WASHINGTON D.C. (KRON) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi publicly defended Rep. Eric Swalwell Thursday after it was revealed he had connections to a suspected Chinese spy.
“I don’t have any concerns about Mr. Swalwell,” Pelosi told Politico.
Fang Fang, alternatively known as Christine Fang and believed to be an operative of China’s Ministry of State Security, came to know Swalwell while he was a Dublin city council member and allegedly assisted in raising funds for his 2014 reelection campaign to California’s 15th congressional district as well as helped place an intern in his office.
Swalwell and other congressional leaders, including Pelosi, were informed of the foreign connection by the FBI in 2015 when Swalwell immediately cut off contact with Fang, who is no longer in the country.
Swalwell has not been accused of any improper dealings by the FBI.
“We knew at the same moment,” Pelosi said. “We knew when they knew and at that time, that was the end of it.”
The revelations, released on Tuesday, caused an uproar within Republican leadership, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy calling for Swalwell to lose his seat on the House Intelligence Committee.
“I’m going to ask the FBI director to brief me,” McCarthy said. “As a leader and a member of the Gang of Eight, I did not know of this.”
Republicans took to Fox News, calling him a hypocrite for strongly criticizing President Trump during the Russian collusion investigations.
Swalwell was quick to defend himself.
“To do that against a critic of the president, they may think they’re going to silence me,” Swalwell said Wednesday on CNN. “They are not going to silence me, but what they are going to do is they are going to make others think twice when they are asked to sit down and provide defensive information about people like this.”
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