House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is exposing a double standard, and demanding transparency, after Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) alluded to an FBI briefing concerning Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and a suspected Chinese spy.
Pelosi’s Republican counterpart called for the FBI to brief House Republicans on Thursday as the speaker herself dismissed the controversy, the Washington Examiner reported.
Swalwell’s spy scandal
According to the New York Post, McCarthy and others in the GOP say that though the FBI briefed Swalwell on the matter in 2015, Republicans never received notice about the California congressman’s ties to Fang Fang or Christine Fang, a suspected Chinese spy whose relationship with Swalwell as exposed in an Axios report last week.
Fang reportedly helped fundraise for Swalwell and placed an intern in his office, and members of his family are apparently still Facebook friends with her, Axios noted.
Republicans have called on Pelosi to dismiss Swalwell from the powerful House Intelligence Committee, which gives lawmakers access to classified information, in light of the news. But the speaker has ignored the issue, saying that Swalwell cut ties after receiving a briefing that was available to both parties, the Washington Examiner reported.
McCarthy: GOP wasn’t notified
On Thursday, McCarthy accused Pelosi of neglect, or worse, by promoting Swalwell to the Intel panel as he demanded an FBI briefing for Republicans.
“Speaker Pelosi was notified, I was not,” he said, according to the Examiner. “I’m asking for an FBI briefing now.”
McCarthy also suggested it was strange that Pelosi selected Swalwell, then a newcomer to Congress, to serve on the committee. “Did anybody approach Nancy Pelosi to lobby to put a person in their second term in the minority on the Intel committee?” he said, as the Examiner reported.
Pelosi remains unfazed
The Swalwell scandal has raised concerns about Chinese communist influence in America that Republicans speculate has gained a foothold in San Francisco, where Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district is located.
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee echoed McCarthy’s demands for an FBI briefing in a letter Monday warning that “any number of elected officials could potentially be compromised without even knowing it,” as The Hill reported.
Despite pressure to address these national security concerns, Pelosi is apparently unfazed.
“I do think that it is unfortunate that Mr. McCarthy is trying to make an issue of this,” she said Thursday, according to Politico. “But you know what he’s trying to do, he’s trying to deflect attention from the fact that he has QAnon in his delegation over there.”