House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) demanded that Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.) be cut loose from the House Intelligence Committee after receiving an FBI briefing on his former relationship with a Chinese spy.
Swalwell has met with a chorus of condemnation after a report revealed that he had been in a personal relationship with a woman federal investigators believed to be a Chinese espionage agent.
The California Democrat cut ties with the woman, named Christine Fang, after receiving a “defensive briefing” by investigators in 2015.
However, Republican lawmakers and other critics of Swalwell have used the report to raise doubt about whether the congressman could be compromised by that former relationship.
McCarthy made his opinion clear in a tweet posted on Friday after the FBI briefing.
I had a briefing from the FBI today to learn more about Eric Swalwell’s ties to a reported-spy from China, and one thing is now crystal clear:
Swalwell should no longer be on the Intel Committee.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) December 18, 2020
“I had a briefing from the FBI today to learn more about Eric Swalwell’s ties to a reported-spy from China, and one thing is now crystal clear: Swalwell should no longer be on the Intel Committee,” said McCarthy.
He also spoke to reporters after the briefing.
“One thing I know for sure — I had questions about whether he should. That’s the one question that was answered, he should not be on Intel,” he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was also present at the FBI briefing, but she did not address reporters about the information shared with her. She has previously said that she has faith in Swalwell’s ability to serve on the committee, and Swalwell has said that Democrats knew about the relationship before it was publicly divulged.
He also implied that the president’s animus towards him had to do with the timing of report.
“I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him,” Swalwell said. “The timing feels like that should be looked at.”
Christine Fang left the United States in 2015.