As I discussed this morning on Newsmax TV’s "Wake Up America," a Chinese intelligence agent named Fang Fang (aka Christine Fang) moved to the San Francisco area and enrolled in a local university.
She joined student organizations to become a player in Democratic politics and raised money for several incumbent and future Democratic politicians, including Reps. Ro Khanna (California) and Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii).
Fang was also reportedly romantically involved with two mid-Western mayors.
This story has become Washington’s biggest scandal because of Fang’s reported close relationship with Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
According to press reports, Fang helped raise substantial campaign funds for Swalwell’s first run for Congress in 2012 and was placed as an intern in his Washington, D.C. office.
Fang reportedly was close to Swalwell.
Tucker Carlson reported last night that Swalwell may have been romantically involved with Fang.
Swalwell joined the House Intelligence Committee in 2014.
The FBI became so concerned about his ties to Fang that they gave him a "defensive briefing" on her in 2015. Shortly thereafter, Fang fled the U.S. for China after she learned she was being investigated by the FBI.
This is just one example of the aggressive worldwide efforts by Chinese intelligence to infiltrate Western countries to steal secrets and influence government policy.
The Trump administration began a crackdown last summer on Chinese students attending U.S. universities to steal intellectual property and promote pro-China propaganda.
The FBI has warned U.S. university students who plan to study in China that Chinese intelligence may try to recruit them as agents to spy against the United States while they are in that country.
Fang’s targeting of Swalwell demonstrates the sophistication of China’s espionage operations in the United States.
She established a relationship with Swalwell early in his career before he was elected to the House. This demonstrates how Chinese intelligence is prepared to invest in future U.S. elected leaders who they can later exploit when in office.
This now raises the question as to how many other current U.S. elected officials were similarly invested in by Chinese intelligence.
Does it number in the dozens, or even hundreds?
This story also highlights a huge U.S. government security loophole.
Unlike Federal employees and nominees to government positions, including cabinet members and U.S. Supreme Court nominees, elected officials do not undergo background security investigations for access to classified information.
This includes the members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees who have access to the most sensitive U.S. intelligence by virtue of their office, not because they were cleared by the FBI.
Elected officials are supposed to self-report their relationships with foreign nationals from hostile countries, but this is done as an honor system.
Fang’s relationship with Rep. Swalwell was a huge coup for Chinese intelligence.
Although press reports claim he did not disclose classified information to her, that may not be established. Moreover, Fang and the intern she placed in Swalwell’s office could have gathered a great deal of national security information just being in proximity to Swalwell from his private calendar, travel schedule, and overhearing his phone conversations.
Moreover, if Swalwell had a personal relationship with Fang, it's very possible he could have inadvertently revealed national security information to her.
Eric Swalwell has a lot to answer for in this story.
He forged a close relationship with a Chinese citizen who turned out to be a spy and helped raise money for his campaigns. He maintained that relationship even after he joined the House Intelligence Committee.
Swalwell never reported his ties to Fang to the Intelligence Committee or the FBI.
If he had done this, the FBI would have conducted a background investigation of Fang.
It's ironic that Swalwell was one of the loudest proponents of the false Democratic narrative that the Trump campaign collaborated with Russia in 2016.
Although I doubt Swalwell’s relationship with Fang indicates he collaborated with China or was compromised by Chinese intelligence, it represents very bad judgment on his part and should result in Swalwell’s immediate expulsion from the House Intelligence Committee.
There also should be swift action by Senate and House leadership and the FBI to uncover relationships like Fang’s with other members of Congress.
We can be certain there are more.
Fred Fleitz, president of the Center for Security Policy, served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and to the chief of staff of the National Security Council. He previously held national-security jobs with the CIA, the DIA, the Department of State, and the House Intelligence Committee. Twitter: @fredfleitz. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.
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