House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is facing mounting pressure to explain how Rep. Eric Swalwell’s involvement with an alleged Chinese spy slipped through the cracks.
Pelosi’s Republican counterpart, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA), has backed the speaker into a corner for failing to properly vet Swalwell (D-CA) before placing him on the powerful and closely guarded House Intelligence Committee, Fox News reported Wednesday.
Swalwell falls for honeypot scheme
An Axios report published this week identified Swalwell as one target of a suspected Chinese spy named Fang Fang or Christine Fang. The report said that the woman seduced at least two Midwestern mayors and that she formed a connection with Swalwell when he was a local politician in California.
Fang reportedly helped with fundraising for Swalwell’s re-election campaign in 2014, a year before Swalwell is said to have severed ties with her.
Many have found the story ironic in light of Swalwell’s claim to fame, his avid promotion of the infamous Russia collusion hoax. Republicans have said that Swalwell should be kicked off the Intelligence Committee in light of the news, calling his placement there a national security risk, according to Fox.
On Laura Ingraham’s show Wednesday, McCarthy accused Swalwell of being “so preoccupied with going after President Trump” that he was not “protecting the USA from bad actors,” Fox reported, as he called on Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) to account for the oversight.
“Did Nancy Pelosi know this had transpired when she put him on the committee?” McCarthy asked, according to Fox. “Did Adam Schiff know as chairman of that committee that he had this problem?”
Pelosi laughs it off
But Pelosi has laughed off the controversy, saying the issue was taken care of in 2015 when Pelosi, Swalwell, and others were warned about Fang by the FBI.
“I do think that it is unfortunate that Mr. McCarthy is trying to make an issue of this,” she snarked 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.”
McCarthy, a member of the powerful “Gang of Eight” that is privy to classified intelligence, and other Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee say they were never informed of the matter.
“I’m going to ask the FBI director to brief me,” McCarthy told Fox News on Thursday, according to Politico. “As a leader and a member of the Gang of Eight, I did not know of this.”
Swalwell, for his part, has accused his critics of going after him because of his anti-Trump politics, Politico reports.