The U.S. intelligence community has completed an investigation on Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D-CA) engagements with a Chinese spy, a story first broken in December of 2020 by Axios, confirming details of his extramarital sexual relations with the woman, according to a new report.
A Chinese national known as Christine Fang or “Fang Fang” infiltrated and groomed a number of high level politicians in the San Francisco Bay and Silicon Valley area. The most prominent figure targeted was Swalwell between at least 2012, when he was still a Councilman for Dublin City, and 2014, after he was elected to the House of Representatives.
The Axios investigation produced a photo of Swalwell and Fang at a 2012 student event, exposed fundraising activities she conducted for his 2014 re-election campaign, and noted she had “placed an intern” in his campaign office.
More than just a college girl
Fang was enrolled in California State University East Bay in 2011 as a student when she was in her late 20s or early 30s, serving as President of the school’s Chinese Student Association and Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs branch.
Fang used her position in both associations as operational bases to network and influence politicians, creating a “flurry of high-profile events she organized over a period of several years, according to current and former local officials, former students, Bay Area politicos, and social media activity” that were attended by “political figures, business executives, and Chinese consular officials.”
Axios noted Fang was unusually close to the San Francisco Chinese Consulate. While it is business as normal for a regional Consulate or Embassy to oversee and guide staffers of local Chinese student associations, “Fang’s relationship to the San Francisco consulate was especially close, according to social media posts, event flyers, photographs, and one current U.S. intelligence official.”
Moreover, the report, citing U.S. counterintelligence operatives, found Fang was directed by the CCP’s Ministry of State Security (MSS). Counterintelligence discovered the fact while surveilling a separate suspected MSS operative disguised as a diplomat at the San Francisco Chinese Consulate who “used the consulate as a base to do outreach to state and local-level U.S. politicians, including inviting them on trips to China.”
Fang set off red flags when she continually met with the MSS operative, and was put under FBI surveillance. Intelligence believes the MSS operative was not Fang’s handler. Instead, she was directly reporting to state security agents in mainland China.
In 2015, U.S. intelligence briefed a multitude of American officials about the security risks associated with Christine Fang. Axios sources said Swalwell immediately cut off contact afterward the briefing.
Nonetheless, Swalwell declined to comment to the publication at the time of the story, citing a wish to “protect information that might be classified.”
The FBI’s investigation into Fang Fang came to an abrupt end when she suddenly fled the United States and returned to China at the same time she was scheduled to attend an event in D.C. in June 2015.
In the report, Axios claimed no evidence of sexual misconduct between Fang and Swalwell, but reported Fang nonetheless had a pattern of serving as a honeypot as she “engaged in sexual or romantic relationships with at least two mayors of Midwestern cities over a period of about three years.”
“At least two separate sexual interactions with elected officials, including one of these Midwestern mayors, were caught on FBI electronic surveillance of Fang, according to two intelligence officials.” Axios noted they were unable to either identify or contact the mayors for their side of the story.
The report did, nonetheless, provide two clear anecdotes of Christine Fang as a honeypot for elected officials, “At a 2014 conference in Washington, an older Midwestern mayor ‘from an obscure city’ referred to Fang as his ‘girlfriend’ and insisted the relationship was genuine despite the clear age difference between Fang and himself.”
“Fang also had a sexual encounter with an Ohio mayor in a car that was under electronic FBI surveillance…When the mayor asked why Fang was interested in him, Fang told him she wanted to improve her English.”
However, the same day as Axios broke the story, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson published an opinion piece where Carlson said “U.S. intelligence officials believe that Fang had a sexual relationship with Eric Swalwell.”
In a December 10, 2020 report by Business Insider on the scandal, the publication contacted Fox News for clarification on Carlson’s statement and were told by a spokesperson, “Carlson’s claim about a sexual relationship between Swalwell and Fang came from original reporting, without giving more information.”
On December 9, 2020 Swalwell broke his silence. In an interview with CNN, he claimed the scandal only emerged because he fell victim to abuse of power by then-President Donald Trump.
“The wrongdoing here is that at the same time the 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,” Swalwell said
Carlson questioned how it was possible Swalwell remained a member of the House Judiciary Committee, making him privy to classified national intelligence, “At this very moment, Eric Swalwell — who has used his office to promote Beijing’s talking points almost word-for-word; a man who admits to a close personal relationship with an actual Chinese spy who helped him get elected to Congress, raised money for him and put an intern (probably another spy) in his office — continues to serve on the House Intelligence Committee, where he has unrestricted access to classified information.”
On July 26 of this year, Breitbart published a piece citing “intelligence and national security sources…who spoke on condition of anonymity” alleging the U.S. Intelligence Community has in its possession “a classified report that includes intricate and intimate details” of Rep. Eric Swalwell and Christine Fang’s relationship.
Breitbart said the report, which is currently classified, contains “certain sexual acts they allegedly engaged in together” and “details about a sexual relationship between the two.”
“For those who have seen the details of the Swalwell case, it was shocking that Pelosi and Schiff so willingly kept him on the intelligence committee even for nakedly partisan lawmakers like themselves,” a “former senior national security official familiar with the details of the report” told the outlet.
The former official said any senior U.S. official with “original classification authority,” including President Biden or Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, had the power to declassify the report at any time to make the public aware of the truth about what had transpired between the U.S. Congressman and a CCP agent.
Breitbart quoted a second former official familiar with the probe, an external senior IC advisor, as saying “Regardless of whether you would have pegged Eric Swalwell as someone dumb enough to sleep with a CCP spy, the evidence is damning.”
“That report should be declassified. There are no concerns about sources or methods. The only purpose served by keeping that report classified is saving Swalwell from embarrassment. That’s not a good enough reason.”