China Spy: GOP Leader Says Eric Swalwell Should Be “Removed From Congress”

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After Axios published a blockbuster story this week outing Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and his relationship with a woman who turned out to be a Chinese spy, the failed presidential contender immediately pointed the finger at the Trump administration in an effort to deflect from his own carelessness.

Swalwell, who was reportedly briefed by intelligence officials in 2015 after the U.S. became aware that a Chinese national named Christine Fang was helping him campaign for reelection (and perhaps helping him with some more…personal matters…as well), lashed out at the story, blaming Trump for using it as a way of getting back at him for being a harsh critic.

“I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him. The timing feels like that should be looked at,” Swalwell told Politico.

It’s not clear the extent to which Swalwell had a relationship with Fang, and he refused to discuss the details with Politico, but reports have it that the Chinese spy did not actively contribute any money to his campaign. Swalwell is not, right now, being accused of breaking the law.

“What it appears though that this person — as the story reports — was unsuccessful in whatever they were trying to do,” Swalwell said. “But if intelligence officials are trying to weaponize someone’s cooperation, they are essentially seeking to do what this person was not able to do, which is to try and discredit someone.”

But that’s an extraordinary take from someone who has been front and center when it comes to blasting Trump and his campaign for their interactions with Russian nationals.

“Our country has seen just an influx of Russians into our political bloodstream and that’s something that did not exist until Donald Trump came on the scene,” Swalwell said in 2018. “I mean, when you look at the 16 Trump family members, campaign officials, and administration folks who had contacts with Russians throughout the campaign.”

In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that Swalwell’s relationship with the spy should be sufficient grounds to have him thrown out of Congress.

“Why did the Democrats pull out of the bipartisan China task force I had set up?” McCarthy asked. “Why did Speaker Pelosi pull out of that? 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?

“Not only should [Swalwell] be removed from the Intel Committee,” said McCarthy, “he should be removed from Congress, as well.”