Pelosi has 'full confidence' in Swalwell, as congressman scrutinized over ties to suspected Chinese spy

Pelosi has ‘full confidence’ in Swalwell, as congressman scrutinized over ties to suspected Chinese spy

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has “full confidence” in Rep. Eric Swalwell and his ability to serve on the Intelligence Committee despite a yearlong reporting investigation revealing the California Democrat’s ties to a suspected Chinese spy.Pelosi appointed Swalwell in 2015 to the secretive House Intelligence Committee, which led the impeachment investigation into President Trump. A Pelosi spokesman told Fox News that the speaker will back Swalwell’s continued service on the committee, which has access to classified material and oversees activities of the U.S. intelligence community.“The Speaker has full confidence in Congressman Swalwell’s service in the Congress and on the Intelligence Committee,” Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement to Fox News Wednesday. FBI STEPPED IN AFTER SUSPECTED CHINESE SPY GOT CLOSE TO SWALWELL, OTHER POLITICIANS, REPORT FINDSThe sign of support is powerful since Democratic membership on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is determined by Pelosi and not by a steering committee. Swalwell’s judgment has been in the spotlight after Axios reported that a Chinese national named Fang Fang or Christine Fang targeted up-and-coming local politicians, including those who had the potential to become national figures.While officials do not believe she received or passed on classified information, officials believed the case “was a big deal, because there were some really, really sensitive people that were caught up in the network,” one official told the outlet.Fang reportedly took part in fundraising for Swalwell’s 2014 reelection campaign — although she did not make donations nor was there evidence of illegal contributions. Fang’s earliest known engagement with Swalwell occurred through the Chinese Student Association, Axios reported, and by 2014, she had developed “close ties” to Swalwell’s office.Fang is also reported to have placed at least one intern in Swalwell’s office and interacted with him at multiple events over several years.SWALWELL REFUSES TO EXPLAIN RELATIONSHIP WITH SUSPECTED CHINESE SPY ACCUSED OF AFFAIRS WITH MAYORSAccording to Axios, investigators became so alarmed by Fang’s behavior and activities that they alerted Swalwell in 2015 to their concerns, and gave him a “defensive briefing.” Swalwell then cut off all ties with Fang and has not been accused of any wrongdoing, according to an official who spoke to the outlet.Fang’s relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors turned sexual, according to Axios, with at least two incidents being caught by FBI surveillance. When asked about the nature of Swalwell’s relationship with Fang, the Democratic congressman’s office declined to comment.The congressman’s office told Axios that 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.” Beyond that, however, his office would not discuss the story, citing concerns related to classified information.An anonymous FBI official told the San Francisco Chronicle that “Swalwell was completely cooperative and under no suspicion of wrongdoing.”Fang reportedly left the U.S. in mid-2015.From the perch of the Intelligence Committee, Swalwell has become a national figure by shining a light on the Russia collusion investigation into Trump and the president’s impeachment for asking Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. Swalwell even launched a short-lived presidential run in 2019. Trump’s allies were quick to pounce on the Axios reporting. KEVIN MCCARTHY DEMANDS ANSWERS FROM PELOSI ON CHINESE SPY INFILTRATING REP. SWALWELL’S OFFICE”For four years, President Trump was accused of being a Russian operative,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “It’s absolutely breathtakingly remarkable that the entity that was under control of a foreign power was the Democrats, including Eric Swalwell. Democrats were accusing the Right of something they were doing all along. It was never Russia and the Republicans, it was the Democrats and China.”House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., questioned Pelosi’s judgment of putting Swalwell on the Intelligence Committee. “[China] helps a city council member become a congressman,” McCarthy told “The Ingraham Angle.” This congressman now gets on the intel committee. They are only selected from the intel committee by the leaders of their party meaning Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi is one of the Gang of Eight, along with myself.”“Did Nancy Pelosi know this had transpired when she put him on the committee?”BIDEN MUM ON REP. SWALWELL’S LINKS TO SUSPECTED CHINESE SPYBut Hammill framed McCarthy’s concerns over Swalwell as a distraction from problems in his own party with GOP reps who have promoted QAnon conspiracy theories, including Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene.The Anti-Defamation League has formally called on Congress not to give committee assignments to members who have backed QAnon.“Minority Leader McCarthy is trying to distract from his continued kowtowing to QAnon and his refusal to heed the call of the Anti-Defamation League to refuse to seat his QAnon members on Congressional committees, including critical national security committees,” Hammill said.Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Ronn Blitzer, John Roberts and Joshua Q. Nelson contributed to this report. 

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