee over Republican objections.
“The American people elected a Democratic House Majority that would be relentless in our work to promote their security – both by defending their economic security here at home and our national security abroad,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“On the Intelligence Committee, these Members will be effective forces in keeping the American people safe, as we confront our nation’s adversaries, adapt to new threats and work with our allies.”
Swalwell received an FBI “defensive briefing” in 2015 on Fang, who is believed to have returned to China to avoid apprehension after fundraising for Swalwell and placing an intern in his office.
His brother and father remained active Facebook friends with her until after her role was publicly reported.
Swalwell has refused to say if he had a romantic relationship with Fang.
Most if not all of his GOP colleagues, including on the Intelligence Committee, were unaware of his ties to Fang before a bombshell December report.
The 14 Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee wrote in February to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting a briefing on Swalwell’s entanglement with Fang.
“As our nation faces a growing security threat from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) attempts to infiltrate and undermine the United States Government, we write to request a full briefing regarding counterintelligence threats to Members of Congress, including information related to Representative Eric Swalwell’s ties to a suspected Chinese intelligence operative,” the legislators wrote.
The Republicans wrote to Wray, “We must ensure the Committee can safeguard Top Secret information and make an informed decision regarding Rep. Swalwell’s future access to classified information.”
The FBI provided Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) with a Dec. 18 classified briefing on Swalwell’s relationship with Fang. McCarthy said that the briefing “only raised more questions. The one thing that was fundamentally answered: He should not be on Intel.”