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GOP Rep. Sensenbrenner seeks ethics investigation of Swalwell relationship with China spy
Retiring Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is asking the House Ethics Committee to investigate Rep. Eric Swalwell’s relationship with suspected Chinese spy Fang Fang.
Swalwell (D-Calif.) has refused to confirm or deny whether he had a romantic relationship with the woman also known as Christine Fang, who is suspected of sleeping with at least two Midwest mayors as part of her espionage work.
In a letter first reported by Fox News, Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) wrote, “Rep. Swalwell repeatedly refuses to answer any questions about these allegations, including whether he alerted then-[Minority] Leader [Nancy] Pelosi to the potential compromise when she appointed him” to the House intelligence committee.
Sensenbrenner is a former longtime chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The Democratic chairman of the ethics committee, Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, would have to consent to a Swalwell probe.
“It is unknown how much private and/or classified information Fang had access to as a result of her relationship with Rep. Swalwell and whether Rep. Swalwell was compromised,” Sensenbrenner wrote.
Swalwell represents a California district south of Oakland and received an FBI “defensive briefing” in 2015 on Fang, who he was warned might be a Chinese spy.
The House intelligence committee member said he immediately broke off contact with Fang, though his brother and father remained Facebook friends with her until this week.
Fang reportedly raised funds for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign and placed at least one intern in his office.
Sensenbrenner wrote to the ethics committee: “Allowing an international spy to forge a close relationship with a member of Congress and then allowing personnel decisions to be influenced by a Chinese national does not reflect creditably on the House.”
Neither Swalwell nor the FBI told Republicans on the House intelligence committee that their peer had been targeted by China.
Fang returned to China in mid-2015, Axios reported, as US officials heightened their scrutiny of her string of seductions.
In a statement, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended Swalwell this week.
“The Speaker has full confidence in Congressman Swalwell’s service in the Congress and on the Intelligence Committee,” said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.