More than a woman

It seems obvious that Rep. Eric Swalwell had an intimate relationship with the Chinese Communist spy Fang Fang, who helped him launch his congressional career. According to Swalwell, the answer to the question whether he was sleeping with her might be “classified.” That’s what he told Tucker Carlson Tonight. “Classified” by whom, he didn’t say.

When Axios came calling on its story revealing Fang Fang’s penetration into the network of California politicians, Swalwell’s office told Axios: “To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story.”

Swalwell wouldn’t discuss the nature of his relationship with Fang Fang with Politico either. In an interview, however, Swalwell told Politico: “As the [Axios] story referenced, this goes back to the beginning of the last decade, and it’s something that congressional leadership knew about it [sic].”

The New York Post cited each of these references to “classification” in its December 9 story noting the continuing Facebook friendship of Swalwell with Fang Fang. Yesterday RedSate picked up a few loose threads in “Swalwell Tries to Deflect from Chinese Spy Story by Attacking Tucker Carlson, Americans Let Him Have It.”

The loose threads proliferate. By appointment of Nancy Pelosi, Swalwell has served on the House Intelligence Committee and as ranking member of its Central Intelligence Agency Subcommittee since his second term in Congress, beginning in January 2015. The Axios story on Fang reported that she took part in fundraising activity for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign and that Fang helped place at least one intern in Swalwell’s office.

Fang Fang beat her retreat to China when the feds got on her case in 2015 and the FBI gave Swalwell a defensive briefing about her “around 2015,” according to the same Axios story. One can infer that Swalwell’s membership on the Intelligence Committee overlapped with Swalwell’s relationship with Fang Fang, although this isn’t entirely clear in any of the reports. Swalwell himself isn’t talking.

We do know, however, that Pelosi placed Swalwell on the Intelligence Committee, where he remains to this day. He appears to have been at all times an extraordinarily poor choice. What is he doing there?

Pelosi has sought to implicate House leadership beyond herself. This past Friday House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy received an FBI briefing on the case along with Pelosi. He spoke to reporters immediately after the briefing. Martha MacCallum’s interview with McCarthy following the briefing covered the basics (video below).

John Boehner was the Speaker of the House and McCarthy the House Majority Leader in 2015. In the interview with MacCallum McCarthy stated directly that he had never previously been briefed on the matter. McCarthy volunteered that he “doesn’t know if the briefing before for [House] leaders, if they had the same information they [the FBI] had today.”

As for the current briefing, McCarthy stated: “Anyone who was in that room with me would not allow Swalwell to be on the committee or to continue to be on it.” While Pelosi was in the room with McCarthy, however, Swalwell “continues to be on it.” MacCallum didn’t follow up on that point or bore in on about who knew what when in this important story.

UPDATE: Interviewed on Sunday Morning Futures this morning, McCarthy was even more emphatic about Swalwell’s disqualification from the committee. I hope to post the video separately once it becomes available.